Mick Fanning has just surfed his last heat in a Championship Tour jersey at the iconic Bells Beach, taking the event's runner up spot in a historic day of competition.
Earlier this year, white lightning decided to call it a day on his CT campaign, his official retirement from pulling on a singlet and competing man-on-man. “Only thing that would have made this better, if Mick won it,” quips Martin Potter after the final buzzer rang out, with an inform Italo Ferreria taking the W.
“It was really special,” Mick said, after missing out on his fairy tale ending. “I always wanted to finish here at Bells. It's a special moment with the crowd, my friends are around. Just to see how much it meant to Italo makes me feel better. It's been an amazing career and I just wanted to say thanks. I've learned so much. I walk away with so many great memories.”
Mick's path on the road to the final was damn flawless – shooting straight through round 1 to round 3 and then into the quarters. Bells and Mick have that certain affinity for each other, when surfers become synonymous with a locale. With four Bells wins under him, Mick had been tied with Kelly Slater and Mark Richards for most victories at the historic venue.
One person who's probably breathing a little easier right now? Kelly Slater. “I hope he gets second,” he chimed, before the final even took off, hoping he'd get another swing at taking out Bells post-injury and becoming the greatest Bells surfer of all time.
Cover shot from the WSL