JOEL PARKINSON VS MICK FANNING - QUIKSILVER PRO
Surfers, Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning, Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast 2011, WCT surfing, ASP World Tour, Australian sports rivalry
GREAT FRIENDS, GREAT RIVALS
One of the most intriguing rivalries in Australian sport returns this weekend, as Coolangatta natives, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, put close friendship aside to contest the opening event of the 2011 ASP World Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST 2011
Fanning and Parkinson, both 29, grew up surfing together on the Gold Coast; they attended the same school, and even refer to each other as brothers. But when both went on to accomplish their childhood dream of competing on the World Tour, eventually something had to give.
That something reared its head roughly 14 months ago, when Fanning successfully managed to chase down Parkinson’s seemingly insurmountable 2009 ratings lead, to steal the coveted ASP World Title that year.
What are friends for?
Things had a chance to cool off during last year’s World Tour, when Parkinson succumbed to injury early in the season, ruling him out for most of 2010.
Now both fit and healthy, the pair’s delicate rivalry is set to resume in 2011.
Photo: Getty Images
Fanning and Parkinson head into the Quiksilver Pro this weekend as equal favourites, largely because Snapper Rocks, the break hosting the event, is their favourite and long-time local surf spot.
“Mick and Joel are deadly out there,” defending Quiksilver Pro champion, Taj Burrow (AUS), told mesurf on Monday. “They just know [Snapper Rocks] so well.”
Fanning and Parkinson are the only surfers other than Kelly Slater to have won the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast on two occasions.
Fanning tasted victory there in 2005 and 2007. In addition to this, he’s also placed 2nd on one occasion and finished 3rd twice. Statistically speaking, Fanning’s overall career results at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, make him the second most winningest surfer in the event’s history.
A two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009), Fanning is the only Australian to have ever beaten American and ten-time World Champion, Kelly Slater, to a World Title. His approach to surfing is all about intense speed, flexibility and razor sharp technique: all traits valuable for impressing the judges this weekend at Snapper Rocks, one of the finest righthand pointbreaks on the planet.
Parkinson’s approach utilises more classic drawn-out turns to compliment contemporary manoeuvres and a veteran ability to read a breaking wave. Through his trademark laidback style, he's a master at making the very difficult, look very easy.
Parkinson is regarded as one of the best in the world when it comes to conquering righthand pointbreaks such as Snapper. He’s taken out the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast on two occasions: 2002 and 2009, he holds the record for the highest heat score ever recorded at the event (19.93 out of a possible 20) and, statistically speaking, Parkinson has the best all-time record at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.
While both Fanning and Parkinson have stayed out of the media spotlight in the lead up to their pet event this weekend, Australian World No.7, Adrian Buchan, believes Parkinson is the bigger dangerman out of the two at this year's Quiksilver Pro.
“I think Joel’s going to be most dangerous, said Buchan. “He missed a lot of the events last year, so he’ll be pretty hungry, plus it’s his home break.”
When quizzed last year about the fire that still burns in him to clinch a World Title, Parkinson assured, “There’s only one way to put it out, and that is to win one.”
Parkinson’s quest to achieve this in 2011 all starts with the upcoming season opener on the Gold Coast – his specialty event.
- Michael Bellamy
- Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast will
commence Saturday, 25th of February at Coolangatta’s Snapper Rocks (Conditions permitting)
- Tune in to mesurf.com for daily news and highlights as the world’s best surfers battle it out in the first event of the 2011 ASP World Tour season
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