Mick Fanning And Carissa Moore Win 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells

posted by / ASP / April 23, 2014

Carissa Moore wraps her leash around her fins, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK.

Carissa Moore wraps her leash around her board, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK.

Sally Fitzgibbons, good as gold. Or bronze.

Sally Fitzgibbons, good as gold. Or bronze.

Stephanie Gilmore got an 8 in the semifinals, but couldn’t back that thang up.

Stephanie Gilmore got an 8 in the semifinals, but couldn’t back that thang up.

Kelly Slater and his biggest fan.

Kelly Slater and his biggest fan.

This was the turn of the event. Hands down. Or hands up, if you’re super excited. Wahoo!

This was the turn of the event. Hands down. Or hands up, if you’re super excited. Wahoo!

Carissa Moore: a house of power.

Carissa Moore: a house of power.

Tyler Wright: a smaller, more economical house of power.

Tyler Wright: a smaller, more economical house of power.

It’s on! Except not anymore, cause Carissa just won.

It’s on! Except not anymore, cause Carissa just won.

John John did an air, Kelly Slater didn’t do an air, John John wins.

John John did an air, Kelly Slater didn’t do an air, John John wins.

Julian Wilson beat Parko at his own game.

Julian Wilson beat Parko at his own game.

Ukraine is better off than that lip right now. Mick Fanning.

Ukraine is better off than that lip right now. Mick Fanning.

So much John!

So much John!

So little time!

So little time!

Leading up to the final day, Mick Fanning was freesurfing Winkipop like it was his job…it kind of is.

Leading up to the final day, Mick Fanning was freesurfing Winkipop like it was his job…it kind of is.

Julian Wilson grabbed, twisted and pulled.

Julian Wilson grabbed, twisted and pulled.

“What do you think, coach?” Johnny Gannon thinks Instagram is awesome.

“What do you think, coach?” Johnny Gannon thinks Instagram is awesome.

“What do you think, coach?” Phil McNamara thinks Mick should win.

“What do you think, coach?” Phil McNamara thinks Mick should win.

Winkipopping off for the final.

Winkipopping off for the final.

Can you taste the torque? Neither can we, but it’s still a sick turn from Mick.

Can you taste the torque? Neither can we, but it’s still a sick turn from Mick.

They call him TB for a reason. (Because his name is Taj Burrow.)

They call him TB for a reason. (Because his name is Taj Burrow.)

They paddled and Mick won the battle…

They paddled and Mick won the battle…

…Then the war.

…Then the war.

Two champions, one bell. Cue the ACDC if you must.

Two champions, one bell. Cue the ACDC if you must.


All Photos: Jimmicane

Finish him…
Combat is never immortal, but it sure felt like it could be. The Australian leg of the WCT started 53 days ago — an eternity, pretty much. With an iffy swell forecast to close out the waiting period for the 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells, the surfers that survived the mid-rounds wanted to finish the contest today. They wanted out of Torquay. They wanted to get back to their families and/or the people and things that prevent them from wanting a family for a few more years. They wanted that damn bell to be rung — even if it meant they had to hear Hell’s Bells again. And who could say no to that? Not ACDC, that’s for sure.

But first, finish her….
Yesterday was the first time the women surfed Bells since Day 1 and no, that’s not a trick statement. For the past few days, the ladies were only given the stage at high tide — when the stage crawled over to Rincon. But today, Belles at Bells. Turns out proper Bells is a great host for women’s surfing. The wave offers a perfect two-turn wall for breakfast, a time-killing-cutback midsection for lunch and a closeout for dinner. If you’re Nikki Van Dijk and it’s yesterday, you can even pounce onto dry reef for dessert. Yum! Today started with the semifinals. Nobody had room for dessert.

Sally Fitzgibbons looked for it and she looked for it, but she couldn’t seem to find the fire and put up only 10.53 points in her semi against Carissa Moore. Stephanie Gilmore found the fire that Sally sought, but only found it on one wave. Tyler Wright extinguished her and our final was set.

It felt so familiar. Carissa Moore. Tyler Wright. The same final we saw last year, the same final we saw last week, and the same result we’ve come to expect. Both girls opened with a 7.50, but Carissa’s proceeding 8.73 bested Tyler’s 8.27. Carissa’s rail work was out of this women’s surfing world.

OK, now you can finish him…
Round 5 — the pooor man’s quarterfinals — started us up, like the Rolling Stones said it would. And we never stopped. Not even once.

Gabriel Medina: The still world number one lost to countryman Adriano de Souza and speculations that the two hate each other spiked to an all-time high. Still, must be nice holding onto that ratings lead going into your home country.
Adam Melling: Melling lost to Kelly Slater. Or something like that.
Jordy Smith: How fun is controversy? Not that fun, if you ask Jordy Smith. Jordy needed a 9.97 in the final breaths of his heat against Julian Wilson. He caught a wave and surfed it with the ferocity of an endangered polar bear…for a 9.93. The internet. Was. Pissed.
Freddy Pataccchia: It’s a goofy eat goofy world out there and Fred got eaten by Owen Wright.

