STAB: Mick Fanning Wins Fourth Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach
Welp, Mick Fanning got it done again. He just beat Adriano De Souza in the final of the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach. The conditions were chopped and bumpy, the wind was hustling, and Mick was on. But so, too, was Ads, and amazingly, the pair tied, with Mick winning on the countback. Each man clocked 15.27 points, and while Ads seemed to control most of the heat, Mick looked more lethal on his scoring rides and scooped the highest number of the final: An 8.17. You’ll watch those later in HOD.
Afterwards, Mick chugged a Red Bull while he was chaired up the beach (it’s traditional for Bells winners’ feet not to touch the sand after the final). He then hit the stairs and slapped fives with or hugged 46 people (Adriano being the 30th) before reaching the commentary booth – another Bells tradition – where he told Ross Williams and Todd Kline: “I think it’s just boards (keeping his surfing good). I was sitting in Portugal last year, and DH was like, what do you want to do next year? I started throwing him some different ideas for boards, and every time I go surfing now I know I can ride a board that I won’t get bored with. That excitement is the one that’s keeping me going surfing. I had a lot of channel-bottoms here that I really wanted to ride but unfortunately the conditions were onshore so hopefully I’ll get to ride them in West Oz – that’s sort of my game plan, to just ride channel bottoms.”
Adriano dedicated his runner up place to recently-fallen friend Ricardo Dos Santos: “He’s in Heaven right now, and I have some good messages for him on my surfboard. He’s one of my friends and this is a second, but it’s special to me and I’d like to dedicate this to him.”
When asked about which of his four finals was toughest, Mick said: “The one against Kelly was probably the most stressful. But in saying that, the first time a final’s ever been tied… I can’t believe it, it’s just radical. As elating as it is for me, I know it’s heartbreaking for Adriano. But Adriano’s a top bloke, he throws his heart into everything, and trains so hard. He’s the elder statesman for the Brazilian Storm, and he does an impeccable job of leading those guys around.
Adriano misses out on a second Bell, but Mick scoops his second consecutive and fourth in total, joining the company of Mark Richards and Kelly Slater. And, he now ties Andy Irons for 20 World Tour wins. To which Mick flawlessly responded, “MR is a god. Kelly is King. Andy… forever.”
Post credit: Stab
Image credit: WSL/Kelly Cestari