Mick Fanning’s title hopes take a hit after Tahiti loss

Mick Fanning’s world title hopes have taken a hit after being eliminated in round three of the Billabong Pro in Tahiti by lowly-ranked Spaniard Aritz Aranburu.

In his first event since he was attacked by a shark at Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa, the Australian couldn’t get going in four-foot surf at the iconic Tahitian reef break of Teahupo’o on Tuesday.

It was a convincing win for 39th-ranked Aranburu, who shot out to an early advantage with wave scores of 7.00 and 8.17 to easily account for Fanning’s best of 5.17 and 1.50.


Fanning had the chance to surge to the top of the championship with a win, after rankings lead , Brazilian Adriano De Souza, was eliminated just the heat before.

Currumbin surfer Bede Durbidge also suffered a third round defeat this morning.

Fellow locals Josh Kerr and Joel Parkinson will be up in their round three heats later today if the event continues.