Today has been one of the saddest, shocking and yet somehow most uplifting and thrilling days in surfing sport history – with multiple incidents, events and incredible waves all going down on the North Shore of Oahu.
Awaking to the news that Mick Fanning’s older brother Peter had reportedly passed away last night in his sleep, the world watched on as Mick powered into his day of surfing – his mother by his side and on the beach.
Fanning was against the ropes in his fourth round ‘super heat’ against Kelly Slater and John John Florence, and with the clock winding down he went for broke. The next scene was something of extreme emotion and sheer guts as Mick, getting spat out of a last-ditch heat-winning tube ride, opened himself to the sky in a dramatic release of his emotions. It is a vision that will forever become part of surfing lore and history, and is burned into our minds today.
Earlier in the day in yet another horror scene at the infamous surf break, Gold Coast based Bede Durbidge went down on a solid one, fracturing his hip, which left him flailing in the whitewater. Several waves passed over him until jetski assistance got him to the beach and off to hospital. He is reportedly getting surgery and his recovery is expected to be lengthy.
Mixed into all of this were incredible rides from the world’s best, including a 10-point ride from Mason Ho, who also eliminated title contender Filipe Toledo, and the dominating force of the day, John John Florence putting on a Pipeline master class for all who would be witness.
The world title is down to Mick Fanning versus the Brazilian pair of Adriano DeSouza and reigning champ, Gabriel Medina. Tomorrow is going to be another for the history books!
Mick Fanning takes a hail Mary wave and signals to the sky – advancing to quarter finals past Slater and Florence
Bede Durbidge suffers broken hip in horror wipeout
Mason Ho – 10 Point Ride
John John Florence nails a 9.83 ride with a spectacular tube