2017 WSL Championship Tour: Mick Fanning and Owen Wright return

March 7, 2017 | Surfing
Mick Fanning: focused and ready for the 2017 WSL season | Photo: Sloane

Mick Fanning and Owen Wright have been confirmed on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour.

The three-time world surfing champion decided to return to competition again, after spending most of 2016 in free surf and decompression mode. Fanning says he is highly motivated and ready to do battle.

"2015 was a tough year. A lot happened to me on camera and in my personal life. I just felt exhausted by the end of it. Fortunately, I was in a position to step away from the Tour and have some time to myself," the Australian explained.

"I'm coming into 2017 seeded 18th which will be a change for me. I'm getting super excited about this year's line-up of surfers - it might be the best field from the top seed to number 34 we've ever had."

Right now, the regular-footer's goal is to evolve his surfing. Fanning will compete against five world champions - Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, Gabriel Medina, Adriano de Souza and John John Florence.

But he will meet another dangerous Australian. Owen Wright accepted the WSL wildcard for the CT season, and he will join her world champion sister in surfing's elite club.

"I'm feeling stronger every day, and I'm very much looking forward to returning to the Tour and further honing my fitness and surfing throughout the 2017 season," noted Wright, who spent the last year recovering from a head injury suffered in Pipeline, in December 2015.

The 2017 WSL Championship Tour kicks off with the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, from March 14-25, 2017, in Snapper Rocks, Australia.

2017 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast | Round 1 Matchups

Michel Bourez (PYF), Conner Coffin (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Kolohe Andino (USA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Gabriel Medina (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Jordy Smith (ZAF), Miguel Pupo (BRA), TBD
John John Florence (HAW), Connor O’Leary (AUS), TBD
Kelly Slater (USA), Mick Fanning (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Julian Wilson (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITL)
Joel Parkinson (AUS), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA)
Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Adriano de Souza (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Owen Wright (AUS), Ethan Ewing (AUS)