Stab Magazine | Mick Fanning's one of the best ever at Bells
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Mick Fanning’s one of the best ever at Bells

Stu Kennedy’s Sci-Phi faulters. 

news // Mar 25, 2016
Words by Jed Smith
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It was apparent from the moment his feet hit the wax, Mick Fanning is a rare beast when it comes to Bells. 

“It’s pretty awesome running past everyone and around the cliff, everyone’s clapping and cheering, then you get bombarded by kids. It was pretty fun. It’s always great to come down here,” he said following his round one demolition of Hawaiian pair, Keanu Asing and Mason Ho. 

The three time world champ and four time Rip Curl Pro Bells champ was a class above in the round one morning heats (the event was put on hold after heat six), despite feeling a little hungover from festivities the night before. Heavy hits, soft feet, and the ability to flow speed across flat sections like no other capped his round-topping heat total of 16.93. 

Keanu Asing’s slashes weren’t enough to match Mick’s experience.

“It’s not that easy (out there),” said Mick. “You just gotta be patient, wait for the right section and, you know, pick your turn as you get there. It’s a wave I enjoy surfing. I’ve been coming here since I was a young kid.” 

When asked whether he was feeling the pressure, given Bells would be his second to last event on tour this year, Mick replied, “a little bit.”

“On the Gold Coast I was sorta more outward. This event I trying to tone it more towards me but yeah, still feeling free…just approaching it a little bit different and I dunno it’s sorta calmer down here at Bells.” 

Stu Kennedy going vert, nearly invert.

The Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast, giant killer, Stu Kennedy wasn’t able to continue his form from the opening event. He looked out of sorts in the tricky conditions, misfiring on a stepped up version of the much talked about ‘Sci-Phi’.

“I just felt a bit tired and lazy; wrong board, wrong wettie. It was hard to prepare for the climate change from the Goldy, just so much going on,” said Stu, revealing he suffered a minor hip injury after hitting chop on the back of a jet ski at the Quik Pro. “It finally felt alright today. The past week’s been painful.”

As for the most talked about board in surfing, his Slater Designs ‘Sci Phi’ Firewire model, Kennedy told Stab he’d ditched the Quik Pro model for a beefed up Bells version. A decision he regretted.

“I rode my Goldy one this morning and it felt real fast and sparky but there were bigger chops in the lips and stuff… It’s hard to go with something really sparky, there’s a lot of water moving around and lumps and bumps.”

Gabs and the vicious backhand.

“This morning was a lot bumpier,” Stu continued, “it cleaned up for my heat so maybe I should have just stuck with the Quik Pro model. I almost swapped half through the heat.”

In other results, Gabriel Medina put on a consummate display, capped by a precisely pegged backside snap in the pocket, to defeat rookie, Conner Coffin and wildcard, Timothee Bisso. While reigning world champ and former Bells champ, Adriano De Souza,  managed a last ditch heat win in slow high tide conditions, overcoming Michel Bourez and Australian wildcard, Tim Stevenson on his final wave.

Conner Coffin lost out to Gabs but not after displaying the power we come to expect from the kid.

Heat one:
1. Davey Cathels 15.20
2. Jeremy Flores 13.60
3. Caio Ibelli 10.00
Heat two:
1. Julian Wilson 13.84
2. Stu Kennedy 11.40
3. Adam Melling 10.57
Heat three:
1. Kanoa Igarashi 14.04
2. Dusty Payne 12.67
3. Italo Ferreira 12.46
Heat four:
1. Gabriel Medina 13.84
2. Conner Coffin 11.37
3. Timothee Bisso 10.53
Heat five:
1. Mick Fanning 16.93
2. Keanu Asing 12.77
3. Mason Ho 9.76
Heat six:
1. Adriano de Souza 11.23
2. Tim Stevenson 10.60
3. Michel Bourez 9.00

Upcoming heats:
Heat seven: Kelly Slater, Kai Otton, Alex Ribeiro
Heat eight: Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Sebastian Zietz
Heat nine: Matt Wilkinson, Kolohe Andino, Miguel Pupo
Heat ten: Nat Young, Ace Buchan, Ryan Callinan
Heat eleven: Josh Kerr, Wiggolly Dantas, Matt Banting
Heat twelve: John Florence, Jordy Smith, Jadson Andre

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