COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS – A fit, well rested and relaxed Mick Fanning is poised to strike at the Quiksilver Pro presented by Land Rover starting on the Gold Coast on 25th February.
The two-time World Champion missed the season-ending Pipe Masters in 2011 because of a neck injury and burnout, but after an extended period away from the surf can’t wait for the World Tour’s opening event in his backyard at Snapper Rocks.
The man known as “White Lightning” showed his extended break was just the tonic dusting off any rust with the day’s highest score of 9.5 while competing for Kirra Surfriders Club during a recent boardriders event on the Gold Coast. A stellar field also included newly-crowned Pipe Masters champion Kieren Perrow, Joel Parkinson, Owen Wright, Adam Melling and Mark Occhilupo.
“I needed to take some time off and relieve some pressure on the neck,” Fanning said. “It was definitely a break I needed. I was feeling pretty stale and pretty close to burnout towards the end of the year.
“But everything has been good, I had a few weeks off and didn’t really surf all that much.”
Fanning won the World Title in 2007 and 2009 and is a two-time winner of the Quiksilver Pro after wins in 2005 and 2007.
After growing up on the famous righthand point break at Snapper Rocks, Fanning said familiarity with the local conditions was a big advantage and there was always a thrill with the first event of the year.
“Every time you paddle out it is a new heat, but being home advantage we know the wave so well and have surfed here so much over the years it’s definitely a confidence booster and especially sleeping in your own bed.
“I guess you try and take that confidence from all the time you have surfed here and put that into a heat.
“Been at home it’s pretty cool watching everyone trickle in. One day you’ll see one guy and think, ‘cool, the contest is only a few days away’. I love to see how everyone is surfing.
“On that first day of the event, everyone has done their pre-season, done all their work on boards and fitness and it’s great to see how everyone turns up in that first round. It’s really exciting with the buzz going around.”
Fanning was unsure of what 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater had planned for 2012 and if he would go for an incredible 12th title.
Slater won the Quiksilver Pro in 2006, 2008 and 2011 and each year he went on to win the World Title.
“He (Kelly) has his faults and he is beatable, but a lot of the time he gets off to great starts,” Fanning said. “He’s just like anyone else and you have to concentrate on your own game and just know you have done the work needed and hopefully it all comes together at the right time.”
Both the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro events will be webcast live on QuiksilverPro.com.au, RoxyPro.com.au, Youtube, Facebook and the Quiksilver iPhone app as well as exclusively telecast on Fuel TV. For all the action, interaction, heat alerts, competitions and the latest information visit quiksilverpro.com.au or roxypro.com.au.
The 2012 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro presented by Land Rover is supported by Events Queensland, Corona, Telstra, Schick Hydro, Peters Drumstick, Red Bull, Olympus Cameras, Vegemite SurfGroms, Lipton Ice Tea, Sharpie, VX Sport, Surfing World magazine, Coastalwatch, Gold Coast Airport, Gold Coast City Council, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, World Safaris and Fuel TV.
• 2012 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro presented by Land Rover is scheduled for 25th February – 7th March and will be webcast live on quiksilverpro.com.au, roxypro.com.au, Youtube, Facebook and the Quiksilver iPhone app as well as exclusively telecast on Fuel TV
• The Moskova Trials will be held on Friday, 24th February with the winner to join surfing’s elite in the main event
• The waiting period for the contest starts on 25th February. A decision on whether or not to run the contest is made on the day after assessing the conditions. The same goes for each day in the waiting period. Surfing action normally gets underway by 8am
• Get more info at www.quiksilverpro.com.au or roxypro.com.au