Today, with Haleiwa unveiling her true face to the ASP for the first time since the Reef Hawaiian Pro began 11 days ago, Joel Parkinson wiped away all of the foggy notions that he’d lost his edge. Showing no signs of the nagging ankle sprain that left him competing in second gear (following a freesurfing injury, Parko dropped three uncharacteristic 17th-place finishes) when he opened up on the plump Haleiwa rights and deformed her murky, unblemished face today, we all knew that the Joel of old was back. The ankle was healed, his competitive edge Ginsu sharp, and our hopes for a no-excuse title showdown were realized. He dropped a nine and the highest scoring heat/wave of the day at 16 points.
“I haven’t paddled out in a while, and I realized I was back in Hawaii and back in the Triple Crown. I got really excited to be back,” said Parko, post-heat, to the ASP. “I love the Triple Crown to death and I would hate to miss it. I’m so glad I’m here.”
If you’re looking for Fanning’s answer to Parko’s performance today, you’ll have to wait until Sunset since Fanning has opted not to surf in the Reef Hawaiian Pro.
As the day wore on a 10-foot-plus swell began to spread itself over the reefs of the North Shore. The faint, acrid smell of diesel perfumed the air. It was as sure of a sign as any that this swell was the real deal. From the beach park at Haleiwa, you could see the tow teams swarming the horizon like bees guarding their nest. That’s what you want to see if you want Haleiwa to shine. That’s what you want to smell: Jet Skis and fossil fuels. By the afternoon hour, sets in the double-overhead range began filling in, giving competitors an uninhibited taste of the true nature of Haleiwa, not the weak imposter we met last week.
Standing stoic against the building northwest, Sunny Garcia once again persevered through his heat against a decidedly younger crop, proving that power surfing and know-how are the perfect mixture to get you through a heat at Haleiwa.
“I got lucky at the start with that wave,” said Sunny of his opening 6-point keeper. “I saw Timmy [Reyes] and them getting those inside ones, but fortunately for me they weren’t enough.”
Tomorrow is forecasted to dawn a matured 10-foot swell for the final day of the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa. Parko’s drawn Dean Morrison, Andre Silva, and Kai Otton in his heat and Sunny Garcia will surf against Bernardo Miranda, Adam Melling, and Torrey Meister.