Mick Fanning’s brother dies on the eve of the showdown
Words by Jed Smith In a surreal and saddening twist of events, Mick Fanning’s oldest brother, Peter Fanning, has died overnight, aged 43, on the eve of Mick’s dramatic Pipe Masters World Title Showdown. “It’s heartbreaking you know, it is,” said an unnamed figure from the Coolangatta surfing community. “No one deserves to lose one […]
Words by Jed Smith
In a surreal and saddening twist of events, Mick Fanning’s oldest brother, Peter Fanning, has died overnight, aged 43, on the eve of Mick’s dramatic Pipe Masters World Title Showdown.
“It’s heartbreaking you know, it is,” said an unnamed figure from the Coolangatta surfing community. “No one deserves to lose one family member, let alone two.”
Peter held down a job as a workplace health and safety inspector before his passing. He had reportedly gone through a recent divorce, and it is believed that he was staying at Mick’s Gold Coast home last night. He is the second brother Mick has lost prematurely. Sean Fanning, a talented surfer destined for a World Tour career, was tragically killed in a car accident in 1998 when Mick was 17.
Obviously, the Coolangatta surfing community is in shock. “I haven’t spoken to him,” said the man. “I just heard. Everyone is here, the contest is probably the last thing on his mind, everyone wants to just give him a hug.”
When Stab asked the Rip Curl camp for comment, the response was “No comment yet, we aren’t talking about it today.” Mason Ho sent Mick’s family love in his post-heat interview, following his defeat of Filipe Toledo.
Has a more steely individual ever illuminated the sport? Stab presumes not. Photo: Richie Freeman
To think that any more emotion could be poured into the end of Mick’s year is unfathomable. After surviving a shark attack on live broadcast during the final of a world tour event in South Africa, Mick has overcome the mental hurdle of the encounter, and fought to keep his world title hopes alive, winning his second event back after the attack – the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles.
Commentator Pete Mel comforts Mick. “Mick Fanning, you are unbelievable.”
This morning at the Pipe Masters on the North Shore, Mick beat Jamie O’Brien to advance to round four. “It was always going to be a difficult heat,” Mick said. “Jamie is probably the best guy out here and surfs it the most. So I knew it was always going to be tough but in a heat anything can happen, I just got lucky at the start when Kelly (Slater) and Michel (Bourez) let me go that first one and from there I just kept trying to improve that back up score and just go from there.”
With Mick’s greatest threat, Filipe Toledo, being eliminated by Mason Ho, and Julian Wilson being knocked from title contention as a result of Mick’s heat win, Mick must now fend off Brazilians Adriano de Souza and Gabriel Medina to claim his fourth world title.
Mick will now face John John Florence and Kelly Slater, two of the best Pipe surfers in history, in the no-losers round four.
It is believed Peter Fanning had three children.
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