Mick Fanning delights kids
MICK Fanning was crowned the king of world surfing last month, but yesterday he was the king of the kids.
The two-time world champion was back on the Coast and happy to give up his time to work with the next generation of young stars at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre at Casuarina.
Since defeating his good mate Joel Parkinson in one of the tightest Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world title races in recent memory, Fanning has been enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation.
“We stayed in Hawaii for holidays, did a quick week in Canada for snowboarding, and then it was back to Hawaii for Dean Morrison’s wedding,” he said.
“We finally got home last week, which is good. I love being home.”
But there’s no rest for the champ, who will have to contend with a bunch of young and hungry competitors who want his title, and the ASP’s new format for the Dream Tour.
The changes for this year’s tour include more prize money and the transition to a new rankings system that will reduce the number of surfers from 45 to 32.
“I think it’s good for the sport,” Fanning said of the new format.
“There’s going to be more prize money on offer and with 13 guys being dropped after the early rounds of competition the level of surfing in general will lift.
“It will be a little tricky for the fans to pick up initially, but the new format will be better in the long run.”
Fanning plans to get back into competition in February by taking part in the World Qualifying Series Six-Star event in Burleigh.
But in the meantime he is happy to share his knowledge and experience with the stars of tomorrow, who hope one day to emulate his feats on the world stage.
“This is not work at all. I love hanging out with the groms and giving them advice,” he said.