Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning is making a return to the Championship Tour with a wildcard awarded for the upcoming Bells Beach event. The fourth stop on the World Surf League Tour which is set to get underway from the 10th of April to the 20th.
This comes after Fanning made an appearance with a wildcard at last year’s Narrabeen Classic last year, however, Mick was really chasing a shot at Bells. “Bells is the wildcard I really wanted,” Fanning said. “Obviously, I did Narrabeen last year but Bells is the one I was really aiming for. It’s a place that is really close to my heart, and if I was ever going to take a wildcard, it would be there, so I’m pretty fired up. Personally, I really like the wave at Bells. The speed of it, the wide-open canvas, and the fact that it is a right-hand point break. I love everything that comes with Bells, the history, the cliffs, the gathering of everyone down in the car park. It’s so awesome. It’s something that sits in my heart.”
The Australian surfing icon officially retired from professional surfing at the 2018 Rip Curl Pro. Prior to his retirement, Fanning spent 17 years competing on the elite CT. His illustrious tenure includes 22 Championship Tour victories, 11 Top 5 finishes, and three World Titles, cementing him as one of the greatest surfers and sportsmen in history.
“To go and ring the Bell for the fifth time, no one has ever done it apart from Gail Couper,” Fanning continued. “During my career, I got close, but right now I just want to focus on putting on a good performance. My preparation when I was on Tour was non-stop training but this time around I’ve just been focusing on my surfing and making sure it’s up to the level of the best in the world.”