MICK Fanning’s ASP World Surfing title defence is back on course, after the Gold Coaster survived sudden death and won his round three heat at the Fiji Pro.
Fanning found himself in the relegation round yesterday morning, but managed to dig deep and advance to the third round where he pulled off a big score against Alejo Muniz (15.07 to 8.44) to move into the last 12 of the competition.
The ABC reports, he’s keen to end Kelly Slater’s reign as the king of the waves at Cloudbreak, where the ever-green American has won four times.
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Fanning finished runner-up in Fiji last year to 11-time world champion Slater and says a victory at Cloudbreak would be a definite career highlight.
“I’d love to win this event,” he said. “Kelly has had a strangle hold on it for a long time.”
“There are so many great surfers out here that are so good, so a lot can happen,” he added.
Slater is also through to the fourth round after dominating his round-three match-up against Australian wildcard Mitch Coleborn.
Coolangatta star Joel Parkinson is also into the fourth round after a win over Glenn Hall (14.16 to 6.17).
Owen Wright from Lennox Head took down Currumbin local Bede Durbidge in a narrow victory (16.16 to 15.93).