Aussie surfer wins 2009 Billabong Pro

16 July 2009

Australian Joel Parkinson earned his second Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay title on Wednesday, posting a dominant performance in the 40-minute final to convincingly defeat Damien Hobgood of the US in classic one-to-1.5 metre waves at Supertubes in the Eastern Cape.

The 28-year-old from Queensland started the final with a wave that peeled the length of the point, which allowed him to duck into five tubes linked by smooth rail-to-rail transitions and vertical manoeuvres to net a near perfect 9.47 points out of 10. That left Hobgood under pressure from the outset.

The American waited nearly 20 minutes for his first ride – a mid-range 5.67. Parkinson’s next ride of 6.50 then put Hobgood into a combination situation and needing to improve on both his scores.

A ride in the last seconds left Hobgood still needing a massive 9.70 when the siren sounded to end the heat.

‘Jeffreys Bay is a really special place’

“Jeffreys Bay is a really special place and I love coming here,” Parkinson said. “It’s been 10 years since my first visit and when the waves are as good as they have been over the past three days, there is nowhere I would rather be.”

The Australian ace was in imperious form throughout the event, recording over 15 points out of 20 in each of his five match-ups, including two perfect 10-point rides. He outpointed Heath Joske (Aus) in round two, Kieren Perrow (Aus) in round three, Bobby Martinez (USA) in the quarter-finals, and Kai Otton (Aus) in the semi-finals.

The win was Parkinson’s second at Jeffreys Bay, following his victory as an 18-year-old wildcard in 1999. It was also his third title on the 2009 ASP World Tour, giving him a solid 1 400-point lead over second placed CJ Hobgood, twin brother of the beaten finalist.

Tough path for Hobgood

Hobgood’s path to the final, his second at J-Bay, was a tougher affair, with the American scoring narrow victories over Chris Davidson (Aus), Bede Durbidge (Aus), Taylor Knox (USA) and then Dane Reynolds (USA) in the semis, all of them by less than one full point.

His second place in the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay sees Hobgood climb from number-10 to number-five on the latest ASP World Tour rankings.

The final day’s action got underway at 07:30 in overhead waves and north-westerly crosswinds that changed to clean offshore westerlies as the swell slowly dropped in size and consistency.

The biggest upset of the day came when Kelly Slater was eliminated by fellow American and close friend Taylor Knox in heat seven of round three. The nine-time ASP world champion and defending Billabong Pro Champion was unable to produce anything over 3.77 points as Knox opened his account with a solid 8.0 and added a 4.57 for a comprehensive win.

Clash of the Icons

The much anticipated second heat in the Clash of the Icons between surfing legends Mark Occhilupo (Aus) and Tom Curren (USA) saw Occy restore parity in the 18 encounters since their first meeting 23 years ago.

Curren notched up two mid-range scores of 6.67 in the clean head-high waves, while Occy found the best wave of the 30-minute heat and used his trademark powerful top to bottom turns to earn an excellent 8.67 which, combined with a 5.0 in the dying minutes, was enough for victory.

After Curren’s win in the first match-up at Jeffreys Bay on Tuesday, the tally between the two long time adversaries is now nine wins each and plans are already being made for another Clash of the Icons in the future.

Highest placed South Africa

Sean Holmes was the highest placed South African in the Billabong Pro, advancing to the quarterfinals before meeting his match in an on-fire Dane Reynolds. The American opened his account with his second perfect 10-point score of the event before pulling out a repertoire of futuristic manoeuvres on the overhead waves to earn a 9.20.

Holmes equalled his previous result of equal fifth, pocketing US $9 000 (approximately R70 000), while Reynolds won the WTA award of a unique Nixon watch, valued at US $10 000, for the highest heat total of the event – 19.20 out of a possible 20 – the second highest heat on the 2009 ASP World Tour.

Of the other South Africans in the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, Jordy Smith and Greg Emslie placed equal 17th. David Weare and wildcards Ryan Payne and Devyn Mattheys were eliminated in round one, finishing equal 33rd.

BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY RESULTS

Final

 

  • Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.97 def Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.94

 

Semi-finals

 

  • Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.83 def Kai Otton (AUS) 16.47

 

  • Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.73 Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.67

 

Quarter-finals

 

  • Kai Otton (AUS) 16.17 def Dean Morrison (AUS) 10.83

 

  • Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.66 def Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.83

 

  • Dane Reynolds (USA) 19.20 def Sean Holmes (ZAF) 9.84

 

  • Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.73 def Taylor Knox (USA) 14.30

 

2009 ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10

 

  • 1. Joel Parkinson (Aus) 5076 pts

 

  • 2. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 3672 pts

 

  • 3. Adriano de Souza (Bra) 3613 pts

 

  • 4. Taj Burrow (Aus) 3460 pts

 

  • 5. Damien Hobgood (USA) 3374 pts

 

  • 6. Bobby Martinez (USA) 3357 pts

 

  • 7. Mick Fanning (Aus) 3350 pts

 

  • 8. Kelly Slater (USA) 3030 pts

 

  • 9. Tom Whitaker (Aus) 2942 pts

 

  • 10. Jordy Smith (RSA) 2896 pts

 

SAinfo reporter

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