Three-time surfing world champion Mick Fanning has called time on his illustrious career in the water by retiring from the WSL Championship Tour.
The 36-year-old, who won titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013, made the announcement on his Facebook page and will bow out after the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach which gets underway on 28 March.
Speaking with the WSL, Fanning explained:
I feel like I’ve just lost the drive to compete day-in day-out now. It’s been something I’ve been doing for 17 years, and even before that through QS and Juniors, and I feel that I just can’t give it 100 percent anymore. I’m just not enjoying it as much as I was in the past. I still love surfing, and I’m still super excited by it, but I feel that’s there’s other paths for me to take at this stage in my life.
As for choosing to retire at Bells, I’ve always had in mind that my last event on Tour was going to be Bells. That’s basically where I started my career, it was my first ever CT win, and I feel really connected down there.
Mick first joined the CT in 2002, after winning his first CT event as a wildcard entry at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. It was a win that pushed him up into the elite levels of surfing, and that put his name on the map as a man who was going to make history.
In 2003, his first year on Tour, he won at Jeffreys Bay—a wave that went on to become one of his pet events—as well as one of the most pivotal moments in his career, and life, when he was attacked by a shark during the Final heat of the event in 2015.
The team at Red Bull, one of Mick’s sponsors, have put together a pretty cool tribute to his 17 years on tour:
Cheers Mick… see you in the water.
Featured image: Corey Wilson/Red Bull Content Pool