Parko Wins at Keramas

Joel Parkinson wins the Oakley Pro Bali, Fanning new ASP WCT No. 1

| posted on June 27, 2013

Joel Parkinson, your 2013 Oakley Pro Bali champ. Photo: Lowe-White

Joel Parkinson has won the inaugural Oakley Pro Bali over Michel Bourez via an impressive come-from-behind effort in four-to-six foot waves at the iconic Balinese righthander of Keramas.

Stop No. 5 of 10 on the ASP World Championship Tour, the Oakley Pro Bali hosted a historic high-performance showdown including perfect heats and next level progression from the world’s best surfers, culminating with Parkinson’s hard-fought victory over Bourez in the Final.

Parkinson was quick to adapt to the changing conditions on the final day of action, besting fellow countrymen Taj Burrow, and Josh Kerr, en route to the Final. The natural-footer got off to a slow start on his road to victory, but an impressive series of fully-committed forehand combinations on a steep righthand wall would see the reigning ASP World Champion surpass the Tahitian in the final minutes for the win.

“That was amazing,” Parkinson said. “That was the coolest experience coming up the sand. It wasn’t the greatest of the finals and I knew it wasn’t over. I figured if I got the best wave towards the end figured I’d have a chance. Michel (Bourez) ripped and was probably the most in form surfer of the event. I dropped off my four fin back to my three fin and just didn’t get a good pump in that one good barrel and was hoping it didn’t lose me the final. From then on I knew I had to go to do turns.”

The Oakley Pro Bali marks Parkinson’s first ASP WCT victory of the season, vaulting the stylish Australian to No. 3 on the rankings and within striking distance of the 2013 ASP World Title.

“This gives me heaps of motivation moving forward,”Parkinson said. “I’ve had two bad results and I knew I could change it around, but I’m glad I did it now rather than later. This win is so special because the event had such a good vibe around the event and such good energy about it. This was huge. The event lived up to they hype because guys were going absolutely crazy. It was one of the best events I’ve been involved in.”

Michel Bourez attacked the flawless righthanders of Keramas with incredible power, besting two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning, and dangerous rookie Nat Young, on his way to the Final. Bourez would hold the lead throughout the majority of the Final, but was unable to block Parkinson’s late-heat charge, taking both a runner-up finish and the best ASP WCT result of his career.

“It’s really good just to make the final and it was my first final ever,” Bourez said. “This event has been great for everyone with barrels everyday. The culture and people of Bali are amazing and I’m just happy to put Tahiti on the podium. I feel confident going in to Tahiti and want to go there relaxed and do my thing.”

Nat Young, ASP WCT Rookie, continued to impress in Bali, threading excellent barrels and igniting deadly backhand turns at Keramas en route to a Semifinals finish. The Santa Cruz native was on the way to his second Final appearance of the season, but was stopped short by a rampaging Michel Bourez, finishing equal 3rd overall.

“I felt like I surfed alright,” Young said. “I broke my really good board the heat before that and had to switch over to a different one. I got a couple of good waves and watched Michel take off on that wave with 20 seconds left. There was nothing I could do. It would have been nice to make the final, but I’m stoked to get 3rd and I’m stoked for Michel.”

Josh Kerr, was deadly at the Oakley Pro Bali, reveling in the technical barrels and Balinese walls of Keramas. Kerr looked fit for a final following an incredible Quarterfinals victory over former ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood, but was unable to find a rhythm in his Semifinals match up against Parkinson, finishing equal 3rd. The result marks Kerr’s best result of the season.

“It would have been nice to go one better and make the Final, but a third place is a good result,” Kerr said. “This is my best result of the season and hopefully I can carry this momentum on to Tahiti and go one better there.”

With an equal 5th place finish at the Oakley Pro Bali, two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, has overtaken then rankings leader Kelly Slater, for the frontrunner position for the 2013 ASP World Title. While Fanning has been incredibly consistent throughout the season, he hopes to ramp up his performances through the back half of the year in an attempt to take a third crown.

“I’m happy with the result,” Fanning said. “It felt like I didn’t get waves, but things fired pretty well for me overall. I had an opportunity with Michel and was just a little too deep, but I’ve got to be happy with myself for holding strong when times were slow and it was a great event. It’s just fired me up more for the next events. It would have been good to get some more points, but it’s still a result. I’ve got five out of five now and just go for it towards back half of the year. I’ve got two throwaways, but I don’t have a big lead because the other guys got wins and now it’s about putting it together.”