And then came the real quarterfinals. Here’s who bit the dust…

Adriano de Souza: Adriano had been dropping anvils all event, but he couldn’t drop one on Taj Burrow’s head — what a little roadrunner Taj is. Even though he lost, Adriano will be staying in Torquay and trying to grow his relationship with Bells so that he can be better next year. Given the mass exodus of everyone else and the fact that the next event is in Brazil, ADS deserves a standing ovation for this.
Kelly Slater: John Johned him in one of the most anticipated, least delivering heats of the day…Kelly hasn’t been Kelly this year.
Joel Parkinson: Julian beat Parko at Parko’s game. It was either a paradigm shift or a great day for Julian. You know, one or the other.
Owen Wright: It’s a Mick Fanning eat goofy world out there and Owen got eaten.

And so there were four. You can do so many things with four people. You can all fit in a two-door sedan and listen to Nickelback, you can play foursquare or even go bowling. They did none of those things. Instead, they had the semifinals.

Taj Burrow and John John Florence on one end of the draw, Julian Wilson and Mick Fanning on the other. Juxtaposition you can taste!. Two 30+ year olds and two faces of the now. And we moved to Winkipop, which is like the slender sibling of Bells. A little bit steeper, a little bit shorter and not so comfortable in front of large crowds.

Taj and John were hairy neck and younger, not so hairy neck for the 35 minutes of their final. In the closing scene, JJF needed a 6.34 and ripped a smaller wave for a 6.10. He didn’t smile much afterwards. Then Mick and Julian brought the peppers! Julian took an early lead in the heat, but Mick swiftly came back and put him on the ropes. As fate was wrote, Julian needed a 9.77 under Mick’s priority in the last minute. A wave came in, Julian paddled and Mick let him go. It was a stand-up move from the 3x champ, and something that 95% of the tour wouldn’t have done. Julian got an 8.93. Again, applause please.

Karma loves a good sportsman. Mick stayed gold in the final, surfing waves in that way that only Mick Fanning can. Taj was no slouch, smashing a wave for 9.63 points, but the cat got the ocean’s tongue and he never got the chance to try for the 7.20 he needed. Mick won. And we were finished.

Tomorrow…
We’ll leave you with an anecdote. As Mick walked up the stairs after his victory, he stopped to sign a kid’s t-shirt. This kid was 12-years-old, max, and easily the happiest kid on earth at that moment. As Mick walked away, the kid shouts, “Let’s go drink some bee-ar!” A chuckle was shard by all — although the kid was the only one who was kidding.

Suffice to say, there will be a lot of people with headaches, queasy stomachs, anxiety and all the other joys of a hangover on airplanes tomorrow. Bless them all, each and every one of them.
—Brendan Buckley

Tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts:


  • GBD

    Please stop trying to write like Chas Smith. We don’t want, like or need it.

  • dir

    It’s a free site. You don’t like it, go read something else.

  • SurfingKook

    Another joke of a contest finished. Go watch the JJF vs Taj semi-final. Classic judge manipulation AGAIN! I love how the announcer didn’t realize the higher score went to Taj instead of JJF. He even talked about JJf’s wave as being better and pointed out the difficulty of maneuvers in which JJF completed. Yet, Taj scored higher haha! Then at the end of it all, of course Mick wins. The man with the least amount of surf progression on tour. This guy can’t even pull an air, let alone barely land a 360 tail slide, and he continues to win contests. When somebody does something very few other guys on tour can do and then is scored less for that maneuver compared to other maneuvers which everyone on tour can do — then something is wrong with the tour — don’t you think?

  • Always Seems Planned

    “When somebody does something very few other guys on tour can do and then is scored less for that maneuver compared to other maneuvers which everyone on tour can do — then something is wrong with the tour…”

    +1

  • Tabke

    lol @ the first caption.

    The Moore – Wright final is sporting gold.

    Julian Wilson is a goddamn freak.

  • Tim

    Refreshing write-up actually. Go to the other websites if you want more analysis.

  • Ben

    Terrible. A victory for Mick is a victory for repetitive surfing. You know what he’s going to do before he even gets to his feet: Turn, turn, turn, claim. Followed by the ol’ Coolangatta Push. Hooray!

  • Sarah

    “When somebody does something very few other guys on tour can do and then is scored less for that maneuver compared to other maneuvers which everyone on tour can do — then something is wrong with the tour…”

    +30,347

    Mick must give excellent head???!!!

  • marcus

    Can’t fault Mick for making good decisions and having nerves of steel. Jordy’s 10 was great, but his other waves against Jules were half-surfed. JJF and Jules should of picked better waves.

  • mattOBrien

    Announcer (not sure which flavor of vanilla it was) called Mick “Iceman”. No truer words have ever been spoken regarding surfing. Mick Fanning IS the new version of Damien “Iceman” Hardman! No flair all repetitive. Repeat. AND Repeat… I thought this tour was about Progression and Variety?

