Our Fanning rides wave of success
TWEED Heads’ Mick Fanning clinched his second ASP World Championship Tour title yesterday when fellow Coolangatta-Tweed local, Joel Parkinson was eliminated from the third round of the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii.
“I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now and I don’t quite know what to say,” Fanning said.
The close friends were the only men in contention heading into the season-ending event being held in perfect surf on Oahu’s north shore.
Fanning, the 2007 champion who was leading the points standings, dominated his early third round heat, beating Hawaiian wildcard Torrey Meister 17.57 points to 6.27 while Parkinson later fell to another local wildcard, Gavin Gillette, 13.36 to 10.56.
In a quirk of the draw, the pair was sitting together in the line-up as the hooter sounded, signalling Parkinson’s demise and the start of Fanning’s round-four encounter with the other Coolangatta Kid, Dean Morrison.
“It was hard out there,” Fanning said.
“I was trying to get ready for my heat and then Gavin (Gillette) got that one score as I was paddling out and, I don’t know, I just sort of slowed down.”
This year’s title chase, which was a two-horse race from the get go, was the first since 2003 where the title had come down to the final event of the season.
It will go down in history as one of the most dramatic seasons too, with Parkinson winning three of the first five events before Fanning rallied in the latter half of the season to overtake his good friend.
“I knew I was surfing well,” Fanning said.
“It was just a matter of getting that result.
“I knew it was going to turn around sooner or later.
“I don’t know, it’s weird the way the world works.”
With the title is all wrapped up Fanning said he was there with his two mates at the end of a tense week.
“I just sort of broke down,” Fanning said, after losing to Morrison 16.76 to 13.16.
“We just sort of sat there, chatting about what’s been happening for the past few days and about how nervous we were.”