In a surfing world where over-hyped youngsters and young prodigies are living up to their billing, we were delighted to see an old-schooler take the World Title.
Mick Fanning, from Coolangata in Australia, dominated through consistency throughout the competition. He only finished lower than the quarter finals once across the entire year, and became a legend in surfing by joining a very exclusive club.
Only four other riders, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Mark Richards and Tom Curran have won three titles or more. It’s the magic number when it comes to crossing into legendary status, and Fanning joined them with a spectacular heat win at Pipeline in Hawaii in December.
Some controversy followed that final heat with critics claiming the score was undeserved. But once again proving to be the hero that he is Kelly Slater stepped in to silence the negative comments saying that while he lost the title in that specific moment, it was Fanning’s consistency over the entire year that made him the right man to take the title on the day.