Snapper duo back on track
SURF SCENE with Andrew McKinnon
IT WAS good to see Parko and Steph secure podium finishes at the World Surf League event at Trestles, California.
Parko was edged out in the men's final by Jordy Smith of South Africa while Steph lost to Tyler Wright in the women's decider.
It's been a long time between drinks for both these Snapper Rocks legends and former world champs.
Parko came agonisingly close against Jordy, losing by less than half a point despite having produced the highest score of the final, an 8.43 out of a possible 10 points.
In the women's final, Steph posted the highest wave score, a 9.13, but needed an 8.01 to replace her second score of a 6.00.
Trestles turned out to be more of a powerhouse display of deep carving turns, with the rail game rewarded to overcome the fanciful aerial antics such as by Brazil's Felipe Toledo.
'Holy Toledo', easily the most dynamic aerialist in the world in small waves, accounted for Kelly Slater in the quarter-finals but couldn't overpower Jordy in the semis.
This is Jordy's best result of the season and elevates him to fourth on the ratings, putting the Durbanite firmly in the mix for the world title.
"I came into the event with an open mind,” he said.
"If I can be in with a shot at the world title this year then that will be great.”
Trestles marks Parkinson's best result of the year and his first final appearance since the 2014 J-Bay Open where he finished runner-up.
A winner at Trestles in 2004, Parko rediscovered his form to climb eight places to sixth on the ratings.
"This year was another wonderful year at Trestles and I'm really happy to be back and on the podium, it feels really good,” he said.
"I was so motivated and really keen to notch up a win.”
Parko's round one win when he combed Mick Fanning appeared to fire him up for the rest of the event.
For Tyler, the win was her fourth championship tour victory of the season.
The result cements her place at the top of the rankings and keeps her on track to claim her first world title with just three events remaining.
Tyler is more than 7000 points clear of closest rival Courtney Conlogue (USA) heading into the next event on the tour, the Cascais Women's Pro in Portugal.
"Surfing against Steph as someone I look up to is great, she's still one of my surfing idols and inspires me to go after things my way,” Tyler said.
The two finalists have shared 19 head-to-head championship tour match-ups, with Tyler having won eight.
Steph, who posted the highest heat score in Round 4, defeated reigning three-time WSL champion Carissa Moore in the quarter-finals and Nikki Van Dijk in the semis on her way to the final.
The runner-up finish marks a return to form for Steph and is the first time since April last year that she has made it out of the quarter-finals.
Steph, who won the Trestles event in 2014, has climbed to fifth on the ratings.
"It's really nice to get a good result,” she said.
"My goal is just to win an event this season. Since my injury I haven't really put together a complete performance so we'll see what happens heading into Europe and Hawaii.”
The Cascais Women's Pro has a competition window from September 24 to October 2.
The next men's event is in France from October 4-15
2016 WSL Men's ratings (After Hurley Pro)
1. John John Florence (HAW) 41,650
2. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 37,450
3. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 36,500
4. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,200
5. Kelly Slater (USA) 29,650
2016 WSL Women's ratings (After Swatch Women's Pro):
1. Tyler Wright (AUS) 63,450
2. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 46,200
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 42,500
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb 38,450
5. Stephanie Gilmore 37,300