Joel Parkinson in chase for World No.1 Mick Fanning
Australian surfer Joel Parkinson faces a sudden-death match-up against American Conner Coffin in round two of the Hurley Pro at Trestles as he attempts to keep the heat on best mate Mick Fanning.
AUSTRALIAN surfer Joel Parkinson faces a sudden-death match-up against American Conner Coffin in round two of the Hurley Pro at Trestles as he attempts to keep the heat on best mate Mick Fanning.
Parkinson trails countryman Mick Fanning on the ASP world rankings race with Trestles the sixth stop of 10 on this year’s tour.
Fanning pipped Parkinson for the Billabong Pro title in Teahupoo last month and leads the rankings on 34,750, ahead of fellow Gold Coast surfer Parkinson on 31,700.
Parkinson was put on the brink of elimination in California after Australian Bede Durbidge won their round one heat with a combined wave score of 14.16.
Fanning meanwhile continued his strong form from Teahupoo, cruising into round three with a heat-winning combined wave score of 15.60 in round one.
The 31-year-old two-time world champion and current rankings frontrunner unloaded his renowned forehand attack on the long right-handers of Lower Trestles.
However Fanning made it clear he’s looking over his shoulder in the race for the overall crown – with Hawaiian John John Florence and American Kelly Slater also in pursuit.
“The race is really tight,” Fanning said.
“With everyone counting a few good results and in a really good rhythm at the moment, Joel (Parkinson), Kelly (Slater), John John (Florence), Taj (Burrow), you’ve got to just keep trying and just keep plugging away.”
Fanning, a former Hurley Pro at Trestles winner (2009), admitted several surfers in this draw (ranging from veterans to rookies) will be tough to contend with at Lowers, but feels equally comfortable in the lineup himself.
“You’ve got to just look at track records and Kelly (Slater) is probably the gnarliest guy, he just knows the wave so well,” Fanning said.
“Then there are guys like John John (Florence) and Kolohe (Andino) lives here and surfs amazing out here, so those are probably the main guys I look out for.”
Slater, 40, the reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and defending five-time Hurley Pro at Trestles winner, built momentum throughout his opening heat to advance directly to round three. – AAP