Billabong Pipe Masters

Strange Bedfellows: Before Pipe, Roommates

Anna Dimond

Medina vs. Fanning?: Wilko Goes Behind the Scenes
World Title contenders and Rip Curl teammates Mick Fanning and Gabriel Medina will be fighting for the Championship this week at the Billabong Pipe Masters. But before they do, they're already the odd couple, of sorts, at the team house on the North Shore. See what's fun -- and not so fun -- about shacking up with enemy No. 1.

See what the roomies had to say about each other:

ASP: What's his most annoying habit, as a housemate?
Gabriel Medina: I think I annoy him more than he annoys me because I always end up making more noise than him.
Mick Fanning: Haha! Probably him flying his drone all over the place all day, thing never stops buzzing us.

The whole beach got to their feet and erupted in cheers as Mick Fanning emerged from the tube that would hand him the ASP World Title for the third time in his career.   ASP / Cestari Fanning at Pipe in 2013, on the wave that won him his third World Title. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

ASP: What's the best part of shacking up with him during the Triple Crown?
GM: To be on the side of a 3-time World Champion, I always learn watching him. Mick is an athlete example.
MF: Just watching him surf out front. We are always on hand to watch him go crazy.

ASP: What's been the most surprising thing you've learned about him?
GM: I always learn by example, and his will to train, that for sure he taught me.
MF: I think the thing that blows my mind most is just how big a star he is in Brazil. We see some of that hysteria at different events for him but back home he's a massive celebrity.

If he continues to improve there will be a big statue of him on the mountains of Rio next to Christ the Redeemer. -- Fanning

ASP: What do you two have in common, and what are some of the biggest differences between you?
GM: We like to compete, surfing and the biggest difference is that he already won a World Title and I didn't yet.
MF: We both love surfing, obviously, and I think we both have really strong connections to our families. I really love how family orientated Gabriel is. The biggest differences between us are probably cultural more than anything.

ASP: What's your daily routine when you stay at the Rip Curl house?
GM: Early, I take my breakfast and I will surf in front of the house. Usually I'm in my room or living room with my father and my filmmaker Henrique for lunch. Then surf again in the afternoon, dinner and go to sleep before 10 p.m. In the morning I eat a little bit, usually with a hot chocolate. Sometimes before surfing I do a 10-minute warm-up, then surf, take a shower and stay in my room on my phone. At night we have dinner and then go to sleep.
MF: My whole routine depends on the waves. If it's pumping, I'll smash a quick coffee and get out there. After a wave I'll rip into some breakfast usually some fresh fruit and a smoothie and then I'll chill out. If there's no surf at all, which is rare on the North Shore, I'll have a coffee and some breakfast and then go for a swim. Training is pretty light during the event window. If I know the event is going to run in the following days I might do some yoga to stay loose.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) stuffed himself into some thick barrels at Pipe during Round 3 but came short of advancing further.   ASP / Cestari Medina at Pipe in 2013. He was eliminated in Round 3. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

ASP: Has spending time with him impacted your surfing – strategically, or otherwise? If so, how?
GM: Yes, he influenced me in the way he prepares for the Championship. His training routine, he is an athlete example, and also very mature and experienced, which makes him the favorite for the Title, along with Kelly [Slater].

MF: He's deadly. He's good in all conditions and I love his airs. Strategically I've learned not to let him scrap around on the inside under priority because the guy can turn a piece of crap wave into a monster score.

Mick Fanning has been fine tuning his boards for Pipeline. Fanning doesn't mess around with Pipe: He's been fine-tuning his boards for weeks. - WSL / Ed Sloane

ASP: [For Mick] What do you anticipate for him, professionally, and personally?
MF: Like just about everyone, I see nothing but great things for Gabriel Medina in the future. He's ultra-talented and he's also as motivated as anyone I've ever come across on tour. If he continues to improve, there will be World Titles and probably a big statue on top of one of the mountains of Rio up there next to Christ the Redeemer.

Catch both contenders at the Billabong Pipe Masters LIVE daily on this site through December 20 and find out who will win the 2014 ASP World Title.