Joel Parkinson claims 2012 ASP World Title, seals season with victory at Billabong Pipe Masters
Australia’s Joel Parkinson became this year’s 2012 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Champion after defeating his compatriot Josh Kerr in the final of Billabong Pipe Masters at the Banzai Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii, on Friday, December 14.
Even though the success at the recently concluded event was the first top-place finish for the 31-year-old Parkinson during this year’s elite tour, it was still sufficient to earn him the most coveted honours in the sport.
Having to settle for runner-up place four times in his career, the Australian surfer finally made it all the way to the top this year, reaping a just reward for years of hard work, determination and perseverance.
“It’s all surreal,” Parkinson said. “I figured it was going to be a pressure cooker like a few years ago. I knew there was nothing I could do about it. It was about what I had to do, not about what he had to do. I thought, surely he (Slater) has got to peak
because he had that heat with Shane (Dorian) and I knew Kerr is a danger man for him. When Kerr got that one, I felt like I was going to physically throw up. I couldn’t control my emotions at that point.”
Pitted against an in-form Kerr in the final of Billabong Pipe Masters, Parkinson had his work cut out for him.
As the man-on-man battle for the event title got underway, Parkinson put on a performance that completely justified the eventual outcome.
Locking his first business-wave, he posted an excellent 9.17 on the score-board to take an early lead. Keeping the momentum going, he went on to add an additional 8.00 points to his account, thus getting to a heat-total of 17.17 points.
Kerr found himself staring at an intimidating two-wave total and that too at a stage when the pressure was at its peak.
He got off to a solid start, earning a 7.83 off his first business-wave, but still required a massive score off his second business-wave. Despite a determined effort, he only managed to add an additional 7.00 to his account, thus finishing with a heat-total
of 14.83 points.
The climax of this year’s ASP World Championship Tour turned out to be much more exciting than the previous year, which has seen 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater securing the World Title even before reaching the final stop of the season.