Australia's Mick Fanning is crowned world surfing champion in Hawaii
Australia's Mick Fanning on Saturday was crowned world surfing champion for the second time in three years. Fanning, 28, who went into the season-ending Billabong Pipeline Masters atop the ASP World Tour standings, clinched when fellow Australian Joel Parkinson was eliminated in the third round by wild-card entry Gavin Gillette.
Parkinson, 28, who was dominant early in the season but had faltered of late, was the only surfer with a mathematical chance of catching Fanning at the competition in Hawaii.
“I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now and I don’t quite know what to say,” said Fanning, who subsequently lost his fourth-round heat to Australia's Dean Morrison. “It was hard out there. I was trying to get ready for my heat and then Gavin got that one score as I was paddling out and, I don’t know, I just sort of slowed down.”
Fanning also won the title in 2007. The Pipeline Masters, the final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, will run to completion Sunday if conditions allow.
Photo: A jubilant Mick Fanning raises his arms in the air after winning the world surfing title.
Credit: ASP/CI/ Cestari via Getty Images