Mick Fanning’s World Title defence takes a hit

MICK FANNING has been sent into the Round 2 elimination heats at the Moche Rip Curl Pro in Portugal.

The Coolangatta local was knocked into the do-or-die heats by Sebastian Zietz who took control of his heat in the opening minutes with a long beautiful barrel for an excellent 8.17.

“I was watching the waves and it just started cleaning up,” said Zietz.


“I was hunting for the barrels, like I do at home everyday. Supertubos reminds me a little bit of my local beach break. Hopefully I can get a result here, so I don’t have to do the Prime in Brazil and I can go home a little sooner,” he added.

Just seven surfers remaining in contention to clinch the coveted trophy, only Gabriel Medina has the chance to take the ASP World Title in Portugal.

However, if Fanning is unable to make it through his heat when the event resumes his chances of defending his World Championship title are very slim.

Better luck for fellow local Joel Parkinson who made it safely through to Round 3 as well as Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina and an in form Jadson Andre, who took down young gun John John Florence in their first heat.

“I’m really happy to find my way, to be surfing good and enjoying it,” said Andre.

“It’s not easy out there and you have to be lucky to get the right waves. My game plan was to catch a lot of waves and I’m stoked I made the heat.”

Some big surf is expected over the next couple of days but there’s a chance some strong wind gusts could cause a few laydays.