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Parkinson grabs World Cup; Pipe next


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POSTED: Monday, December 07, 2009

Joel Parkinson claimed his third O'Neill World Cup of Surfing title at Sunset Beach yesterday. The 28-year-old Australian won the second jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in 8- to 12-foot wave faces by getting barreled on the inside bowl.

After a smooth check turn, Parkinson set his line, snuck in a tube and laid down a power roundhouse: The judges rewarded him a 6.17 out of a possible 10. That ride supplemented his early scoring ride of 7.00 to give Parkinson a winning two-wave total of 13.17 out of 20.

This O'Neill World Cup win makes Parkinson the overall Triple Crown ratings leader going into the Billabong Pipeline Masters. Besides chasing the North Shore surf series title, he is also making a push for his first Association of Surfing Professional world championship at Pipe.

According to Parkinson, his victory at Sunset Beach is a good warm-up going into the Pipe Masters.

“;You win a contest and you take that confidence. I'm just going into Pipe with that little extra confidence more than I did before,”; said Parkinson, who is the defending Triple Crown champ. “;Coming into it, to me, it was all about Pipe. The Triple Crown is a bonus, a lead up and a warm-up going into Pipe.”;

Finishing behind Parkinson was 2000 ASP world champ Sunny Garcia. The 39-year-old Hawaiian power surfer flourished in the 4- to 12-foot faces. Parkinson conceded that Garcia had him on the ropes at one point in the 35-minute final.

“;I can't imagine a Triple Crown without (Sunny Garcia),”; said Parkinson of Garcia's success in the most prestigious surf series. “;I surfed so many heats against him and he always finds good waves. At the start of the final he got a 9 and I was just like, 'Aw, this is so typical.' “;

Garcia—who is a six-time Triple Crown champ—nailed a 9.47 ride right off the bat with a big hack and deep barreling wave. He sat in first place for the majority of the heat until the last 2 minutes of the final, when Parkinson stole the lead. It forced Garcia to look for a 3.7 ride that didn't materialize.

“;I started off with a 9.4 and to need a 3 at the end of the heat and not get it was a little frustrating,”; said Garcia, who won a wild card to the Billabong Pipeline Masters for his runner-up finish yesterday. Garcia has never won the Pipe Masters in his illustrious career and is frothing at a chance to win at Pipe and another Triple Crown title.

“;I'm going to get another shot at it,”; said Garcia, who is ranked second in the overall Vans Triple Crown ratings. “;Trust me, No. 7 for Triple Crown is definitely the goal, so I feel sorry for the guys who are going to be in my heat because it's all or nothing.”;

Maui's Dusty Payne, 20, placed fourth at the O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, which is the last event in the World Qualifying Series, and gained a berth into the 2010 WCT.