|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
Fresh off a gnarly foot injury and a six-month hiatus from competition, defending Triple Crown Champ, Joel Parkinson, won the Reef Hawaiian Pro yesterday. In a wave-starved final, where there were only three waves ridden after 23-minutes, Parko was the only surfer that could find three good rides in the heat. He won the 6-star Prime Qualifying Series event with a two-wave total of 15, out of a possible 20 points. The 29-year-old Aussie shredded the head high mush burgers at Alii Beach Park like it was Snapper Rocks with a light nor-easter, and always kept an eye on runner-up Joel Centeio.
|Joel Parkinson claiming the win after the long, hard road back from injury.|
"I consider him one of the best guys out here," said Parkinson, of Joel Centeio and Haleiwa. "He's definitely the surfer you want to pay the most attention to the way he surfs and the way he lines up. My strategy was to stay 10 feet on the inside of Joel Centeio because he won this event last year, picking the best waves and I figured he would do it again this year."
Joel Centeio won the Reef Hawaiian Pro in 2009 and is a Haleiwa local that lives across the street of Alii Beach Park. The 26-year-old Hawaiian had a chance to take the lead in the final, but the ocean went flat. Although Centeio was left searching for a set wave that would never come, he was still happy with his runner-up finish.
|Defending Hawaiian Pro champ, Joel Centeio took second on wave knowledge.|
"There was good exchange at the beginning, me and Parko got two pretty good sets and after that it was kind of dismal," said Centeio. "In the final, I was just waiting for the sets. I must have waited for like 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and I caught a couple of little ones. I knew that they wouldn't be the score. I knew I needed to get a set, and hats off to Parko. He surfed incredible all day. I'm stoked to be in the final and get second for sure."
Third place finisher Julian Wilson, 22, and fourth place Heath Joske, 21, only caught two waves each. Both young Australians surfed well in the event, but fell victim to the lack of surf in the final. Mick Fanning went out in the quarterfinals.
"It was challenging," said Wilson who cracked the finals of his maiden Triple Crown campaign. "It's always a bummer to surf the worst waves of the event in the final, but this whole event has been a wave catching contest. Parko was on the best waves of the heat and therefore he's the winner."
|Julian Wilson flies away to third place land.|
Parkinson wasn't the only winner yesterday at the Reef Hawaiian Pro. Six-time Triple Crown winner Sunny Garcia, 40, came from behind to win the Reef Clash of the Legends presented by Bud Light. Garcia entered the third and final round of this exhibition behind Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo in the standings. Earlier in the week, Garcia received an interference call from a paddle battle with Curren, thus putting Garcia in third place going into the Clash final.
Standings and triangles didn't matter, as the set waves only came to Garcia at Haleiwa yesterday.
|Sunny Garcia comes back to win the Clash of the Legends presented by Bud Light.|
"It was inconsistent and I knew I got lucky because I got three set waves and those guys didn't get any," said Garcia who won the ASP world title in 2000, "After I got the first one, I figured I didn't have anything to lose and I paddled them deep. By the luck of the draw, I just got all the waves and those guys didn't get the scores." Garcia's win was a consolation for the hometown crowd. At least they could celebrate one local boy's victory yesterday.Reef Hawaiian Pro Results: