Mick Fanning closer to world champ

Second round action at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2013 in Peniche on Monday resulted in Kelly Slater being knocked out of the competition by local star Frederico Morais (12.34 to 10.13). This development betters Australian surf hero and current ASP number one ranked Mick Fanning’s chances at becoming world champion. Slater is a perennial favorite and 11-time world champion while red-hot Mick Fanning is no slouch himself and is hoping to add a 3rd world title to his resumé.

Here is what Slater had to say about the day’s competition (via Rip Curl):

Frederico (Morais) had the better waves and capitalized on it, he made a couple big moves. I’m expecting now that I’ll probably need to win or at least make the Final in Hawaii for a shot at it. We got almost two months now, I’m going to go do some rehab, get my body back together and try to get my mind back in it. If this week works out, great; if not, well Mick Fanning has been the great performer of the year. Obviously his results have been great at every event, it’s hard to beat a guy like that.

Only four rounds were completed Monday morning before the competition was suspended due to bad conditions at Supertubos, the main competition spot. Like Slater, Mick Fanning was also matched against a Portuguese surfer in round two, 20 year old wild card entrant Francisco Alves. Unlike Slater Fanning was able to use his speed and power to best the local and advance towards round three (13.00 to 8.93).

It’s been a long week of getting up early every morning. This morning, conditions felt alright and once we got out there it felt a little bit weaker with that tide coming in. I’m just stoked to get the heat done and start moving. When you get the wildcard, people always want to see the underdog win, especially in Portugal where the fans are just fanatical, but it’s really cool to see. Francisco surfs really well.

–Mick Fanning (via AAP)

Organizers will be up early tomorrow to see if conditions are good enough to continue with the competition.

Mick Fanning

Mick Fanning doing his thing back in 2007. Pic: Kanaka Menehune (Flickr CC)

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