BACK IN THE WATER: Kirra?s Mick Fanning competing in the EnergyAustralia Open held in Newcastle in March 2004.
BACK IN THE WATER: Kirra?s Mick Fanning competing in the EnergyAustralia Open held in Newcastle in March 2004.

Fanning on the mend



KIRRA'S Mick Fanning is on the mend after suffering a radical hamstring injury resulting in a six-month lay-off last year during a freak surfing accident in Indonesia and has been seen back in action on the Gold Coast in last weeks TC Kerry swell.

"I'm about 80 per cent now," said the former number three from the 2003 World rankings and was seen on the "Superbank" pulling into barrels off Snapper Rocks and smashing the endless sections of Rainbow Bay.

"It's just getting my muscle tone and fitness back to normal which will take a little more time before I'm fully fit," explained the Coolangatta surfing sensation who, along with Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison have been dubbed the Coolie Kids and seen as future World title contenders.

While Fanning didn't compete in Hawaii he did manage to surf Pipe and Backdoor last season and was awarded one of the injured wildcards for this years ASP World tour commencing at Snapper Rocks on March 1-12 with the Quiksilver Pro WCT. The Roxy Pro WCT women's during the Quiksilver Pro will also see the return of former number four, Serena Brooke, of Coolangatta.

Affectionately known as Saucy, Serena was also out in the Snapper line-up at last week's epic TC Kerry swell and is super-stoked to be on the women's world tour again.

Despite dropping off the tour in 2003, Serena has battled her way back via the WQS and scraped into the last qualifying spot in 11th position. Former number three and another Coolangatta surfing "bombshell" Trudy Todd almost missed out in 12th position on the WCT but has been rewarded with a special ASP wildcard. Last year's world number three, and considered to be Australia's best World title chance, Chelsea Georgeson of Tweed Heads will start her new year campaign at Phillip Island, Victoria where she is the two times defending champion of the WQS Roxy Pro.

Chelsea won the last WCT event of 2004 the Billabong Pro at Honolulu Bay, Maui.

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THE annual Brother Neilsen Pro Junior kicks off this week with the finals next Monday 24th and more than likely at Duranbah Beach.

Next month the Billabong Pro Teens will continue the ASP Australasia pro junior cir- cuit on the Gold Coast, however only the Quiksilver Pro WCT in March have been Gold Coast City Council approval and access to the Superbank at Snapper Rocks.

Former World Professional junior champion and winner of last year's Pro teens Adriano De Souza has entered the Brothers Neislen Pro Junior which has a huge International field including South Africa's standout under 16 junior champion Jordy Smith. Thanks to ASP International President Rabbit Bartholomew, head judge Perry Hatchett and tour manager Renato Hickell the professional surfing judging criteria has been widened to cover variety of moves. "It was during Kelly Slater's experimental event in Fiji last year that we talked about expanding the judging criteria and take into account the latest surfing trends otherwise we (ASP) would be in danger of falling behind the pace and face of the surfing future," said Rabbit who further explained that this would make judging easy to separate indi- vidual performances.

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THE new Billabong QCC series, worth $10,000 an event, will kick off at the end of the month with the Alley Classic January 29-30 at Currumbin Alley. Entry forms are our now or by signing up via the Surfing Queensland web page.

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SURF Scene and Billabong are giving our readers the chance to win a double pass to see Jack McCoy's Surf Film Festival which includes Taj Burrows latest movie, "Fair Bits" to be shown at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Sunday, January 30, at 6pm or 8pm.

We have 10 double passes to give away by writing into the Gold Coast Mail/Daily News on a stamped addressed envelope c/- Gold Coast Mail, PO 6336, Tweed Heads South, with your name and address supplied. You could be a lucky winner by watching this space next week.



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