Former world champion Mick Fanning's run of fine form at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach was halted in Sunday's final by close friend Joel Parkinson. Fanning had been the standout performer throughout the event and had chalked up many high-scoring single-wave points in the previous rounds, but the two-time former world champion was beaten by a perfect 10 and an 8.53 from fellow Gold Coaster Parkinson.
Fanning admitted that if anyone was going to beat him at Bells, it should be his friend.
"To have a mate beat me makes it a bit easier to swallow, but I’m still fired up for the rest of the year." –Fanning
"It was a tough final,” Fanning said. “For some reason, over time we have a heat and he gets in sync real early. I tried to fight back but it was too little, too late.
"Surfing against your mate is just like surfing against anyone else – you’ve just got to go out and think about yourself and catching waves and getting scores. To have a mate beat me makes it a bit easier to swallow, but I’m still fired up for the rest of the year.”
The result pushes Fanning up to sixth from 13th on the current ASP World Tour rankings list.
It was also a great week for Adriano de Souza, who moves up to fourth in the world rankings after defeating 10-time world champion Kelly Slater to reach the semifinals, where he lost to Parkinson.
"I found my rhythm in the heat against Kelly,” De Souza said. “But against Joel I couldn’t find any waves. I’m so frustrated because I wanted to ring the Bell, but I’m really happy with my result. Kelly is my hero; he just didn’t get any waves, then it happened to me in the next round. It happens to everyone. Next up is my home event in Brazil; I hope Brazil is proud of me and Jadson (Andre) for doing well at this event.”
Jordy Smith narrowly lost out to Fanning in the other semifinal despite scoring 17.23, but the South African remains third in the rankings, which was a source of some comfort after struggling all week.
"It was a nice last wave [against Fanning]," Smith said. "But it was a pity I didn’t get any before that. I’ve felt off all week so to get a third is pretty good. I’ve got two thirds now, which is kind of frustrating because you want to make the final, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Third is better than fifth.”
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.53
2 – Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.26
RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.33 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.00
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.87 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.23
ASP WORLD TITLE RATINGS (After Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 15,200 pts
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14,000 pts
3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13,000 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10,500 pts
4. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10,500 pts
Follow Red Bull on Twitter for the latest athlete and event updates.
- Sally Fitzgibbons gets her first ASP win at Bells
- Video: Scoring a mammoth wave in Teahupoo
- More Red Bull Surfing