Gold Coast surfing superstar Mick Fanning is gearing up for a return to competitive surfing.
The World Surf League has confirmed the three-time World Champion has been handed a wildcard for the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic, starting on Friday.
It will be the first time the 39-year-old has competed since retiring in 2018. This year also marks 20 years since he won his first CT event, also as a wildcard, back at the 2001 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
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“I am excited to be back in a jersey,” Fanning said.
“I haven’t really had a challenge in the last few years.”
Fanning injured his knee in 2019, an injury that forced him out of the water for a considerable amount of time.
“I’ve been training and working to get my knee back to one-hundred percent,” he said.
“I wanted to get my surfing back to a level that I was happy with, as well. I feel like I am getting there.
“I’ve been working pretty hard in the last few months just personally, and then having this goal to be ready for this event has definitely kick-started a bit of fire in there.”
Fanning will be up against reigning World Champion Italo Ferreira and CT rookie Morgan Cibilic in Heat 6 of Round 1.