Mick Fanning Claims Second ASP World Title at the Banzai Pipeline
PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Saturday, December 12, 2009) – Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, has been crowned the 2009 ASP World Champion, following a stunning performance at the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii today (Saturday).
Heading into the final stop of the 2009 ASP World Tour season, Fanning held the ASP ratings’ lead over life-long friend and fellow Gold Coast surfer Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28. Parkinson, needing to finish at least third in the Billabong Pipe Masters to overtake Fanning, suffered a Round 3 exit at the hands of wildcard Gavin Gillette (HAW), 23, handing Fanning his second ASP World Title.
“I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now and I don’t quite know what to say,” Fanning said. “It was hard out there. I was trying to get ready for my heat and then Gavin (Gillette) got that one score as I was paddling out and, I don’t know, I just sort of slowed down.”
“This title is way more fun,” Fanning said. “I was much more relaxed for this one – besides the last few days, when I was really nervous.”
The 2009 ASP World Tour season will go down in history as one of the most dramatic, with Parkinson winning three of the first five events before Fanning rallied in the latter half of the season to overtake his good friend. For the first time since 2003, the ASP World Title came down to the final event of the season at the Billabong Pipe Masters.
“I knew I was surfing well,” Fanning said. “It was just a matter of getting that result. I knew it was going to turn around sooner or later. I don’t know, it’s weird the way the world works.”
Fanning’s 2009 ASP World Tour results are as follows:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Equal 3rd
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Equal 5th
Billabong Pro Teahupoo: Equal 9th
Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro: Equal 5th
Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay: Equal 17th
Hurley Pro Trestles: WINNER
Quiksilver Pro France: WINNER
Billabong Pro Mundaka: Equal 9th
Rip Curl Pro Search: WINNER
Billabong Pipeline Masters: Equal 9th
In the end, and reminiscent of Fanning’s 2007 ASP World Title (clinched in Brazil), the lightning-fast natural-footer was in the water with Parkinson (in between heats) as the scene unfolded. The two lifelong friends embraced, exchanged words and paddled in separate directions.
“We just sort of sat there and hugged and chatted about what’s happened over the last few days and how nervous we both were,” Fanning said. “It was hard to watch what happened to him this year. He had such a stranglehold on the tour and then he had that ankle injury, so as a friend it was hard to watch that. If I wasn’t in the race I would have been gunning for Joel for sure.”
For securing the 2009 ASP World Title, Fanning has also been awarded a bonus $50,000 from the Vans Triple Crown – Triple Threat prize-pool. Triple Threat bonuses of $50 000 will also go to the winner of the Billabong Pipe Masters, taking his earnings to $90 000, and to the overall winner of the Vans Triple Crown series, an ASP specialty series, who also receives the Nixon WTA award of a $10 000 custom timepiece.
Following his clinching of the 2009 ASP World Title, Fanning, who had easily defeated Hawaiian wildcard Torrey Meister in Round 3, fell to Dean Morrison (AUS), 28, in the opening heat of Round 4 to finish equal ninth in the event.
The three South Africans in the Billabong Pipe Masters were all eliminated in their opening encounters. David Weare (Durban) was ousted by Hank Gaskell (HAW) in Round 1, veteran Greg Emslie (East London) was sidelined by Phil MacDonald (AUS) in Round 2 and Jordy Smith (Durban) fell to Dayyan Neve (AUS) in Round 3.
Emslie, who turned 33 two weeks back, has announced his retirement from professional surfing after spending a total of nine years campaigning on the ASP World Tour and accumulating more than $600 000 in prize-money.
While the 2009 ASP World Title has been decided, the 2009 ASP World Tour season is far from over with one more day of competition remaining at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Rounds 3 and 4 were completed in classic 2-3 metre waves that produced four perfect 10 point rides at Pipeline today. Eight surfers remain in contention for the event title.
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Dean Morrison (AUS) 16.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 6.60
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.57 def. Torrey Meister (HAW) 6.26
Heat 3: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.07 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 6.10
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.93 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 15.16
Heat 5: Flynn Novak (HAW) 15.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.34
Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.67 def. Michael Picon (FRA) 12.10
Heat 7: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.67 def. Chris Ward (USA) 10.66
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.33 def. Hank Gaskell (HAW) 14.17
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.66 def. Liam McNamara (HAW) 0.33
Heat 10: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 17.17 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 13.80
Heat 11: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.83 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 8.67
Heat 12: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 15.67 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.00
Heat 13: Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 15.17 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 11.94
Heat 14: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.33 def. Shane Dorian (HAW) 11.94
Heat 15: Gavin Gillette (HAW) 13.36 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.56
Heat 16: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.20 def. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.43
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Dean Morrison (AUS) 16.76 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.16
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) 13.66 def. John John Florence (HAW) 12.00
Heat 3: Flynn Novak (HAW) 12.34 def. Tom Whitaker (USA) 7.54
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.10 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 14.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.83 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 8.50
Heat 6: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.57 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 12.23
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.27 def. Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 5.87
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.50 def. Gavin Gillette (HAW) 14.00
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
QF 2: Flynn Novak (HAW) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
QF 3: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
QF 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for conditions to drop slightly but remain clean for tomorrow. Event organizers will reconvene at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start (8pm SA time).
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The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.