Mick Fanning Wins Quiksilver Pro France

All Photos: Steve Sherman
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It took him eight events, but Mick Fanning finally scalped his first contest of the 2013 World Tour season. Mick’s been prowling at the top of the pack since his 3rd place result at the season opener on the Gold Coast, and has spent more time driving the #1 train than any other surfer, but the guy just couldn’t win a contest. However, in the deep rounds of the Quik Pro France, Mick found his swing and used his rail to defeat Taj Burrow, John John Florence, Joel Parkinson and finally Gabriel Medina en route to the champagne — you ever seen a more diverse list of losers? And now, with a victory under his belt, Mick retains his seat up top.

Now the ASP rankings might lead you to believe that Mick’s got a stranglehold. You’d see Mick’s 51,900 points and Kelly’s 45,900 and think he’s a lock. But before you dust off the crown, consider this: the ASP factors in eight out of a surfer’s ten results into the final tally. So when you count only six of the eight events this year, that 6000 point gap disintegrates. Mick’s top six give him 42,700 points. Kelly’s got 42,400. Behind them, Jordy Smith has 36,200, which means he’s waiting on a miracle. And so with two events remaining — the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal and the Billabong Pipeline Masters — we have a title race. Kelly Slater VS Mick Fanning. The 11-times champ VS the double-fister. The American VS The Australian. The bald VS the blonde. It wouldn’t be all that bold to say this one’s heading to Pipe. —Brendan Buckley