The next stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour will be the Billabong Pro Teahupoo from August 15 – 26, 2013.

1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.86
2 – Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.67

SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.43 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 5.33
SF 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.50 def. Nat Young (USA) 14.97

QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.17 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 3.13
QF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.44 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.83
QF 3: Nat Young (USA) 17.03 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.57
QF 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.27 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.50

ASP WCT TOP 5 (After Oakley Pro Bali):
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 31,400 points
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 30,950
3. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 26,700
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 25,200
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 24,900

  • bufu

    Before anyone rips on my comment I am well aware how good Parko surfs. His style and tube sense is amongst the best of all time. That being said he has become tremendously boring to watch. After seeing him surf a few heats watching became grueling. Also the judging was all over the place. One of the worst comps i’ve seen by a judging standpoint. One example was Nat’s semifinal heat. There’s no way Bourez’s last wave was an 8.24. That score was an embarrassment to modern surfing. Yeah it was surfed well. but three floaters should not score so high.

  • Jersh

    Very few things bother me enough to consider actually taking time to write a comment about them on the internet. This joke of a contest is one of those things. Right from the get-go it was all hype, like there was no way this wasn’t going to be the most awesome contest of the year no matter what, which seemed a little strange, and I don’t know how the judging fits into that exactly but holy sh*t – what a joke. It was basically without reason and painful to watch. I don’t want to throw out words like “rigged” and “biased” but what else explains something so ridiculous? I am perfectly well aware that Fiji and Bali are two different waves, but it is a complete slap in the face to Kelly that Parko got a perfect heat riding a couple of completely mediocre barrels (at almost any other barreling break) when there were no less than a dozen way better rides throughout the contest that didn’t even break a 9. Everyone is saying exactly that, and the proof is on the replays. Again, I hate to talk or use words like conspiracy, but ??? Nat obviously won, but didn’t. Damian obviously beat Parko in round 3 (coincidence?) but didn’t. Was the ASP’s World Champ getting blown out so bad this year that the playing field had to be levelled? After Mick beat Kelly at Bell’s last year (and probably long before that), it became obvious to anyone with two functioning eyes and a brain attached to them that who wins and when is not all about who’s riding better. I think this contest deserves a deeper look from whoever’s “in charge” so it doesn’t happen again.

  • Matt O’Brien

    funny thing is if you majority of comments regarding parko’s “win” (be it rd3 against Damo, “perfect heat against johh john, or the whole bali comp) there seems to be a pretty common thread – he is getting overscored and his competitors are getting underscored. when reading the comments that support him, they always say that us the masses are stupid, blind or don’t understand what we are seeing with our own eyes. Parko is by far the most uninteresting surfer to watch in a heat because you know what he is gonna do and what the judges are score him. I read somewhere else (surfline i think) that he starts out with a 10 and the judges deduct points while all the other surfers start out with 0 and earn points. Pretty much the case if you have been paying any attention to his results starting from last year on. The Bells thing was an exception and so was Brazil – the judges had no choice because they scored him so high that his competitors couldn’t help but get thigh scores too. IF the judges would calm down when he was in a heat it might be a little more honest. Of course I am just stupid, blind, and don’t understand what I am seeing! gettin’ pretty old…

  • graham swindell

    Great wave, great surfing, biggest judging clusterf#$K I’ve seen this season. When guys are making this much money you would expect things to be a little more professional.

  • Daniel

    Well said. Totally agree with previous posters!

  • jeff barnes

    I can’t wait for one of surfing’s esteemed publications to get some of the contestants in a round table or one-on-one discussion about the scoring issues from that contest.

  • Mik

    @jersh: thank you for a perfectly stated opinion. the only flaw was in your humility. don’t apologize for being intelligent. the ASP needs to apologize to us for assuming that we are stupid.

    at the same time, a full hearted thank you to Oakley for putting this event on, and to the surfers who are rad to watch, including Parko whose technique IS flawless (even if his waves are overscored). it’s not the WCT surfers who are to blame, it’s the whimsical judging structure that they have to deal with that demoralizes their efforts, and undermines they dedication to their art/sport…

    and additional thanks to the people of Bali who hosted everyone and shared the bliss of their culture with us…

    and to Komune & Luke Egan who have created an amazing environment for this to happen in.

    the way forward is simple:

    one judge per surf region / all judges former WCT surfers.

    problem solved.