AN OFF DUTY MICK FAN­NING VIS­ITS SHIP­STERN BLUFF : BY BEN BUG­DEN

Tracks - - News -

Teahupoo didn't de­liver for three-time world champ Mick Fan­ning, in ei­ther wave qual­ity or re­sult. Af­ter his shock round 3 loss to Aritz Aran­buru, he de­cided to jump on an early flight home. Roughly eight hours later, Mick ar­rived back in his home­town of Coolan­gatta with an un­usu­ally clear sched­ule, small waves and a lot of un­used Tahi­tian adren­a­line on­board.

That's when his phone rang. On the other end of the line was good friend and Maroubra mad­man Mark Mathews, who'd seen some­thing stir­ring in the South­ern Ocean off Tas­ma­nia and was en­quir­ing if Mick wanted to join him to chase a piece of it.

"I was just hang­ing at home af­ter get­ting knocked early in Tahiti," ex­plains Mick. "I've talked with Mark in the past about chas­ing a swell down to Tassie, but the tim­ing just hadn't worked out. He hit me up when he saw this swell and con­di­tions lin­ing up for Ship­pies. I had noth­ing bet­ter on, so I pulled to­gether some gear and got down there."

Even though Mick is one of the great­est surfers to ever put foot to fi­bre­glass, it's still some­what un­usual to see him deep in the tube at one of Aus­tralia's heav­i­est and dan­ger­ous waves. This is es­pe­cially true when you con­sider he is still right in the mix for the 2015 world ti­tle. Would the usu­ally ul­tra de­ter­mined and fo­cused Fan­ning be will­ing to risk in­jur­ing him­self and bow­ing out of the race?

"I've never let a ti­tle race stop me from get­ting into some good waves or swell," he states, putting that the­ory to bed quickly. "I just haven't had a clear sched­ule like that be­fore, which has al­lowed a trip to a place like Ship­pies. I don't think any world champ has com­pletely writ­ten off scor­ing good, big waves to avoid in­jury. Surfers just don't tick like that."

One more ques­tion has to be asked of Mick. Af­ter his shark in­ci­dent has he now turned into a full-blown adren­a­line junkie?

"Ha­haha, not at all! I re­ally en­joyed it though. It was good find­ing a new buzz and chal­lenge away from heat surf­ing. I'm def­i­nitely psyched for more."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.