Championship Tour leader Mick Fanning (AUS) claimed his first event victory in Hawaii at the Vans World Cup of Surfing today after more than a decade of trying.
Fanning, 34, took down a star-studded field of CT surfers for the victory: Julian Wilson (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), who placed second through fourth respectively. Fanning only surfed a total of three waves in the 35-minute heat - the least of all the finalists, for an insurmountable combined score of 15.20. Waves were excellent for the duration of the day at 2- to 3-times overhead brushed clean by off-shore winds.
“I’ve gotten so close so many times, made pretty much every final twice but never got the cookie,” said Fanning. “I’m so honored to win here at Sunset, it’s such a tough event, everyone was going so crazy. I’m just so stoked.”
Three more awards were up for grabs today and two additional athletes were victorious on the sands of Sunset. Florence captured the World Surf League (WSL) Regional Champion title for his performance throughout the year in WSL-rated Hawaii events. While Florence won the regional title, Ian Walsh (Maui) claimed the $5,000 Vans Travel Award for the top rated regional QS surfer in Hawaii. This will be used when he takes up his QS10,000 seed in 2016 QS events, earned by his rating.
Seventeen year-old Jack Robinson (AUS) proved his salt this season and in turn won the JN Automotive Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year title. With impressive performances at both Haleiwa and Sunset, Robinson has been an undeniable favorite in the Vans Triple Crown with a mix of modesty and uncanny confidence. This award has long been regarded as the harbinger of a successful pro career.
THE TOP 10 QS SURFERS TO QUALIFY FOR THE 2016 WSL SAMSUNG GALAXY CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR WERE DETERMINED TODAY.
They are, in order: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Davey Cathels (AUS) and Ryan Callinan (AUS).
Should Andino and/or Pupo qualify for next year through the CT event at the Billabong Pipe Masters next week, their QS spots will be given to Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Dusty Payne (HAW) in that order.
The battle for the annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title remains wide open. Australian Wade Carmichael, who won the first stop at Haleiwa, still holds a slim lead, followed by Gabriel Medina (BRA), and Dusty Payne, respectively. The battle for the World Title and the Vans Triple Crown title now moves to the Billabong Pipe Masters, that gets underway December 8. The forecast already bodes well for a quick start.
VANS WORLD CUP Finals
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.20pts - $40,000 and 10,000 points
2. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.57pts - $20,000 and 8,000 points
3. John John Florence (HAW) 12.00pts - $12,000 and 6,700
4. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.20pts - $10,000 and 6,300
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 9.90pts, Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.47pts, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.10pts, Jack Robinson (AUS) 3.34pts
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.17pts, Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.90pts, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.30pts, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 4.53pts
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.63pts, Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.40pts, Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.40pts, Nat Young (USA) 3.70pts
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50pts, Conner Coffin (USA) 14.50pts, Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.40pts, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.94pts
Heat 3: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 13.57pts, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.37pts, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.93pts, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.47pts
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.56pts, Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.00pts, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.84, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.60pts