  • Always Seems Planned

    lol @ Sarah’s comment..

    not sure who blows the other better; Mick or the judges that favor him

  • pauly Boy

    What a great event…..the level of surfing is ridiculous. Jordy’s wave was the most mental wave ever surfed in a comp. Ohhh and Bells doesn’t suck……

  • Tino Ramirez

    Not narcissistic like Chas Smith and funny, too, just like the CT.

  • Part-time Critics

    i find it hilarious how the comments are always talking shit about the writer or the written piece itself.. all these fucking nobodies critique like they don’t work irrelevant (to the surf world) jobs and lead irrelevant lives..

    keep working, maybe one day someone will pay you some attention.

  • tony ty carson big island

    The best waves ever ridden on the planet, by a so called pro or anyone, will always be the waves you “catch and ride yourself”, whether its 2 feet or twenty. If Miki Dora, (DA CAT), was still around, he would have probably glided by on a wave in the finals, pulled down his trunks, (and, well, you guys know the rest)…..

  • Brendan Crawford

    Mick Fanning has been given heats for far too long. This guy is moving the sport of surfing backwards with each of his wins. He lost that heat to Yadin at pipe last year, he shouldn’t be champ, and I don’t give a shit about how hard he trains. If you never fall on any waves in your heats, than your either the best surfer to ever live (which he is not), or your not pushing the levels of the sport. No airs, no creativity, no style. Enough is enough with this judging this year, stop giving out 9′s for good waves and there will be enough space to properly judge the difference between two good turns and a truly perfect wave like Jordys….and one other thing, these airs that JF and gabby are doing aren’t new school, watch lost across America and you will see guys doing them in the 1990s… They just didn’t have huge contracts with cell phone companies, they were paid in beer! Bring back Wardo!

  • Myrie

    I wonder if it feels good to be a hater on these message boards?
    If you hate it so much, why watch? Why don’t you go do something you like?
    You guys on here, Stab, Fantasy Surfer, etc.. 90% of the comments are negative.. what good is that ever going to do?

    If you’re so passionate about the scoring, Mick’s surfing, and so on.. go figure out something to do about it. Hiding behind an internet alter-ego ain’t gonna do shit.

  • no one said we hate surfing

    Myrie, please explain to the rest of the class how you came upon that conclusion?

    no one here hates watching professional surfing/ers. people hate the way Mick is over-hyped and under-stimulating. Mick has to be one of the most boring surfers on tour; perhaps slightly more exciting than Bede. at least Bede isn’t given all this false hype. if i were Mick i’d feel like an ass holding the WCT cup in those ASP commercials.

    don’t generalize everyone’s negative comments about Mick as people hating pro surfing and needing to go watch something else because it fits your apologetic assumption. it just simply isn’t the case.

    love, the class.

  • Nero

    To all those Mick haters who question his repetitive surfing. This is his job, to win competitions. He surfs like a machine and is more clinical and refined than any other surfer on the planet. He knows his style of power surfing wins heats so why would he change. For those of you who think he can’t do airs. Go watch Mick Fanning the Fire made 12 years ago. He was busting airs when John John was in nappies. Mick could do better hacks than John John at the age of 14. He has more respect than any other surfer on tour (except Kelly). Learn to accept. As Dane says Mick rules.

  • SurfingKook

    @Nero I’m not faulting Mick.I fault the tour; I fault the ASP; I fault the sponsors and the judges for enabling Mick to get away with repetitive surfing. Every year I attend the Trestles event and I’ll tell you firsthand, Mick is boring to watch. He leaves spectators with absolutely no feelings of excitement. There’s no hoo or awe in his surfing! It’s the same snap 4-to-5 times in a row on every wave in every heat at every contest. Is he fast – yes! Is the snap crisp – yes! But after seeing it for 5,6,7 years in a row now his surfing acts like a lullaby and it puts spectators to sleep. It’s equivalent to Medina pulling the same 360 aerial on every wave. The first time was awesome; the second time was okay; and by the third time you’re over it! I think that’s the point people are trying to make here in these chat rooms. The fans have had enough of watching Mick get over-scored for repetitive surfing. He doesn’t push the limits. He’s not the best surfer in the world – you know that, I know that, the ASP knows that, we all know that — yet he’s last years champion and now holds 3-titles?! That’s equal to Andy Irons which is astonishing because Andy excited people. He would pull amazing moves and last minute heroics like Kelly. Mick’s last minute heroics are fueled by the judges resulting in manipulated scores to give him the win! It happened last year at Pipe. It happened at Bells in the finals against Slater a few years back. It happens all the time. Mick shouldn’t even be in the top 5 and that’s the truth. The ASP needs to reward those who push the limits and penalize those who are repetitive.

  • Ben

    Fanning the fire is not a seminal performance piece. Remember the surf mag review of the movie: “Great surfing, though not in the same league as the untouchable Montaj.” And yes, he did a few weak airs but the were Kolohe class. And I much agree with the prior concerns about Mick’s legacy matching AI’s. AI dominated others, and for a period of time he was the single best surfer in the world. Mick has never, at any point in his life, been the world’s best… And yet he has three titles.