Mick Fanning will retire from the WSL's Championship Tour after the Bells contest, which will run from March 28-April 8.
Fanning will compete in the opening two events of the 2018 schedule, then call time on his CT campaign, marking the end of a remarkable career which saw him bag three world titles. Mick took some time out after that J-Bay incident in 2015, while also working through some personal issues, before jumping back on the CT, part time season - and taking that redemption win at J-Bay shortly after.
Taj Burrow and Josh Kerr also packed it in recently – paving the way for the changing of the guard.
Posting on social media, Mick said: “It’s time.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.”