A year after being attacked by a great white shark during a heat, Mick Fanning returned to the lineup and, as if there was any doubt, won. This win puts the bookend on a long, arduous year for Mick. After being attacked last year he separated from his wife, lost his brother, narrowly lost the world title, and announced he will be taking most of this year off.
At J-Bay Mick got his storybook ending. It is worth wondering if Fanning will see it that way and officially retire. He has nothing left to prove. He will go down in history as one of the five best surfers of all time, he is almost universally liked, and has three world titles. For my money, he has the best rail game of all time. His speed, timing, and flow is unmatched.
Aside from the Mick story, the contest was average. The waves were small and barrels were scarce. We were deprived of the fast barrels to huge carves that makes J-Bay special. The days leading up to the event saw the best conditions and consequently, some great edits. Here's future WCTer Griffin Colapinto blowing up.
Back to current WCT competitors. John John joined Mick in the finals and closed the gap on Wilko, who lost in round three. It's starting to look like a three horse race between JJF, Medina and Wilko. Although I hesitate to count out Adriano who is lurking in fourth. He is our current world champion after all.
In other news, Connor Coffin had a mini blow up about judging (I think he was wrong), John John and Jordy had a super weird quarter-final, Julian and Gabriel had another tight heat, Josh Kerr was in the semis, Kelly was there I think. It was all kinda fun and weird. No sharks though!