Congrats to Billabong team rider Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31. Parko won the Bilabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons last Friday to clinch the 2012 ASP World Title. After 12 years on tour, he finally captured this accolade that had seemed so elusive for him. Prior to this win, Parkinson was just shy of the world title four times (2002, 2004, 2009, 2011).
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. 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.
“It’s very surreal feeling. I’ve got to pinch myself,” Parkinson said from the podium. “I feel like I still have to man up and surf another heat. But it’s all over. It’s done. . . I don’t know who sent me those waves in that final. And thanks to Andy for pushing those things in. To mother nature. He always will be a part of this event. Whatever anyone does at pipe it will never come close to what Andy did. . . 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.”
Want to know a few more cool facts about our 2012 ASP World Champ? Here are a few cool facts about Parko from the Billabong website:
Years On Tour: 12
Favorite Spot: Kirra, Snapper Rocks (Aus)
Main Shaper: JS, from JS Industries
Travelling Quiver: Three 6’2”x18-3/8×2-1/4; 6’6”x18-3/8×2-1/4
Favorite Surfers: Occy, Matt Hoy
Training: Surfing, Running, Cross training
Favorite Music: Anything from Donavan to Metallica
Other Interests: Cars, Watching my favorite footy team play
On the personal front, Joel married his high school sweetheart, Monica, and they have three children: two daughters, Evie and Macy, and a son Mahli.
Here is the road to how Parko finally clinched the title:
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