Not long ago, it was announced via instagram that Mick Fanning is set to retire after the Rip Curl sponsored Bells Beach event this year.
Mick, who's for the record now approaching 37 yet still in better physical health than me and pretty much everyone I know and will know, has decided to take a step back from the competitive fire pit that is the WSL Championship Tour and tuck himself into retirement once and for all. As told by the man himself:
I’ve decided the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be my last event as a full-time competitor on the World Surf League Championship Tour. The tour has given me so much but I need a fresh challenge. I still love the game but can’t find the motivation and dedication required to compete for World Titles anymore.
My time on tour has been incredibly rewarding and I have so many amazing memories, all of which wouldn’t be possible without some very special people…
My Mum, Dad, Sister and Brothers. I love you.
My sponsors that have stood by me and continue to back my goals.
My shaper Darren Handley and his entire team for the care and hard work they put into every single one of my boards.
My fellow competitors on tour, you are like brothers and sisters to me.
My very tight support crew that have been there in good and tough times, thank you for always being honest with me.
And thanks to the fans and everyone that has encouraged me and cheered me on for all these years.
I’m looking forward to life away from the tour while keeping a close eye on things. I’m so proud of our sport and the way it continues to evolve. The performance level on the Championship Tour and the Big Wave Tour is remarkable. I can’t wait to watch it all go down as one of the sport’s biggest fans. I’m also looking forward to evolving my own surfing in new ways, visiting unfamiliar places and taking on different experiences.
I will be competing at the opening event at home on the Gold Coast and then wrapping things up at the Rip Curl Pro. Bells Beach is where my Championship Tour career really kicked off, I’ve always loved the place and it seems a fitting stop to finish things up. It’s gonna be a big fun party and you’re all invited to come. Hope I see you there.
Cheers and thanks for the memories
Mick Fanning's retirement may have been a long time coming to many, but it's still going to be a decidedly different looking tour. Guess we'll have to get our fluid, arcing forehand carve fix from someone else.
Tears. What a legend. And ending it at bells, fitting indeed!