Joel Parkinson’s Return to Surfing

Parko is back.

Joel Parkinson was ablaze as he opened his account at the Reef Hawaiian Pro today with a perfect 10 and the highest heat score of the competition in defense of his Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. Off the tour for the past six months nursing a serious foot injury, ‘Parko’ had the crowd on their feet as returned to pure brilliance in double-overhead surf. Joel signed off on the heat with the highest two-wave total score of the event to date: 19.87 out of a possible 20 points.

“I couldn’t ask for a better place to come back after a long injury,” said Parkinson. “It’s a lot easier to surf when you have a wave that pushes you hard. It’s really hard to surf on small little waves so it feels really good to be back in Hawaii.”

“I didn’t hear till midway through the heat that I got a 10, and I was like, ‘I got a 10?’ I thought they might have misprinted the zero or something.

“For sure, I want to defend (the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing), but you have to take it heat by heat I guess. Wave by wave. The foot feels good. I didn’t think it was that good, but it feels good now.

Other standouts of the round included Brazil’s Raoni Monteiro, Granger Larsen (Hawaii), Jay Quinn (NZ), Yadin Nichol (AUS), and Evan Valiere (Hawaii) who advanced behind Parkinson but could have won almost every other men’s heat today with his score of 16.5.

Joel Parkinson Returns

The Round of 96 was run to completion today, narrowing the field to 64 contenders who will battle it out through two more days of competition to crown the champion., official forecasters for the Vans Triple Crown expect today’s WNW swell will persist into tomorrow for day 4 action, with a similar new swell expected to arrive Sunday/Monday for the finals. The final bout of the Clash of the Legends will also be held on the last day of men’s competition.

The Reef Hawaiian Pro is the first stop of the 28th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, and runs through November 23 at Haleiwa.

Live internet coverage happens every day, starting at 7:45 a.m. with “THE CALL” – the Triple Crown’s live daily morning show that features all the latest news, highlights and happenings. The series will also be broadcast live on television around Hawaii on Oceanic Time Warner Digital Cable channels 250 and HD1250.

The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing consists of three men’s and three women’s professional surfing events that are the final stop on the 2010 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour. In its 28th year, the Vans Triple Crown is considered the most prestigious title in surfing next to the ASP World Title. Each event has an extended holding period with competition taking place on the biggest and best days of surf at each venue.