Billabong Pro Santa Catarina 2010: Opening Round

Joel Parkinson rocked the opening round of the 2010 Billabong Pro Santa Catarina in Brazil. After his stellar performances last season, he is finally showing the elite level of surfing that everyone expected of him.

Joel Parkinson.  Photo: ASP/ScholtzThe third event of the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina in Brazil, completed an action-packed opening round with surfer Joel Parkinson as the highlight of the day.

Joel Parkinson, 2009 ASP World Runner-Up and current ASP World No. 6, was in top form in Brazil when pulled off a giant forehand aerial for the highest single-wave score of the day, an incredible 9.93 of 10.

“I already had two solid scores and I was just loosening up,” Parkinson said. “When I hit the section, I thought I was too high, but my board stuck to my feet and I thought, ‘well, I’ll try to land it’. Then I found a soft section and rode out of it.”

Parkinson’s two 5th place finishes so far in 2010 are a slight drop from last season's start, but the laid-back surfer is not worried about the rest of the season.

“The tour comes in waves,” Joel Parkinson said. “Someone will do well in the first few events, then someone switches on in the next few and so on. It’s a long year ahead and the focus is on the heat in front of me.”

While the likes of Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith and Bede Durbidge led the charge from the top, a surprising number of high seeds were relegated to the elimination Round 2 including reigning two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning and current ASP World No. 1 Taj Burrow.

Tiago Pires current ASP World No. 13, perhaps claimed today’s biggest scalp, knocking former nine-time ASP World Champion and defending event winner Kelly Slater into Round 2.

“Kelly Slater makes everyone lift their game,” Pires said. “You can’t make any mistakes against him. I tried to pick the best waves and surf my best. Fortunately for me, things went my way today.”

After a great opening round, Taj Burrow will face wildcard Tanio Barretoin in the opening heat of Round 2 of the 2010 Billabong Pro Santa Catarina.

Kelly Slater.  Photo: ASP
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