Joel Parkinson after his recent win in Hawaii. Photo ASP – Kelly Cestari
The Burleigh Boardriders’ fundraiser lunch to open the Burleigh Single Fin Festival was an hysterical affair, thanks to the wit and wisecracks of funny-man host, Freddo Lang, and the spontaneity of special guest ‘Robbo’ from Channel 9’s The Footy Show.
The pair traded barbs and interviewed sports stars including Nathan Bock and Jarrad Brennan (Gold Coast Suns), Dave ‘the Coal Train’ Taylor (Gold Coast Titans), and newly crowned ASP Men’s World Surfing Champion and Billabong rider, Joel Parkinson.
Parkinson said he’d been taking it easy after his dramatic win at Pipeline in December and his hugely anticipated return to the Gold Coast has seen a non-stop flow of well-wishers and fans congratulating him at every turn.
‘I think I’ve maybe had two days off,’ said Parkinson. ‘There’s been so many people popping round to say “well done”, some mates I haven’t seen for ages who just knock on the door with a case of beer, going “You did it!”. You just can’t say no, you know?’
Parkinson said he has had the chance to hit the waves since his return to the country. ‘I’ve had a couple of surfs. I’ve been out at Snapper and D’bah; the waves have been fun. It’s what I do. You can’t keep me out of the water.’ He did add that the serious pre-season starts now.
Some very special memorabilia items were auctioned during the fundraiser lunch, with monies raised going towards junior surfing development program within Burleigh Boardriders and the White Christmas Fund, supported by the Gold Coast Suns.
An Andrew Johns-signed Newcastle Knights jersey that was signed by the test captain as a gift to legendary Aussie surfer Michael Petersen sold for $500.
A personally signed competition jersey Parkinson wore during the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii sold for $3,400.
The highest bids were for one of Parkinson’s surfboards, ridden at stop 9 on the 2012 ASP Men’s World Tour, the O’Neill Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California, which sold for an impressive $4,200.
This year’s Burleigh Single Fin Festival was dedicated to the late Gold Coast local and Aussie surfing legend, Michael Peterson. Peterson’s mother, Joan, was a guest of honour.