ACE: Three-time world champ Mick Fanning is aiming to steer the Australian team to victory in the inaugural Founders Cup.
ACE: Three-time world champ Mick Fanning is aiming to steer the Australian team to victory in the inaugural Founders Cup. Kenneth Morris/WSL

Best of best in Kelly's pool

MICK Fanning may have retired from full-time competition on the World Tour but don't be surprised to see him pull on the jersey again and sooner than you think.

Fanning will be part of the Australian team captained by Steph Gilmore at the upcoming Founders Cup at Kelly Slater's Wave Pool Ranch on May 4-5 at Lemoore, California.

The three-time world champion has vowed Australia will win in a Davis Cup-style competition against the US and Brazil.

Tickets are still available to be in the box seat to watch this historical sporting spectacle.

"The best of the best will be competing in an international teams event similar to the Davis Cup,” said Rabbit Bartholomew, one of the founders of pro surfing.

Bugs joins an illustrious list of the founders of professional surfing from Hawaii's Fred Hemmings and Randy Rarrick to Ian Cairns, Peter Townend and Shaun Tomson.

The Founders Cup is held in honour of those pioneers of world professional surfing.

"Each one (of the founders) had their time in a meaningful way through the administration guiding the sport into a new era. Each led into the other equally,” said Bartholomew.

When asked at Bells Beach during the Rip Curl Easter Pro what they had accomplished, he retorted: "The best accomplishment is where surfing is today!”

But not everyone is excited about the new wave pool technology, where some would say it ain't real surfing and can't be compared to ocean waves.

But in terms of sporting events, new surfing technology and creating new surfing locations, it's hard not to be impressed, although there will always be the purists that won't buy into it.

Talking of which, the ticket price varies from $95 for general admission to a VIP exclusive package including lessons with Kelly Slater and a one-hour surf for a whopping $9500.

On the sporting level with a live WSL webcast, it will be a thrilling format to watch Mick, Steph, Tyler, Julian and Wilko take on the international field. The Brazilian storm of

Medina and Toledo will be deadly.

"They (the Brazilians) always grow a foot bigger when their national pride is on the line,” quipped Rabbit.

A combined Hawaiian/ American Team of two-time world champion John John Florence, 11-time world champ Kelly Slater (who hasn't competed yet this year), together with Hawaii's three-time world champion Carissa Moore, will put up a huge challenge.

Following the Founders Cup, Mick will be back in the hot seat for yet another fabulous Fanning Farewell party, this time on the Gold Coast at The Theatre, Casino Dr, Broadbeach with special compere Joey Johns. Tickets start from $29.90.

From there Mick goes on the Rip Curl Search mission where it's surfing only with team riders such as Hawaii's Mason Ho.

And from there, Mick Eugene Fanning rides off into the sunset after a spectacular surfing career. Cheers Mick, enjoy the ride to semi-retirement mate!



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