Wilson keeps title hopes alive, Parko retires
Julian Wilson has kept his world title hopes alive by qualifying for the quarter-finals, while Joel Parkinson ended his 17-year surfing career at the season-ending Pipe Masters in Hawaii.
The 30-year-old scored a 12.44 to go through along with winner Brazilian Yago Dora on 15.97, while Australian veteran Parkinson crashed out with a 7.77 in his round-four heat at the world-class reef break on Oahu's North Shore on Tuesday (AEST).
Wilson will be crowned world champion if he wins the event and Gabriel Medina fails to make the final, but if the Brazilian is eliminated in the semi-finals or beforehand then he will only need to qualify for the decider to be crowned world champion.
The heat was the last of veteran Parkinson's 17-year professional career with him crashing out of contention to win the Triple Crown of Surfing. "It's been an honour and, you know, I'm proud of what I've achieved, it's awesome," he said afterwards.
"Wow, it's over, I'm so glad it's over.
he 37-year-old said surfing had given him an amazing lifestyle and so many ups and downs, particularly his 2012 world title.
"But I guess competitive surfing is different to just surfing and once you can differentiate those things ... I'll always enjoy surfing," Parkinson said.
"The tour has so many hills and valleys, emotional roller-coasters, and like any professional sport it's just the way it rolls and it's nice to get to the end of it and finally just run on an even keel for a while and enjoy my time at home and enjoy my family, and come back to Hawaii and just come for a surf.
"I guess Kelly (Slater) is one of the last of our generation and he's still going, for sure it will be pretty emotional, once he goes, for our generation, and surfing's in good hands now with the next generation."
Wilson will now meet Frenchman Joan Duru in the quarter-finals.