Mick Fanning's career is hard to put into words. Iconic comes to mind but even that seems sub-par. The 36-year-old began his competitive surfing career at Bells Beach back in 2001, when he won the event as a lowly wildcard. Since then he's been on an emotional ride of highs and lows, including historic wins and profound, personal loss. With three World Titles to his name, the Australian can rest assured that his role in competitive surfing has changed the Tour for the better. A lot of surfers have climbed their way up the rankings, but few have made the type of contribution that Fanning has.

Tuesday at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Fanning earned two 7-point rides to over take both Patrick Gudauskas and Matt Wilkinson in Round 4. The 3x World Champ will be pitted against his long time friend and fellow Australian Owen Wright in the Quarterfinals once the contest resumes. Fortunately, this isn't the last we'll see of the surfing legend, as he'll be competing in May at the Founders' Cup of Surfing. Until then, here's a look back at his CT career. #CheersMick, the Tour misses you already.


Mick Fanning in 2001 at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Fanning winning his first Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event as a wildcard in 2001.

Mick Fanning at Sunset Beach in 2001 - WSL / Pierre Tostee

The three-time World Champ during a post-heat interview at Sunset Beach.


Mick Fanning at J-Bay 2002 - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Fanning defeated fellow Australian Mick Lowe for his first J-Bay win in 2002 at 21 years old.


Mick Fanning wins on the Gold Coast in 2005 - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Winning the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in 2005.


Mick Fanning at J-Bay in 2006 - WSL / Karen Wilson

Taj Burrow was pitted against Fanning at the 2006 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. Fanning took over the lead with just a few minutes on the clock.


Mick Fanning in 2007 - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Fanning during an interview at the 2007 Billabong Pro Mundaka.


Mick Fanning in 2008 - WSL

Fanning on the Gold Coast in 2008 after losing the Final to Kelly Slater.


Mick Fanning in 2009 at the Pipe Masters. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

During the Pipe Masters, Fanning reclaimed the World Title in 2009.

Mick Fanning at the 2009 Pipe Masters - WSL / Kelly Cestari

The 3x World Champ after winning the World Title.


Mick Fanning at Bells Beach - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

At the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Fanning made it to the Final but Slater won with a 17.03 heat total.


Mick Fanning in 2011 at Bells. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

After a disappointing season opener on the Gold Coast, Fanning arrived for a press session at Bells Beach.


Mick Fanning in 2012 at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. - WSL / Robertson

Fanning winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in 2012 -- defeating Kelly Slater in the final with two 9-point rides.


Mick Fanning on the Gold Coast in 2013. - WSL / Will H-S

Fanning doing a rain dance at Duranbah.


Mick Fanning in 2014 in Portugal. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

The Australian holding his trophy in Portugal.


Mick Fanning in 2015 at Pipe. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Fanning in the Jeep Leader's yellow jersey at Pipeline.


Mick Fanning in 2016 - WSL / Ed Sloane

Fanning, Matt Wilkinson, Glenn Hall and Adrian Buchan arriving after a surf in Fiji.


Mick Fanning in Portugal - WSL / Masurel/WSL

Last year at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Fanning made it to the Quarterfinals but lost out to event winner Gabriel Medina.


Mick Fanning of Australia prior to his Round 1 Heat at the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, 2018. - WSL / Ed Sloane

The 3x World Champ descends the Bells Beach staircase prior to his heat, for one of the last few times.

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