Twin Fin Revenge for Joel Parkinson Over Josh Kerr At The Champions Trophy
See also: a mind-blowing day of surfing.
Sultans was the venue once again, and the three to four foot racy tubes and walls offered the perfect canvas for a couple of point break masters to showcase what a contemporary piece of equipment the twin fin can be in good waves. The timing of green lighting the contest couldn't have been more perfect, and as the tide clicked Sultans started pulsing and what ensued was a genuinely remarkable day of surfing.
Wilko's backhand is certifiably deadly, regardless of fin set up.
Joel dealt with Kai Lenny in a tricky first semi as the ocean slowed a touch late in the heat, but the Josh Kerr vs. Wilko match up in the second provided some much appreciated highlights and contention. Wilko blasted a string of venomous backhand re-entries (who said twinnies don't work on your backhand) and was awarded a 9.17, the highest score of the day. Kerrzy took up where he left off in the single fin division and countered wth a 7.60 and a 8.17 to take the lead. Wilko was left chasing a 6.60 and came up short by .01 of a point, leaving the peanut gallery on the boat picking the eyes out of the heat and not being able to reach a unanimous conclusion.
Joel and some perfectly symmetrical wiper-swinging.
"I thought Wilko probably could have won, I think..." Joel told us over a cocktail that evening. "If you watched it front on Wilko wins, from side on Josh wins. That's my theory. The judging's been pretty spot on though. It’s worse when it’s fours and fives and they're both kooking it. When they’re both ripping, it happens." Interesting to note, there's no replays and a distant viewing point here so it’s an instant call to be made: old school.
Contests aren't so bad...
Josh Kerr popped a fin out of his Album twinnie torquing off the bottom in his semi, so he hopped on Kai Lenny's for the final, not that it seemed to hinder his surfing. Just like the single fin final, the two Cooly veterans went back and forth, constantly pushing themselves and their equipment in nothing less than cooking surf. Around the halfway mark Joel took command of the situation with consecutive scores in the excellent range - an 8.33 and then a 9.03 for a double barrel drainer. Kerrzy was left sitting on a 8.67 and couldn't quite find the 8.69 needed to take the win, ending the heat with a more than respectable 16.64 heat total, and handing the victory to the 2012 World Champ.
Joel reading braille in the Sultans cone.
"Yeah I actually did get a bit nervous before, just because I haven’t surfed a heat for so long," Joel told us after the final (dressed in what can only be described as a fabulous Bong adult playsuit). "I just didn’t want to have a shocker and be a kook out there. Besides, I feel like I've got to win it to get invited back next year!" Josh and Joel are currently tied in first place, with the deciding thruster category poised to kick off in the best surf of the contest thus far. Stay tuned.
The victor and his vessel.