- WSL / Kirstin scholtz
Mick Fanning during a weekend freesurf at Snapper Rocks ahead of the 2016 season. Video courtesy of Matt Coleman.

El Niño may be breaking the internet with the deluge of clips coming in from Hawaii and California, but a different storm has everyone Down Under frothing.

Last weekend Cyclone Victor produced stellar conditions at the Gold Coast's Superbank, and three-time World Champ Mick Fanning was among those there to greet it.

"Watching Mick was all time on Sunday even when he dropped in on my mate Tommy Hatcher," said Matt Coleman, who captured Fanning on this long drainer. Coleman had absolutely no issue with the apparent violation. "He is entitled to any wave out at Snapper. He's the champ."

Mick Fanning winning in Round 4 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast. Comp mode: Fanning is gearing up for another season opener on the Gold Coast. - WSL

After coming so close to a fourth Title in 2015, Fanning seems to be getting his warmups in early this year. His backyard is site of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, and thanks to the arrival of the tropical storm, Fanning is getting to test drive some new equipment in quality surf.

Fanning is a two-time winner of the elite Tour event at Snapper, but has been unable to advance out of the Quarterfinals the last two seasons. If conditions are anything like this, however, we like his chances.

Watch Fanning and the rest of the Top 34 compete at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Stop No. 1 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, beginning March 10.

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