It’s the final day of the Billabong Pipemasters and 4-time runner up Joel Parkinson is 1 heat away from capturing his first world title. The social media world is campaigning to see the worlds best rail-to-rail surfer and all around good guy to take it! Watch as Joel fights his way to bring the title race to the pipe.
Support Joel by hashtagging #GoParko on Instagram and Twitter.
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Not since 2009 has the Men’s ASP World Title Race come down to the final stop of the year, the Billabong Pipeline Masters in memory of Andy Irons. Back to back wins at Trestles and France skyrocketed Kelly Slater into a world #2 position and is now within striking distance of Joel Parkinson’s #1 spot. Surfline forecasts epic 8-10 ft waves for the first 3 days of competition, which definitely heightens the drama.
As the math goes, in order for Parko to clinch the title he will need to place better than Kelly Slater. A feat that judging by Kelly’s stellar record at Pipeline, could be a mental hurtle for Parkinson even though Slater lost to Joel in the semi-finals. And don’t count out Mick Fanning, who mathematically can still take the crown with a win at the Pipeline. Three surfers in the title race at Pipe, it’s all so exciting!
Here’s the breakdown of scenarios: If Parkinson finishes 13th, 9th or 5th at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
• Slater needs a 5th or higher to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
• Fanning needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title. (*Contingent upon Slater finishing 5th or lower at Pipeline.) If Parkinson finishes Equal 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
• Slater needs a 3rd or higher to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
• Fanning needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title. (*Contingent upon Slater finishing 5th or lower at Pipeline.) If Parkinson finishes 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters:
• Slater needs to win at Pipeline to take the 2012 ASP World Title.
• Fanning cannot win the 2012 ASP World Title. If Parkinson wins the Billabong Pipe Masters, he will take the 2012 ASP World Title.
At this point all of the team houses from Off The Wall to Pipeline are full of ASP elite surfers. Aussies Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow decided to opt out of the Triple Crown in order to focus their energy on Pipe, while the hungry pack of local wildcards have been facing off at Haleiwa and Sunset.
As you may or may not have heard, Nike surf is no longer. All the Nike riders were escorted over to Hurley and surfers like Julian Wilson and Kolohe Andino will dawn the Hurley logo come Pipe Masters. This means Hurley will be the main sponsor of 8 out of 34 surfers on the WCT (Julian, Ace, Michel, Alejo, Miguel, Brett, Kolohe and Yadin).
Local "Enforcers" in SWELL Truckers, Volcom Pipe House, Billabong Off the Wall House
More often than not the team houses mentioned above are run by local heavies hired by each company to make sure their team riders don’t get themselves into trouble out in the lineup. Because as most everybody knows, Hawaii is one place you don’t want to slip up.
Pipeline, Backdoor and Off the Wall are three of the heaviest waves in the world sitting right next to each other. A small mistake out there can cost you your life, so any dropping in on locals is considered a threat to their life. Therefore, the locals take surfing this break very seriously and a misstep by an outside surfer can result in heavy consequences. As you can see in the footage below, Nathan Fletcher’s life was put in jeopardy from a sponger dropping in on him. And he paid the consequences. Surfing this stretch of beach is not for the faint of heart.
The Billabong Pipeline Masters in memory of Andy Irons celebrates the life of a champion and friend to many, A.I. It has been just over two years since the tragic passing of the 4-time Pipemaster and one of best personalities our sport has ever known. The Billabong Pipe Masters is dedicated to the 3-time surfing World Champion, who famously stole the crown from Slater at Pipeline in 2006 in what many say is the best Pipe Masters final of all time. A true legend.
Billabong is also proud to announce the new global AI Forever collection for release in Summer 2013 in stores and online March 15, in the USA. Proceeds from the AI Forever line will go toward ongoing guaranteed support for Andy’s wife Lyndie and young son Axel. Aloha and #goparko.