Breaking Down the 2012 Title Race

It looks like the ASP World Title race between Joel Parkinson, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning is going to be as contestable as the 2012 presidential election, with Kelly playing President Obama, Parko as Mitt Romney and Mick Fanning playing the unlikely successor, but still hopeful Roseanne Barr.

Here’s the breakdown as the ASP moves to Hawaii for the 30th Triple Crown: Parko is currently in first place with 53900 total points, closely behind is Slater with a total 50700 points and still in the title hunt is Fanning with a total 47000 points.  For either of these three men to win the world title there are a plethora of if/then scenarios that must occur:

  • If Parko finishes 5th or lower at Pipeline:
  • then Slater needs a 5th or better to win his unprecedented 12th world title;
  • then Fanning needs to win the contest to win the title (Slater cannot finish 5th or better)

  • If Parko finishes 3rd at Pipeline:
  • then Slater needs a 3rd or better win the title;
  • then Fanning needs to win the contest to win the title (Slater cannot finish 5th or better)

  • If Parko finishes 2nd at Pipeline:
  • then Slater needs to win at Pipeline while simultaneously becoming the ASP champ;
  • then Fanning cannot win the title

  • If Parko wins at Pipeline then he will be the 2012 ASP champ.

Let’s take a look at the past to try to forecast the future.  Last year Parko took down Kelly in the semifinals and Fanning did not surf the event.  During the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters, Kelly made it to the semifinals again, while both Parko and Fanning lost in the third round.  In the 2009 contest, Kelly lost in the final, Fanning lost in the quarters, and Parko lost in the third round.

Personally, I think Kelly is too strong of a competitor to lose the title when it is within arms reach.  That being said, Parko’s three Triple Crown victories and Fanning’s two World Titles cannot be ignored, but an incumbent is hard to dethrone and Kelly has proven time and time again that he is king.