- WSL / Kirstin Scholtz
The current World No. 1 enjoys a lay day on the North Shore. After a heart-wrenching 2015, Mick Fanning is ready for some peace. Photo: Kelly Cestari - WSL / Kelly Cestari

2015 was an extremely tough year for Mick Fanning, and on Sunday his fans learned just how much so, as he announced on social media that he and his wife, Karissa, have mutually agreed to split. It's the latest in a series of emotional blows for the three-time world champion, including his life-altering shark encounter in July and the traumatic loss of his brother Peter in December. But as usual, Fanning is handling his latest round of pain with pure class. He wrote:

The three time champion and his wife have amicably decided to split - WSL

"I have nothing but love and respect for this woman. Karissa has stood by me since we first met in 2004. We have shared plenty of great times but more importantly she has helped me through some of the toughest moments of my life, especially this past year.

There has been some speculation about our marriage coming to an end over the past six months. We refuted those claims because we were both committed to working things out since we separated last February. After giving it our all though, late last year we made the tough mutual decision to move on separately.

It feels weird to put our personal life out there like this but we want to eliminate any speculation about this decision. We're still close and there's a lot of love there. This is the only statement we'll be making about our relationship and we appreciate everyone respecting our privacy concerning this matter. Thanks so much."

Home and Healing
Mick Fanning during a weekend freesurf at Snapper Rocks ahead of the 2016 season. Video courtesy of Matt Coleman.

The healing process for Fanning undoubtedly will require some serious time in the water, and fortunately he's been getting his share with some fun swells hitting on the Gold Coast in recent weeks.

Here's hoping the swells continue. And we wish Mick and Karissa all the best in their quest for peace, privacy, and healing.

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