Surfing - Parkinson knocked out in opening heat

Reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson was eliminated on the opening day of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro surfing event in Margaret River, Australia.

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Surfing - Parkinson knocked out in opening heat
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Australia's Joel Parkinson (ASP)

UPDATE: A drop in swell led organisers to call off the competition on Sunday 17 , Monday 18, Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 March. Organisers expect competition to resume on Thursday.

Parkinson, runner-up in the season-opening event on the Gold Coast earlier this week, went out in the last heat of the day after scoring an interference on Dion Atkinson.

He wasn’t alone as both Damien and CJ Hobgood were also eliminated after scoring interferences on the peak at Margaret River.

Last year's world number four Adriano De Souza avoided an early exit as he was beaten by 15-year-old Jacob Willcox.

Willcox made himself one of the happiest people in Western Australia after defeating Brazil's De Souza, who advanced in second position.

The Australian Under 16 champion and Margaret River local did the home crowd proud, catching the best waves of the heat, surfing them with style, eliminating seasoned competitors Romain Cloitre and Tomas Hermes.

“I was really stoked to have a heat with Adriano (De Souza) let alone win it!” Wilcox said.

“I got a couple of quick waves at the start, I wanted to get a couple of scores on the board because there can be some long lulls.

"Then at the end of the heat I got a really nice wave and that was enough to win. I could hear people cheering and shouting for me, it was awesome.

"I’m really glad that Surfing WA gave me the wildcard, I just hope I can keep it going.”

Dusty Payne of Hawaii scored the highest two-wave heat-total of the day, 18.60 out of a possible 20, after unloading a barrage of critical and powerful carves and snaps on Margaret River’s lefts and rights.

“I got really lucky and I was in a good rhythm out there,” Payne said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a good left out there, so I’m stoked I got a good one in a heat. I love West Oz- I’ve done a bunch of trips over here and it’s one of my favourite places to come to.”

Jonathan Gonzalez scored a near-perfect 9.57, the day’s highest single wave score for an intense tube ride, followed by a massive hacking turn that helped him win his heat.

Gabe Kling advanced out of the heat in second position ahead of CJ Hobgood and Gavin Gillette.

“I was really lucky to get that wave,” Gonzalez said. “It was a very tough heat. I saw the wave was barreling and I pulled in and I thought I would make it out, but it was fast. Then I came out and did a turn and I’m so happy to get a big score.”

Results - men's round of 96:

HEAT 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.56, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 13.83, Charles Martin (GLP) 12.67, Joan Duru (FRA) 12.23

HEAT 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.17, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.07, Cory Arrambide (USA) 8.90, Mason Ho (HAW) 7.50

HEAT 3: Granger Larsen (HAW) 16.43, Chris Friend (AUS) 12.43, Matt Banting (AUS) 9.67, Kai Otton (AUS) 4.93

HEAT 4: Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 14.24, Gabe Kling (USA) 12.10, CJ Hobgood (USA) 9.07, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 7.50

HEAT 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.04, Andrew Doheny (USA) 11.80, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 8.06, Ricardo Dos Santos (BRA) 5.83

HEAT 6: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 16.50, Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.63, Dale Staples (ZAF) 13.40, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.00

HEAT 7: Billy Stairmand (NZL) 18.23, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.10, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 10.66, Alain Riou (PYF) 8.00

HEAT 8: Jacob Willcox (AUS) 11.67, Adriano De Souza (BRA) 9.77, Romain Cloitre (FRA) 8.90, Tomas Hermes (BRA) 5.20

HEAT 9: Brian Toth (PRI) 16.43, Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.47, Adrien Toyon (FRA) 10.37, Mitch Crews (AUS) 8.73

HEAT 10: Evan Geiselman (USA) 14.27, Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.24, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.10, Blake Thornton (AUS) 10.66

HEAT 11: Dusty Payne (HAW) 18.60, Nat Young (USA) 16.50, Tim Reyes (USA) 16.04, Torrey Meister (HAW) 13.47

HEAT 12: Jay Thompson (AUS) 16.17, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.86, Brett Hardy (AUS) 10.33, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.86

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