Mick Fanning Wins The 2016 J-Bay Open
Hello, mainstream news.
Hello, mainstream news headlines: Mick goddamn Fanning just won the 2016 J-Bay Open, one year after he was attacked by a shark in the final of the exact same event.
After beating Filipe Toledo in the quarterfinals with an 8.37 and a 9.27 via some electrified, down-the-line attack, Mick met fellow 2015 finalist Julian Wilson in the semis, where he raced his 5’9” swallowtail through an 8.00 and a 9.10 – the only two waves he rode in the heat – to show Julian the door to a third place finish.
In the final, Mick matched John John Florence (who’d overcome Jordy Smith in the most bizarre quarterfinal we’ve seen in some time, before knocking Josh Kerr from the event with a two-pack of eights to find himself in the last heat of the event).
And then, Mick did what he does – stayed calm, stayed consistent and clocked two scores good enough to win him yet another event – a 7.77 and a 9.93. The colossal significance of this win, 12 months after he was ripped from his board by a great white shark in the exact same event, isn’t one that needs to be pointed out (yet here we are). Bravo, Mr Fanning.
“It was definitely a different feeling, that’s for sure,” he told Strider afterwards. “The emotional build up, and just coming here was definitely an emotional rollercoaster. I’m just stoked that I actually got to come back and right the wrong. We did that now and we can move on.”
And, World Title? “I’m not really going for it. I guess that’s awesome (that I’ve moved up to fifth in the world) but I’m not really caring about results. I’m not going for the world title, just trying new things, trying new boards.”
And, what next? “I’ve already said I’ll go to Trestles, I’ve said that Trestles might be my last event for the year. World Titles aren’t the biggest thing for me anymore.”
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