PARKO made a brilliant return after six months on the sidelines with injury, winning the Reef Hawaiian Pro to take the lead in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
For Joel Parkinson the two-time defending series champion it was an emotional day. The Australian has experienced the highs and lows of life en-route to today's win: The birth of his son last month, the death of close friend Andy Irons two weeks ago, and debilitating injury that forced him off tour.
This week Parkinson has been in devastating form, posting the only perfect 10 of the event and the highest heat total of the competition in his opening round. His form has been on-point and on-rail for the duration and easily deserving of the $20,000 winner's purse.
The ASP caught up with him eating a sausage sandwich and drinking a beer looking out over Pipe after his win...
Could you have ever dreamed you'd score a win in your comeback event?
"Not my first event back, no. But after my first heat, I knew I could win the contest. Coming back from injury and not having surfed a heat in such a long time, you kind of half expect that a shocker heat is coming your way at some stage. Luckily for me it never did. But with every heat I got through I felt stronger and had a bit more faith in my surfing."