Parenthood rates higher for Perrow
By IAN MONAGHAN
GLOBETROTTING professional surfer Kieren Perrow is back home in Suffolk Park ? nursing a few flesh wounds from Hawaiian coral ? and reflecting on a sweet and sour year on the World Championship Tour (WCT).
Content that he has his priorities in proper place, the 27-year-old counts the birth of his son Tosh, in June, as much more than the highlight of 2004.
On the minus side, he is reflecting on a year which saw him finish 35th on the world ratings.
After milestone top-10 finishes (seventh in 2002, sixth in 2003), the end result of season 2004 means he must surf his way through trials events in 2005. However, his association with sponsor Rip Curl means direct wildcard entry to the main event draws at Bells Beach (Victoria), the Reunion Island Rip Curl Search and the Rip Curl Pipeline.
Resting up at home with his wife Danielle and five-and-a-half month old son, Perrow is working on a strategy for 2005 which could see him hit the trials events as early as February, while the WCT season itself starts on the Gold Coast in March.
He flew back in from Hawaii just yesterday, 'nursing a few chunks out of my feet and a few more scrapes' ? the legacy of a headlong plunge into the reef on Hawaii's North Shore location known as Off the Wall, just a minute's paddle away from the Banzai Pipeline.
Perrow was warming up in the right-handers at Off the Wall and was forced to carry the injuries into demanding Pipeline Masters heats.
He made it through to round three, where he finished third. Progression through to the semi-finals would have been enough to keep him in the top 28 in the world and continue his seeding into the main draw of the WCT events next year.
There's no doubting the three months he took off the tour during the birth of his son made the world ratings points path more difficult in 2004.
But the laid back natural footer prefers to reflect on his family life rather than what may have been.