In what’s been regarded as one of the most exciting climaxes to an ASP season, FCS team rider Mick Fanning has emerged victorious over Kelly Slater in securing a converted third ASP World Title.
The two contenders swapped the lead throughout the year, but in the end it was the consistency of Fanning that would be the deciding factor. Re-live Micks year in the below image gallery:
Fanning started the season with a 3rd at the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper, and went on to record no less than a 5th place finish in the opening six tour events. Mick then broke the victory drought at the Quiksilver Pro in France, which inevitably set his course for the finish line at the Pipeline Masters.
In contrast, Kelly’s year was filled with highs and lows, having won two of the first four events he stumbled towards the back half of the season. Still, the greatest surfer to ever live had a chance going into Pipeline, and given his record at that event, was never out of the running.
In the end the title would be decided by the shear determination of Fanning in perfect conditions at Pipe. Needing to make the semi finals, and armed with a quad set up on the final day (FCS II MF Medium + Performer Quad Prototypes), Mick narrowly progressed through round 5 and was too good for Yadin Nichol in their high scoring quarter final.
Mick’s title win also marks an inaugural victory for the newly released FCS II system. Having only been available to the market for a short time, the new system was quickly adopted by Mick from the start of the year having had privileged access to production plugs.
“The new system felt amazing all year, and I was definitely getting more spark from my boards and better response from my fins. Besides the performance advantages, the convenience of snapping my fins in and out gave me more time to concentrate on my heat preparation”, Mick Fanning.
Those with a keen eye would’ve noticed Mick riding dual-stripe prototypes of his signature MF templates during the first half of the season. And in the latter half of the year he switched to production samples of the new MF medium and MF large. (Scheduled for release in 2014)
Mick is not alone in his assessment of the new system either. The majority of WCT surfers, both FCS team riders and non-contracted surfers, have made the transition to FCS II off the back of the added performance benefits and the convenience of simply snapping the fins into plugs.
Mick now becomes one of two Australian surfers to win three world titles; the other of course is the great Mark Richards who won four.