Joel Parkinson victorious at Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach...

Joel Parkinson was victorious at the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach after defeating Mick Fanning in an electrifying Final in solid six-to-eight foot (2 – 2.5 metre) waves at Bells Beach.

Fanning was the in-form surfer of the event, consistently notching the highest single-wave scores and heat totals from Round 1 onwards. However, the lightning-fast natural-footer was unable to overtake his Gold Coast sparring partner in the Final.
“It was a tough Final,” Fanning said. “For some reason overtime we have a heat he gets in sync real early. I tried to fight back but it was too little too late. Surfing against your mate is just like surfing against anyone else you’ve just got to go out and think about yourself and catching waves and getting scores."
The Australian clash was the perfect celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic surfing event. The historical swell, the huge crowd and the quality of the surfers couldn't be better.
Parkinson opened up with an 8.53 on the first ride of the heat and drove the nail into the coffin with a Perfect 10.

“To me, Mick (Fanning) has been the form surfer of the event and I was never going to take him lightly,” Parkinson said. “I think we both had the same game plan of getting the first good one that came through and putting the momentum behind us. We scrapped for that first wave and I got the nod. Even though it was a mid-8, I knew I needed a lot more to hold him off so I just kept the pressure on from there.”
Today’s victory marks the third Bells title for the Gold Coaster and his 10th elite tour wins overall.
“It’s incredible,” Parkinson said. “It’s not so much the fact that I’ve won the event, but more so that it’s the 50th anniversary. It feels that much more special. We’ve had such good waves too. I can’t remember the last time that Bells had such good waves. I’m so excited. I can’t believe this.”
Parkinson, who’s last two ASP World Title campaigns have been marred by injuries, is adamant that he is 100% healthy this season and surfing better than ever.
“I definitely feel like I’m back,” Parkinson said. “I feel like I’m surfing better than I was back in ’09 before I hurt my ankle. I’m feeling fit, I have some really good boards under my feet and I’m excited for the rest of the year.”

Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, suffered surprise elimination at the hands of De Souza in this morning’s Quarterfinal clash.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 24, 2010 ASP World Runner-Up, cruised through to the Semi-finals of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach despite admittedly feeling out of rhythm throughout the event.
“It was a nice last wave, but it was a pity I didn’t get any before that,” Smith said. “I’ve felt off all week so to get a 3rd is pretty good. I’ve got two 3rds now, which is kind of frustrating because you want to make the Final, but that’s how it goes sometimes. 3rd is better than 5th.”
Smith further cements his position at ASP World No. 3.
The next stop on the 2011 ASP World Title season is the Billabong Pro Rio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from May 11 – 22, 2011.
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1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.53
2 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.26

SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.33 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.87 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.23
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.66 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.16
QF 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.24
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16 def. Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.10
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.46 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.03

Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.17 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.26