It started as a challenge from coach Glenn "Micro" Hall to two of his young charges, WSL Junior Tour surfers Jett Schilling and Caleb Tancred. Hall, whose famous clients include WSL Championship Tour (CT) World Champ Tyler Wright and her brother, Owen Wright -- also a CT heavyweight -- wanted Schilling and Tancred to learn how to set up their own surf trip from start to finish. In this case, there was a special bonus: their goal was to get Mick Fanning to host them at his home (and his home break, Australia's Snapper Rocks).
Fanning, the newly retired, three-time World Champ, more than obliged. "Micro and I have been friends for a very long time and always still chat about surfing and his athletes," he said, via email. "He asked if the kids could come hang and surf which was fine by me. He wanted the kids to set the whole trip up themselves and do all the legwork."
In an especially heart-warming moment during the groms' visit, Fanning shared some of the stories behind his trophies -- even letting them ring one of the bell-trophies he'd won at Bells Beach. Describing the moment, Fanning said, "That was classic. Caleb has stayed with me before but Jett was freaking out. He was just so excited and bright-eyed. Both very respectful house guests and great to surf with."
As for whether the two young grasshoppers might make the Tour one day, too? "The surfing they are doing is so awesome," Fanning said. "Such a high level already and improving every surf." And yet, on this trip, that was besides the point. "The banter was so funny. The grom froth was infectious."