Slater and Parko Battle for World Title at Billabong Pipeline Masters
Fanning Out of the Equation as Incoming Swell Will Decide Champion on Friday
So it’s come down to the last day of competition, in the last contest of the year to decide a World Champion. This hasn’t happened since Fanning stole the title from Parko at Pipe in 2009. You couldn’t have scripted it any better for fans and the ASP. A dramatic finish at pulsing Pipeline is the ultimate way to finish a year after suffering mediocre surf at half of the events and a judging catastrophe in Portugal.
The Billabong Pipeline Masters is stop 10 of 10 for the ASP World Tour, and is the third jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Now that Fanning lost out to Shane Dorian in Round 3, it’s just Kelly Slater and ratings leader Joel Parkinson in the running. The first heat of the day will be Heat #2 of Round 4 featuring Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina, and Josh Kerr. If Slater wins, he advances straight to the quarters. Joel already won his Round 4 heat last Sunday to advance, so it’s a big heat for Slater. Of course, it’s a non-elimination round which means even if Slater loses, he will have another shot in Round #5. Regardless, all of the surfers left in the draw are surfing on point, so any heat win will be a tough one.
Joel Parkinson has been runner up to the World Title twice before and is always considered when discussing future World Title contenders. Brutal injuries and a failed attempt at Pipe versus Fanning in 2009 have left the Gold Coast local starving for the chance to be World Champion. Many have criticized the fact that Parko has the possibility of winning the World Title without winning a single event in 2012. So Parko can silence the critics, his own inner demons, and everyone else with win at the Pipe Masters.
Here are the scenarios for crowning the 2012 ASP World Champion:
If Parkinson finishes 5th at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
- Slater needs a 5th or higher to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
If Parkinson finishes Equal 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
- Slater needs a 3rd or higher to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
If Parkinson finishes 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
- Slater needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
If Parkinson wins the Billabong Pipe Masters, he will take the 2012 ASP World Title.
Here are the results from Round 4, and the remaining heats left in the draw:
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.40, Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.17, Dane Reynolds (USA) 9.96
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.10, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 6.20, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 5.83
REMAINING BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 4 MATCH UPS:
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Yadin Nicol (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Shane Dorian (HAW)
Watch the live webcast at vanstriplecrownofsurfing.com at 7:30am HST on Friday to see the drama unfold!
Check out the action from Day 1 and Day 2 in the videos below.