JOEL Parkinson has had victory snatched from his grasp in the dying moments too many times in the past, and he wasn’t going to let it happen again at Bells Beach on Easter Sunday.
Parkinson went some way to avenging his 2009 world championship loss to Mick Fanning by beating his good mate at the Rip Curl Pro yesterday.
The message to the surf world was clear: Parkinson is back.
THE Tweed Heads surfers faced off in the final of the iconic event – in its 50th year – in pumping six- to eight-foot waves.
It was decided in dramatic circumstances, with Fanning requiring a mid-eight-point ride to take victory in the dying minutes.
Parkinson, however, had priority and when Fanning paddled for a set wave, Parkinson dropped in to take the victory.
He added an exclamation mark by getting barrelled on the wave and being scored a perfect 10.
“I definitely feel like I’m back,” the event champion said. “I feel like I’m surfing better than I was back in ’09 before I hurt my ankle.
Parkinson had opened up with an 8.53, giving him an 18.53 two-wave score, compared to Fanning’s 13.26.
Fanning was on fire in his quarter-final win over Jordy Smith, scoring 18.87 points.
“To me, Mick (Fanning) has been the form surfer of the event and I was never going to take him lightly,” Parkinson said.
“I think we both had the same game plan of getting the first good one that came through and putting the momentum behind us. We scrapped for that first wave and I got the nod. Even though it was a mid-8, I knew I needed a lot more to hold him off so I just kept the pressure on from there.”
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