- 14 December 2013 | Surfing
Mick Fanning has been crowned 2013 ASP World Tour champion, in the ultimate surfing showdown of the 21st century, held in firing 10-15 foot Banzai Pipeline waves and suicide close-outs.
The Australian surfer collects his third world surfing trophy, on a day of extreme emotions, at the Billabong Pipe Masters 2013, Hawaii. The decisive battle was all about focus and details, not surfing skills, with the Oahu's North Shore as prime stage.
Kelly Slater was still hoping he could steal the title away from Fanning, with an event victory and an early loss by Mick. Fanning kicked off the finals' day with a victory over an injured CJ Hobgood, in large NW swell peaks and multiple dangerous wipeouts.
But Fanning took a beating to win Round 5. The Australian got pounded in every single wave (eight) of the heat, until a last-minute power miracle came his way, a flawless 9.5-point ride. One heat to go.
"That's what you got to do if you want to win a world title. I wasn't too nervous. You just get them or you don't. It's more you versus the ocean", Fanning underlined, before his critical Quarterfinal heat.
The big rogue sets kept rolling. Fanning would be seeded against Yadin Nicol and surf before Kelly Slater. Again, on a last-minute wave, the man does it. At 9am, in Penrith, New South Wales, pints of beer celebrated the victory of the local surfer boy.
"I saw this set on the horizon, and I said 'I am going to pick the right one'. I'm overwhelmed with emotion", says Fanning, with tears in his eyes. Two critical waves in the dying second of two consecutive heats. Absolutely breathtaking.
"I'm sure I gave my wife Karissa and my mum enough stress today to last a lifetime. I was never worried myself now that I think of it. I knew what I needed to do and if the opportunity came, I knew I could do it".
"That opportunity came in both heats today. It's an incredible feeling. I've been having fun all year and to clinch on a day like this at Pipeline makes it that much more special".
"I've never put myself in the same circles as Tom Curren and Andy Irons. Tom is such an enigma and was so instrumental to injecting style into our sport. Andy... what hasn't been said about Andy? He was such a legend and he was such a good friend. I'm honored to be a part of this group. I was happy with one title and I was overwhelmed with two. With three? I don't have words for that."
For the second consecutive year, the ASP World our was decided in the last heats of the Pipe Masters. Joel Parkinson hands the silver soup cup to his fellow countryman, in a day of dreams and tears poured into the Hawaiian sea.
Mick Eugene Fanning, 32, three-time world surfing champion. Take a glimpse inside the world of the "White Lightning".
The first question of the upcoming season is whether Kelly Slater will be part of the ASP World Tour. Apparently, he will. The Floridian says he had one of the most special days of his life.
The 2014 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) schedule has already be announced. The new Dream Tour season kicks off with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, on the 1st March, 2014, in Australia. The full calendar is already available.
Mick Fanning 2013 ASP World Championship Tour Results:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Equal 3rd
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Equal 5th
Billabong Rio Pro: Equal 3rd
Volcom Fiji Pro: Runner-Up
Oakley Pro Bali: Equal 5th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: Equal 3rd
Hurley Pro at Trestles: Equal 9th
Quiksilver Pro France: WINNER
Rip Curl Pro Portugal: Equal 5th
Billabong Pipeline Masters: Equal 3rd