Stab digs speculation. This you know. Who in the surfing world ain’t getting swept up by this year’s climactic showdown? It’s been three years since we’ve been treated to a world champ decider at Pipeline. The last was a Mick Fanning/Joel Parkinson affair in 2009, where Mick scooped gold. But this year, it’s remarkably tight and chances for Mick are slim. Since when do either Joel or Kelly not make the quarters? After the O’Neill Coldwater Classic, the current ASP WCT Top five looks like this:
1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 53,900 points
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,700 points
3. Mick Fanning (AUS) 47,000 points
4. John John Florence (HAW) 44,350 points
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 42,350 points
So, where does that leave us? With a beautiful mess of numbers and possibilities, each as thrilling as the next. Rolling into the Billabong Pipe Masters, here’s the world title scenarios:
If Joel finishes 13th, ninth or fifth at Pipe:
- Kelly needs fifth or higher.
- Mick needs to win Pipe to take the World Title. (But Kelly needs to finish fifth or lower at Pipe.)
If Joel finishes equal third at Pipe:
- Kelly needs a third or higher.
- Mick needs to win at Pipe with Kelly scooping fifth or lower.
If Joel finishes second at Pipe:
- Kelly needs to win.
- Mick cannot win the World Title.
Who do you like?