The O’Neill Cold Water Classic
It really pisses me off when I tell someone I got my car washed and they say it’s probably gonna rain¿it sucks and it’s usually true. When the people at O’Neill say they’re gonna put on a contest, people piss them off by saying it’s probably gonna rain all week¿which it does.
Don’t get me wrong, the Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz is a damn good contest at a damn good spot¿it’s just cursed by foul weather. This year, the weather didn’t let them down by playing peek-a-boo all week.
The day of the final was the worst. Despite onshore wind and rain, Australia’s Joel Parkinson battled the elements to take home the first place check for 6,000 dollars. Parko was followed by South African Simon Nicholson in second, Joca Junior of Brazil in third, and California’s Jeff Deffenbaugh in fourth.
Mick Fanning also endured the washing machine to take the Pro Junior final and 2,500 dollars. Following Fanning was Mike Todd in second, Roy Powers in third, and Mike Losness in fourth.¿A.C. TransWorld SURF caught up with Parko the day before the final to find out what was on his mind. TWS: Where are you from?
Parkinson: I live on top of the hill at Kirra Australia.
So you grew up there?
I grew up two hours north on the Sunshine Coast, and then I moved to the Gold Coast when I was thirteen. I’ve been living at Kirra ever since.
What’s it like living at Kirra?
It doesn’t break every day, but when it does and you live there it’s pretty good because you can pretty much get any wave you want even though whoevers on it. It’s really good.
What’s your favorite wave in the world besides Kirra?
Snapper Rocks, for sure.
Who are your favorite surfers to watch on tour right now?
I guess Kelly’s not on tour, but him. I don’t know, probably Occy and Taylor Knox¿whoever. I like to see everyone surf and get to see their styles and the way they attack the waves¿so whatever.
What are your plans for this year?
Plans for this year¿not to plan. I don’t have a plan or anything. I couldn’t tell you¿I know I’m probably gonna go home tomorrow¿I don’t plan.
Are you looking to qualify this year?
Do you think you have a good chance? Are you gonna work hard for it?
Yeah, yeah, for sure. I’m definitely gonna go for the CT, but, you know, there’s something else¿I don’t want to be the full tour rat.
Where do you go after you get home?
To Newcastle in Western Australia, and then I got a few wild cards and stuff. Otherwise, I don’t know. I couldn’t really tell.
How do you like Santa Cruz?
I think it’s good. I like it. It’s beautiful countryside, but the water’s a bit dirty and cold, but otherwise it’s a beautiful place.
I heard a story about you getting robbed in Encinitas, what’s the deal with that?
Yeah, don’t worry about that. Whatever, people get mugged every now and again. So I got mugged and that was it. A lot of people made a big deal about it and I’m sick of talking about it.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened while traveling?
Everyone knows. What happens on the tour stays on tour, so whatever.