|Born||Michael Eugene Fanning
13 June 1981
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
|Residence||Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||177 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
|Best year||ASP World Champion – 2007, 2009, 2013|
|Sponsors||Rip Curl, Reef Footwear, Creatures of Leisure Accessories, Dragon Eyewear, Red Bull Zen Nutrition, Skullcandy, AUDI, FCS fins|
3 times ASP World Champion 2007, 2009 and 2013
|Stance||Natural (regular) foot|
|Shaper(s)||Darren Handley and Wade Tokoro|
|Quiver||5 11" x 18 5/8 x2 1/4|
|Favourite waves||any pointbreak|
|Favourite maneuvers||Hacks and tubes|
Michael Eugene "Mick" Fanning, nicknamed "White Lightning" (born June 13, 1981), is an Australian professional surfer. Fanning won the 2007, 2009 and 2013 ASP World Tour. In 2015, Fanning survived an encounter with what is suspected to be a great white shark during the J-Bay Open finals in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
Fanning was born in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, on 13 June 1981 to Irish parents. He learned to surf at the age of 5 in coastal South Australia at a town called Mt Gambier, but did not focus on surfing until his family moved to Tweed Heads, New South Wales, when he was twelve. He grew up with fellow professional surfer, Joel Parkinson, in the Gold Coast/Northern Rivers region and both attended Palm Beach Currumbin State High School together. On the edge of the Queensland border, Fanning had access to epic surf north and south and he began to make a name for himself. In 1996 he established himself as one of the very best surfers to rule the Queensland points by placing in the top three at the Australian National Titles. But, tragedy struck in 1998 when his brother Sean died in a car accident along with fellow surfer Joel Green.
Fanning was also caring when he took a wild card entry at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in 2001 winning one of Australia's most acclaimed contests. He finished 2002 as rookie of the year winning the Billabong Pro at Jeffrey's Bay and earning himself a slot on the 2002 tour as the World Qualifying Series' (WQS) Champion.
The year 2007 marked Fanning's sixth year on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour since 2002 and his ninth year on the ASP WQS since 1998. He began his 2007 World Title campaign (WCT) with a victory at the Quiksilver Pro, the first event on the Foster's ASP World Tour, putting himself on top of the ratings. He won the Santa Catarina Pro in Brazil on 6 November 2007 placing above Taj Burrow and Kelly Slater therefore clinching the 2007 ASP world title. In 2008 he suffered a mid-season groin injury. He slipped to eighth position on the end of year ratings. In 2009, Fanning reclaimed the ASP World Champion crown at the famous Pipeline reef break on Oahu’s North Shore. Although Fanning was knocked out by fellow Australian Dean Morrison in Round 4, his points lead from winning three of the last four events was enough to secure victory. He then clinched it again in 2013 with a comeback victory in both round five, as well as the quarter-finals at Pipeline.
Encounter with shark
On 19 July 2015, Fanning encountered a shark two minutes into the J-Bay Open 2015 finals at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. Fanning was in the water with Julian Wilson during the final when what is suspected to be a great white shark swam next to him. Fanning punched the shark and tried to wedge his board between the shark and his body. The shark eventually bit off Fanning's leash and Fanning started his attempt to flee back to shore. Wilson paddled towards Fanning to assist him and was praised for his action and hailed as a hero. Much of the early coverage characterized the encounter as a "shark attack." Based on analysis of the video and the fact that Fanning was not bitten, some marine biologists believe the shark had no intention of biting him.
A response team quickly rescued him from any further danger by scaring the shark away with a boat and picking up both Fanning and Wilson, who was still in the water nearby. Both surfers escaped unharmed and were given a shared victory, splitting the prize-money. Following the ordeal, Wilson gave a tear-filled interview. When he was asked, "You guys are locked in a title battle right now, and to put things into perspective does that mean anything to you at this point in time?", Wilson replied "No, not at all, I'm just happy he's alive." The event was cancelled.
The next day, Fanning returned to Australia. He wondered why the shark did not bite him and told reporters: "I'm just lucky it wasn't my time." The story received international news coverage. Fanning returned to the water to surf again less than a week later, dedicating it to his late brother, and also surfed Ship Stern Bluff on August 27, a break notorious for great white sharks. Fanning expects to compete in the Billabong Pro Teahupoo, which takes place in Tahiti in August 2015.
Fanning is married to model Karissa Dalton.
- Non ASP World Tour Victories:
- 3 ASP WQS
- "Pro Surfer: Mick Fanning". World Surf League. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Red Bull Surfing". Surf magazine. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Interview with Mick Fanning". Tonnta: the Irish Surf Magazine (28). 2008.
- Fanning, Mick; Naker, Tim (2009). Surf For Your Life – the biography of Mick Fanning. Random House Australia. ISBN 978-1-74166-927-5.
- Wardrop, Murray (13 December 2009). "Mick Fanning crowned ASP World Champion in perfect surf at Pipeline". The Daily Telegraph (London: TMG). ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Mick Fanning's best surf breaks". Wideworldmag.[dead link]
- "Mick Fanning speaks of 'miracle' survival after arriving back in Sydney following shark attack". ABC. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Ting, Inga (20 July 2015). "Surfer Julian Wilson hailed as hero after shark attacks Mick Fanning". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Beauchamp, Zack (July 22, 2015). "That viral shark attack video is everything we get wrong about sharks". Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Hoffman, Bill; Moffat, Nicky (20 July 2015). "He 'never paddled so fast in his life’ says Wilson's mum". Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Grinberg, Emanuella; Cotovio, Vasco (19 June 2015). "Competition canceled after surfer Mick Fanning escapes shark attack". CNN. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "Mick Fanning’s surfboard shaper says the shark attack won’t keep him out of the water". Perth Now. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- MacDonald, Andrew (17 March 2008). "Media wiped out as world champ weds". The Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Fanning wins ASP surf tourney in France". United Press International. 27 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- "Fanning Wins Rip Curl Pro Search". CNN Sports Illustrated. TransWorld Surfing. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-14.