PENICHE, Portugal — Australia's surfing championship leader Joel Parkinson took early honours after round one of the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal, posting the highest heat total on Saturday.
Parkinson, who holds a slight edge over 11-times champion Kelly Slater and countryman Mick Fanning, finished with a 17.17 out of a possible 20 to take day one honours and advance straight to the third round.
The 31-year-old is yet to claim an event win on tour this year, despite leading the title race, and said rectifying that was his main aim this week at the third-last event of the world surfing season.
"I'm here to win," Parkinson said. "Everyone is. I've had a few seconds this year but am keen to put a win on the board.
"I'm not thinking about the world title race really. I need to get some wins first before that can become a reality."
Fanning suffered a surprise loss in the first round to fellow Australian Kieren Perrow but bounced back to eliminate French wildcard Pierre-Valentin Laborde in the second round.
"I was a little bit freaked out this morning," Fanning admitted.
"The waves weren't that great so I just wanted to go out again and catch waves in the afternoon's heat.