Mick Fanning (AUS) advances to Round 4 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after winning Heat 2 of Round 3 at Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.
Mick Fanning (AUS) advances to Round 4 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after winning Heat 2 of Round 3 at Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Fanning’s ultimate parting gift

MICK Fanning's competitive career at his home break has come to an end after he was knocked out of the Quiksilver Pro.

Fanning was beaten into third place in Round 4, falling behind Owen Wright and Brazil's Tomas Hermes and knocked out in the format adopted by the World Surf League this season.

While the three-man round was previously a "no loser" heat, a cut-throat format has been adopted this season, with the third-placed competitor eliminated as first and second advance directly to the quarter-finals.

Gold Coast surfer Mick Fanning hands his surfboard to a young fan after being eliminated from the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast.
Gold Coast surfer Mick Fanning hands his surfboard to a young fan after being eliminated from the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast.

Fanning could not find the score to advance, knocking out the chance for a fairytale finish at his home break.

It didn't seem to faze Fanning much though.

He gave his board away to an adoring young fan as he came back in to the beach and gave Hermes a bear hug as the young Brazilian seemed to apologise for ruining the result every fan on the beach had wanted.

Quiksilver Pro 2018. Joel Parkinson after round 3. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Quiksilver Pro 2018. Joel Parkinson after round 3. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

PARKO PUNTED IN ROOKIE REBELLION

THE rookie rebellion has continued at the Quiksilver Pro, with American teen Griffin Colapinto knocking Cooly Kid Joel Parkinson out of the contest.

Colapinto surfed with no fear of former world champion Parkinson, who has arguably the best knowledge of any surfer on tour of the Snapper Rocks break.

The youngster, in his first official event on the World Surf League championship tour, made two enormous drops into barrels to beat Parkinson at his own game in his first event at the famous break.

And Parkinson may have been his own worst enemy, with Colapinto watching video of him surfing Snapper to familiarise himself with the break.

"I've been watching Parko surf the past two weeks on video," Colapinto said.

"I feel like when I'm trying to imitate someone when I surf, it calms my mind down, so it helps a lot."

The plan will be on repeat later this afternoon when Colapinto lines up against Julian Wilson and Kanoa Igarashi surfing for a spot in the quarter-finals.

"Stay calm, stay relaxed, just go out and surf it."

Parkinson's loss finishes the chance of he and great mate Fanning lining up against each other at their home break, with the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach next month their final chance to face each other in competition.

FANNING FAIRYTALE CONTINUES

MICK Fanning's hopes of a fairytale finish to his Quiksilver Pro career remain alive after he won his Round 3 heat against Conner Coffin at Snapper Rocks this morning.

Fanning dominated the heat, with his local knowledge paying off as he took off deep behind the rock to register two strong scores to beat his rip Curl teammate.

While the need to win no longer motivates Fanning, he would love a final heat against great mate and fellow "Cooly Kid" Joel Parkinson at Snapper and his best chance is to continue to push through the event.

"I figure I've only got three weeks of work left, so you might as well give it your all," Fanning said.

"It's all feeling pretty good.

"I'm at home and I want to put in a good performance for friends and family back here.

"It's pretty easy to get switched on but it's tough out there.

"It'd be great to have a final heat with Parko, (we're) best mates and we started this journey a long time ago, so hopefully by the end of this event or the next one, we get to have a heat together."

Fanning's win sets up a Round 3 clash against Owen Wright, who earlier won through his Round 2 heat against Brazil's Willian Cardoso.

While the favourites won through the opening two heats of the day, Brazilian Tomas Hermes caused an upset in the third heat, knocking out American Kolohe Andino.

"I'm so happy to make the tour," Hermes said.

"In the first day of the event I was so excited … but I came back yesterday and I just (looked after) myself."

'I'M A WORK CHAMPION CONTENDER"

OWEN Wright has declared himself a world championship contender after returning to full health and fitness.

Wright had a fairytale return to the tour last year, winning the season-opening Quiksilver Pro.

He faded in the back half of the season as he continued his comeback from a brain injury that kept him off the tour for a year following a wipeout at Pipeline in December 2015 when he was in contention for the world title.

But the 28-year-old returns this season back to full health and ready to push the world's best.

"I've always wanted to finish there in the top," he said.

"A few injuries have taken me out but I think I'm coming into good heatlh and I just feel like it's been going up and up and I feel like it's a good time for me to just do the best I can and try and go for that top spot."

Wright faces a challenge in the next round where he meets three-time world champion Mick Fanning and Brazilian Tomas Hermes, with only the top two progressing to the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Filipe Toldeo beat Italo Ferreira in the battle of the Brazilians, with both showing off their signature flair in building conditions as the tide dropped.

WRIGHT SLAYS MEDINA

MIKEY Wright has continued his giant-killing run at the Quiksilver Pro, taking down former world champion Gabriel Medina just 24 hours after beating defending champ John John Florence.

Wright is taking part in the opening event of the season on a sponsor's wildcard.

But the 22-year-old Gold Coaster has the talent to beat anyone on his day and will have every man left in the draw nervous if he comes up against them.

"It's a bit bigger out there today and I like the bigger conditions but it's the same as yesterday, it's similar to that," Wright said.

Wright and brother Owen, who won the Quiksilver Pro last year, could yet line up against each other if they continue to push through the draw.

"That's pretty sick, hopefully we can meet up at the end but there's still a lot more heats to go," he said.

Meanwhile, Julian Wilson has defied the pain of a shoulder injury to continue his Quiksilver Pro run.

Wilson injured his shoulder in a mountain bike accident in January, placing doubt over him taking part in the event.

But he will now finish with a ninth placing, at worst, giving him a likely keeper for the season.



Police praise well-behaved Splendour crowds

Police praise well-behaved Splendour crowds

Police have welcomed good behaviour at Splendour in the Grass

Series launch puts North Coast teen in the spotlight

Series launch puts North Coast teen in the spotlight

Story born out of tragedy has been a rare platform for young talent

DAY 1: Highway to Splendour with Murray Wiggle

DAY 1: Highway to Splendour with Murray Wiggle

Glitter is out, felt hats are out too, and everything 1990s is in

Local Partners