BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii – Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, claimed his maiden ASP World Title on Saturday at the final stop of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season, by winning the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. The Billabong Pipe Masters was the third and final leg of the Hawaiian Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series.
Only Parkinson and reigning 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 40, were in contention for the world title heading into the final day. Parkinson needed to finish one position higher to claim the title that has eluded him for the past 12 years. With Slater’s loss to Josh Kerr (AUS), 28, in the semi-final, Parkinson’s dream became reality. Parkinson went on to beat Kerr in the final.
“Consistency paid off,” Parkinson said. “This is where I wanted to stand at the end of the year. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life. I can’t describe what this feels like. I’ve had runner-ups and ups-and-downs. I’ve been to hell and back and it makes this so much sweeter. All the love from Hawaii and Australia and over the world, I can’t thank you all enough for supporting me.
“One day you wake up feeling good the next day you wake up feeling like a loser. This morning I felt like a Champion when I woke up. Like Andy (Irons) always said ‘I got this, huh?’ I dedicate this to my family, Dad who used to take me to contests when I was 10, my wife and my mom and kids, this is all for us,” said Parkinson.
Parkinson has been the world title bridesmaid four times (2002, 2004, 2009, 2011). His Billabong Pipe Masters victory is his 11th elite event win over the course of his career, and by clinching the ASP World Title has established himself as one of the greatest surfers of all time.
Joel Parkinson 2012 ASP WCT Results:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: 5th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 3rd
Billabong Rio Pro: 2nd
Volcom Fiji Pro: 9th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: 2nd
Hurley Pro at Trestles: 2nd
Quiksilver Pro France: 3rd
Rip Curl Pro Portugal: 3rd
O’Neill Coldwater Classic: 5th
Billabong Pipe Masters: WINNER
Slater was reflective following his Semifinal defeat this afternoon and gracious in honoring Parkinson on stage in front of a capacity crowd at the Banzai Pipeline.
“For whatever reason, the momentum went in Parko’s direction. It was cool that it came down to this, it would have been cooler to have it come down to the Final. Joel’s been on tour for 10 or 11 years now and been in the hunt ever since he started. He’s an amazing surfer. He’s just the guy that makes it look easy. He can pull whatever out when he needs to,” said Slater.
Josh Kerr battled his way to a career first ASP WCT Final. The Australian suffered a heavy wipeout in his round four heat with Slater and Gabriel Medina (BRA), resulting in a brief trip to the hospital. After medical clearance, Kerr overcame the setback to take it all the way to the final and finishing the 2012 ASP season ranked No. 8 on the ASP WCT rankings.
Damien Hobgood (USA), 33, eliminated defending event champion Kieren Perrow (AUS), 35, while attaining his best result of his season. Hobgood was a standout at both Pipeline and Backdoor, but was unable to surpass Parkinson in their Semifinals matchup, finishing equal 3rd, vaulting him up to 16th on the 2012 ASP WCT rankings.
John John Florence (HAW) – 2012 ASP Rookie of the Year.
John John Florence (HAW) – Hawaiian Airlines Airshow Winner – best aerial of the Vans Triple Crown
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) – Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion
Highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons are available at www.vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpipemasters2012
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS FINAL RESULT:
1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17 – US$75,000
2 – Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.83 – US$30,000
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.30 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.63
SF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.13 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 4.90
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.83 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.17
QF 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.50 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.40
QF 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.00 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.17
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 18.73 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 18.20
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.23 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 3.26
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.94 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 8.00
Heat 3: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 13.00 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.00
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.27 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.66
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.57, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.10, Kelly Slater (USA) 8.10
Heat 4: Shane Dorian (HAW) 6.53, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.83, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 4.23
2012 ASP WCT Top 5:
1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2 – Kelly Slater (USA)
3 – Mick Fanning (AUS)
4 – John John Florence (HAW)
5 – Adriano de Souza (BRA)
South Africans (Both requalified for the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour)
12 – Jordy Smith (ZAF)
21 – Travis Logie
Pictured: Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, clinched his maiden ASP World Title and the Billabong Pipeline Masters in Hawaii with rides like this at Backdoor Pipeline
Photo: ASP / Cestari
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About ASP: The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the recognized world governing body of professional surfing and has been crowning surfing’s undisputed World Champions since 1976. The ASP sanctions and crowns World Champions for the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, ASP World Junior Tour, ASP World Longboard and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts and other media platforms. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.