Fan­ning out of world cham­pi­onship

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

LO­CAL hero Mick Fan­ning was elim­i­nated but an­other Coolan­gatta surfer Joel Parkin­son and the event’s de­fend­ing cham­pion, Taj Bur­row, surged into the fourth round of the world cham­pi­onship yes­ter­day.

Twice world cham­pion Fan­ning failed to catch a wave in the fi­nal 10 min­utes of his round three heat and was elim­i­nated by less than a point by Hawai­ian Dusty Payne.

Ten-time cham­pion Kelly Slater also pro­gressed, beat­ing teenage Aus­tralian wild­card Matt Bant­ing for a sec­ond time.

He also beat the 16-year-old from Port Mac­quarie in the first round.

A fu­ri­ous Fan­ning, who has twice won the Quik­sil­ver Pro, punched the wa­ter in frus­tra­tion as the fi­nal sec­onds of the heat ticked down.

‘‘ The waves just shut down for Mick and I knew if he had any op­por­tu­nity he would have got the score,’’ said Payne who won 11.77 points to 11.00.

Bant­ing, who elim­i­nated world No. 5 Bede Dur­bidge in round two, was elated with his per­for­mance, e v e n t hough he was c o mpre­hen­sively beaten by Slater.

‘‘ I’ve learned a lot from this event and taken a lot of stuff out of it and it was great to have two heats against Kelly Slater be­fore he thinks about re­tir­ing,’’ he said.

Slater was so com­fort­able in the wa­ter he changed boards half way t h r o u g h t h e h e a t a n d , a f t e r un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally fall­ing in a bar­rel, body surfed through the tube, drag­ging his surf­board be­hind him on the legrope.

‘‘ The wave was per­fect and I got a bar­rel body surf for about five sec­onds – it would have been such a good wave had I not fallen . . . but just to ride the waves is fun.’’

South African Jordy Smith turned in the high­est score, a two-wave to­tal of 17.17 out of 20, to beat Amer­i­can Corey Lopez.

Ear­lier, teenage Aus­tralian rookie Tyler Wright charged into the quar­ter-fi­nals of the women’s event.

Wright, who up­set world cham­pion Stephanie Gil­more in round one, turned in an­other pow­er­ful per­for­mance to elim­i­nate Pauline Ado from France ( 16.67 to 11.50) and next faces Brazil’s Sil­vana Lima in the quar­ters.

The 16-year-old f rom Len­nox Head, NSW, said she was con­cen­trat­ing on hav­ing fun at the Roxy Pro, and it seems to be work­ing for her.

‘‘ The only bad thing that can hap­pen out there is that I lose, I’m only 16 and it’s pretty much all fun for me,’’ Wright said.

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