Mick Fanning has spent more time abroad than Schapelle Corby since getting knocked in Rio de Janeiro. But thankfully, the only thing green in the two-time world champ’s board bag was his fluro Rip Curl wetsuit, coupled with some of his favourite boards. Like Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit popularity*, Mick’s said publicly this year ‘‘I’m doing things my way’’and is only contesting a handful of events outside of the Pros.
And hopefully, he’ll prove in J-Bay this week he can do things his way with more success than Durst, whose solo album was as questionable as your dad at a Lady Gaga concert.
He bombed at his home break of Snapper Rocks in February only to turn it around to dominate Bells Beach before finishing runner-up (see last week’s Telling it like it is) to Joel Parkinson. Then, the waves Brazil produced proved to be as painful as getting the native wax.
So, more aerodynamic than ever before*, Mick packed his bags and headed to Mexico and Fiji, where he found some waves, Dane Reynolds, some fun and most importantly, himself...
Telling it like it is caught up with the man affectionately known as ‘‘Eugene’’ this week as he touched down in J-Bay. Word is however, the surf has been flat-lining worse than sales for Creed’s reunion tour.
‘‘The swell has been dead flat - hopefully we can start running the comp Friday ’’ said Mick, who said he has a partner in crime in South Africa after taking over a mate to keep things light-hearted. ‘‘I had a really good trip in Mexico with the Reef team recently and Dane Reynolds and that was awesome and then I went to Fiji for a little Rip Curl trip. That was really fun, too. So I’ve been pretty busy and it’s been good. I feel good.
‘‘After Snapper and the crap result there, I just threw everything out the window and started from scratch again and it’s felt great. Bells was awesome and I had a real crack but Brazil was crap for me. I wasn’t that keen on Brazil going into it and I never felt great. But that’s no excuse, I tried my best it just didn’t happen. I was unlucky in one heat and that’s life.
‘‘But I had a good break back on the Goldie and I’m ready.’’
And if it’s any help, he actually sounded ready...like an angry sports dad with his kid in the national finals, he’s preparing for the fight of his life.
Fact is, White Lightning has won at J-Bay not once, but twice. He knows the break as well as he does Meat Loaf’s entire back catalogue* and having given up a win to good mate Parko at Bells, he’s got a score to settle.
So stay tuned, kids. High winds are expected to make the four-to-five-foot swell messy, but like Heidi Montag’s plastic surgeon, Mick has no issue turning quartz into gold. But hopefully he’ll do a better job than that.
* Warning: Limp Bizkit and the word popularity should never be used in the same sentence unless absolutely necessary.
*Mick knows not of the plain or pleasure of a Brazilian wax and never admitted to doing so. Like Under Belly, this story was ‘‘based’’, loosely, on true events.