Mick Fanning set for WSL return at Lower Tresles

Mick Fanning will return to the world of competitive surfing when the Hurley Pro gets underway at California’s cobblestone break of Lower Trestles on Wednesday.

The 3-time world champion is set to take on fellow Australian and good mate Joel Parkinson and Brazilian Jadson Andre in round one of the event.

Fanning will be hoping to recapture his form in this event last year, where he claimed the title over Adriano de Souza in the final.


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It will also be the first competition where Hawaiian superstar John John Florence will don the yellow leader’s jersey after taking the top spot on the rankings from Australia Matt Wilkinson.

Florence sits 3,900 points above Wilko after a runner-up finish in Tahiti, but will need to follow up with another big result here to stay in contention.

The Hawaiian is currently holding on to two Equal 13th place finishes that will be thrown out at season’s end if he maintains his current form.

Florence will start his Trestles campaign against Australian threat Davey Cathels and Hurley Pro Trials winner and former CT competitor, Brett Simpson.

“It would mean everything to have my name on the World Title Trophy,” said Florence.

“It is my life’s goal to win a World Title, but I am not thinking about it too much. We still have so many contests to go this season. I am so stoked to be at Lowers, and I plan to have fun here. This place is so rippable and one of the most playful waves on Tour. I am stoked to be first on the rankings, but again I am not thinking about it too much. I don’t want to put that pressure on myself. I am just going to surf the way I’ve been surfing and it seems like it has been working, so I will keep on that path.”

Wilkinson could not be more eager to get the yellow jersey back and reclaim his position atop the rankings.

The Australian goofy-footer must find the spark that carried him through two wins at the start of the year in order to keep pace with Florence.

Wilkinson will face the powerful style of 2016 WSL Rookie Conner Coffin and wildcard Tanner Gudauskas in Round 1 Heat 5.

“I love surfing out here even though I haven’t had a huge result, but that kind of number hasn’t stopped me this year so hopefully I can get another big one,” Wilkinson said.

“It’s been a goal of mine since I was a little kid so to have my name on the World Title trophy would be pretty unbelievable. I’m really excited for this one and maybe get that yellow jersey back.”

Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, are calling for:

A long run of very rippable and favorably angled SW swell on track to build the first couple days of the waiting period, showing the most size the 8th-11th of September. Reinforcing SSW/S swell looks to keep fun-zone surf running through the middle of next week, with potential for modest SW’erly swell over the last couple days of the event waiting period. Winds look generally favorable in the mornings, though SE flow may add some light crumble Thursday. Afternoon winds are lightest Wed/Thu, with light to moderate Westerly flow returning for the afternoons on Friday.

Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Nat Young (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Davey Cathels (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 7: Adriano De Souza (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 9: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Stu Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA)

Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Lakey Peterson (USA)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)