ONE of Australia’s most idolised surfers, Mick Fanning, has announced he will retire from professional surfing after the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
The three-time world champion made the shock announcement in a post on Facebook and Instagram overnight, saying he “can’t find the motivation and dedication required to compete for World Titles anymore.”
The 36-year-old said it was only fitting that the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach would be his last event as it was where he won his first tour back in 2001.
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“It’s time. I’ve decided the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be my last event as a full-time competitor on the World Surf League Championship Tour,” Fanning wrote.
“I will be competing at the opening event at home on the Gold Coast and then wrapping things up at the Rip Curl Pro. Bells Beach is where my Championship Tour career really kicked off, I’ve always loved the place and it seems a fitting stop to finish things up.
“The tour has given me so much but I need a fresh challenge.”
The local surfing legend thanked his family, sponsors, surfboard shaper Darren Handley and fellow support crew before sending love to his fans.
“And thanks to the fans and everyone that has encouraged me and cheered me on for all these years”.
Fanning said he was “looking forward to life away from the tour while keeping a close eye on things.”
“I’m also looking forward to evolving my own surfing in new ways, visiting unfamiliar places and taking on different experiences.”
In the words of the man himself, “Cheers and thanks for the memories..”