Here we are in November, with nine of the 10 World Tour events done and dusted, and still no world champ. Not since 2009 has the most elite level of professional surfing had a title race go to Pipeline in Hawaii. If you recall, the last time this happened was when Mick Fanning stole the crown that seemed destined for his best mate, Joel Parkinson.
Parkinson and Fanning are again featured on this year’s title ticket, but with one notable addition: Kelly Slater. Slater has dominated the Billabong Pipe Masters over the last 16 years, hoisting a record six trophies. Neither Mick or Joel has ever won the event.
Going into the contest, the following scenarios apply for the title:
-With Joel in the lead, if Slater doesn’t better a 5th, then Joel wins the title.
-If Joel and Kelly both make the quarterfinals, whoever finishes better in the event wins the world title.
-For Mick to win the overall world title, he needs to win Pipe Masters, have Kelly place lower than fifth, and Joel can’t make the final with him.
No matter who you are backing, you’ve got to agree that this is about as close a race as one could have scripted. It could even come down to the final heat for the event and the world title.
CURRENT ASP WCT TOP 5 (After O’Neill Coldwater Classic):
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 53,900 pts
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,700 pts
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 47,000 pts
4. John John Florence (HAW) 44,350 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 42,350 pts
2012 ASP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR RESULTS:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Taj Burrow (AUS)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Mick Fanning (AUS)
Billabong Rio Pro: John John Florence (HAW)
Volcom Fiji Pro: Kelly Slater (USA)
Billabong Pro Tahiti: Mick Fanning (AUS)
Hurley Pro at Trestles: Kelly Slater (USA)
Quiksilver Pro France: Kelly Slater (USA)
Rip Curl Pro Portugal: Julian Wilson (AUS)
O’Neill Coldwater Classic: Taj Burrow (AUS)
Billabong Pipe Masters: TBD