With more excellent six-to-eight foot conditions for Day 9, Parko was back with another flawless tube riding display in his Round 5 heat against John John Florence. And when we say flawless that’s what we mean – the judges awarding him a perfect 20-point heat score to John John’s 19.20. Although if you ask us, it wasn’t quite up there with Kelly’s 20 at Fiji (but then maybe that’s like comparing apples n’ oranges?).
“Over the years I’ve been coming here, there have been odd moments where you get a wave like that but never the kind of frequency we had in that heat,” Parkinson said. “That was just magic. We were throwing away 9s and John (Florence) was nearly sticking 8-foot corked out rotations. The kid can do it all and he was never one I was going to take lightly.”
While there was plenty talk of the judges over-scoring early rides and leaving themselves little room to manoeuvre, Parko’s win was nevertheless well-deserved and the performances and waves certainly near-perfect enough.
Earlier in the day another great performance came from Michel Bourez, who closed out Round 4 with an electric performance to advance directly to the quarters. The powerful Tahitian exhibited a blend of fearless tube-riding as well as unmatched power carves on his forehand.
“That’s why I like my job so much,” Bourez said. “I was having fun riding good barrels and getting paid for it. I got a really good score on my first wave and knew if Freddy (Patacchia) got a 9.8 that I needed to get a 9.8 too. I followed him everywhere he went and wanted to make sure I was on the good waves. I wanted to get a good result out here and hope this is just beginning. I know it’s hard to make the semi-finals out here and I’m just happy to be here and having fun.”
The upset of the day came from Kelly’s Round 5 exit, losing to CJ Hogbood. With the dropping tide and light onshore winds coming up, changing conditions caught the 11-time champ out of sorts while CJ adapted quickly with a series of big backhand manoeuvres. More than the loss, Kelly seemed most gutted about not being able to rip yet more perfect man-on-man Keramas for the last day of the contest.
Sure enough with more of the same forecast for tomorrow, it should be an epic final day of competition starting out with the highly anticipated Taj vs. Parko match-up in the first heat of the quarters.
OAKLEY PRO BALI ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.30, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.90, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.57
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 19.67, Kelly Slater (USA) 18.60, John John Florence (HAW) 17.10
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.00, Nat Young (USA) 13.86, Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.50
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 18.50, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.23, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.87
OAKLEY PRO BALI ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 20.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 19.20
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.33
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 16.93 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.94
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.46 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.90
UPCOMING OAKLEY PRO BALI QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
QF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
QF 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, enjoys Keramas perfection en route to the Quarterfinals of the Oakley Pro Bali.
Image Credit: ASP / SCHOLTZ