Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Mick Fanning (AUS) dove into the first stop on the 2014 Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, just months after winning the 2013 Title.
He gave his gear a last once-over before leaving the locker room at the Quik Pro.
Fanning scored two nine-pointers in Round 5 for an impressive 18.40 heat total.
Fanning didn't fare as well at the next event of the season, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. But after his disappointing 13th-place finish there, he came out swinging at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in late April.
Fanning tallied two nine-pointers on his way to victory at Bells.
Fanning had to face good friend and countryman Taj Burrow in the Bells Beach Final. He was able to finish on top in spite of the 9.63 in Burrow's scoreline.
Fanning embraced his longtime coach, Phil McNamara, after his victory at Bells.
Fanning, ringing the Bell of glory.
Fanning looked in-form for most of the fifth event of the season, the Fiji Pro. But he was unable to grab a decent score in the Quarterfinals and was eliminated by Nat Young (USA).
At the start of the J-Bay Open, Fanning appeared to have returned to the water with renewed determination.
Fanning, studying Supertubes at Jeffrey Bay.
Fanning scored two nines at the event in South Africa, one in the Semis and one in the Final.
In pumping conditions, Fanning won his Round 5 heat against Hawaiian power-surfer Freddy Patacchia.
Fanning defeated fellow Aussie Joel Parkinson in the J-Bay Final to earn his second event win of the season.
The next Men's WCT, the Billabong Pro Tahiti, provided huge barrels for the surfers to showcase their tube skills.
But in a repeat of the follow-up to his event win at Bells, Fanning struggled after his win in South Africa. He finished 13th overall in Tahiti, after a Round 3 elimination at the hands of Tour rookie Dion Atkinson (AUS).
He recovered somewhat in California the following month. Fanning finished fifth overall at the Hurley Pro at Trestles in September.
Behind the scenes: Fanning and Parkinson
Fanning picked up some steam at the next event: He scored two nine-pointers at the Quiksilver Pro France.
But despite his early heroics he was eliminated in Round 5 by Hawaiian phenom John John Florence who, with a 9.90 and a Perfect 10, was unstoppable.
Fanning regrouped at the Moche Rip Curl Pro. He took a moment on the beach before Round 1.
Fanning eliminated Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Portuguese Final to earn a third event title, tying Gabriel Medina for contest wins this season.
Portugal was far and away Fanning's best outing thus far: He scored a total of five nine-point rides en route to the top of the podium.
Fanning heads to the Billabong Pipe Masters next, where the 2014 World Title will be decided.