The Aussie leg of the WSL World Tour is just about to kick off. Starting in the cold water of Bells, the surfers will then zip across to the other side of the country to face waves of consequence in the heaving Indian Ocean.
The big news is that 3 x world champ/4 x Bells winner Mick Fanning has been given a wildcard into his pet event. The return to the jersey means Mick has a chance at ringing an unprecedented 5th men’s Bell! (fun fact: Victorian local Gail Couper won 10 x Bells events in the 60s & 70s).
With Mick playing spoiler and looking in blistering form, it’s going to be a cracking start to the run Downunder.
We break down below how Mick might go at Bells, and also run through how the rest of the Creatures Crew are looking for the Australian assault before the crucial mid-season cut off.
Bring on Oz. It’s time to go into beast mode.
Can Mick Fanning win Bells again?
Mick Fanning has a crazy history at Bells Beach. It’s the home of his first ever World Tour event win way back in 2001 as an 18-year old wildcard. It’s also where he officially retired, coming in 2nd to Creatures stablemate Italo Ferreira in 2018. In total, Mick has won 4 Bells, had 3 runner-up finishes and carved its cold-water walls into oblivion for countless video parts. But, does that mean Mick can possibly win again? It has been four years since he’s pulled on a jersey there. He’s been riding twin fins more than performance boards recently and he’s loving being on The Search and balancing his family life at home. Anyone who knows Mick though knows how competitive he is. He’d love nothing more than to take down the world’s young guns and show them he’s still a force in surfing. Word is he’s been training hard behind the scenes and has his equipment dialed in with shaper DHD for full power hacks. Assuming the swell delivers, Mick should easily make a quarters finish or better. And, once he gets momentum going, history has proven Fanning is nearly unstoppable.
We’re thinking a 5th ring-a-ding-ding is well on the cards. Mick wouldn’t be in it if he didn’t think so either…