Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
World Championship Tour (WCT), Event #5 of 12
Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.
16 - 26 July 2002
Fanning Wins All Australian Final
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa (Thursday, July 25)
Mick Fanning today defeated
fellow Australian Mick Lowe to win the 2002 Billabong Pro in epic
conditions. In doing so, he collected US$30,000 prizemoney and 1,200 ratings
points toward this year´s World Championship Tour (WCT) title race.
Perfect 4-5 ft (1.5m) waves persisted throughout the day, with W/N/W winds
creating the classic J-Bay line up under a clear blue sky. Of the 14 surfers
left in contention when the day commenced at 7:30am (local time),
Australians accounted for all but one of the quarterfinal spots.
Fanning, the 2001 World Qualifying Series (WQS) champion with one previous
WCT credit to his name as a wildcard in 2000, dominated today´s 35-minute
final. The 21 year old collected a 9.0 for a series of huge forehand carves
and long barrel rides on one ride, before paddling into a bigger set wave at
the 20-minute mark. Upon standing, he powered off the bottom and preceded
straight into arguably the most futuristic manoeuvre of the event, a carving
reverse 360 off the lip, then continued to execute precise carves and find
clean tubes down the line for a near-perfect 9.8 score. Another 8.9 toward
the end sealing victory with the highest combined three wave total of the
entire tournament for 27.7-points.
Afterward, he was greeted by defending two-time Billabong Pro champion Jake
Paterson and fellow Australian surfers Joel Parkinson and Nathan Hedge, who
showered him in beer and then lifted him above their shoulders for a victory
ride up the beach.
"I´m that stoked," exclaimed Fanning, surrounded by media and with an
Australian boxing Kangaroo flag draped behind him. "Oh my god... I´ve had
17th (place) finishes all year and to come back with a win, I´m just the
happiest kid in the world right now.
"It´s great," he continued, of the Aussie support. "I look up to those guys
all the time, so to come out on top and just to be surfing such perfect
waves with ´Lowey´, it was a dream come true. That´s what surfing is all
about. Just having a ball.
"I didn´t mean that," he admitted, when asked about the carving forehand
reverse. "I just did it and expected to fall off the back, but I made it
somehow and heard the crowd roaring (laughs). I couldn´t let him win two in
Lowe, winner of the previous WCT in Fiji, displayed a devastating backhand
attack all tournament. In the final he posted an 8.0 first wave, but
basically had to chase his opponents ever-increasing lead. Still, the
powerful goofy footer jumped into second position on the current ratings
after his runner-up finish.
"Well done Mick, great surfing," said Lowe, as he embraced Fanning
mid-interview. "You had answers to everything I did, so well done.
"I actually had priority for the wave he scored 9.8 on, and I let him go,"
he then explained. "I took off the next one and it was terrible. That´s the
way luck goes. It´s been a long and good day, and I´m really happy for Mick.
He´s been surfing incredible all event and was one of the form guys.
"Just to even make the final in such perfect waves again, especially
back-to-back from Fiji last month, I´m stoked," he continued. "We had
perfect Cloudbreak and now we´ve had perfect J-Bay. Hopefully we´ll have
perfect Trestles (next WCT in California) as well, and be able to showcase
some different surfing."
Equal third today were Australians Danny Wills and Joel Parkinson. Wills,
who fought back to beat local wildcard favorite Sean Holmes in their
quarterfinal, wasn´t able to repeat the performance against Fanning in the
semis. The diminutive surfer trailed from the outset, and after making a few
mistakes while his opponent continued to add big scores, required a wave
"I knew it was going to be tough against Mick," conceded Wills. "I made a
few mistakes and it cost me. You get up around the semis and you can´t make
any mistakes, especially against a guy like that on a point break like this.
I´m a bit bummed, but I´m stoked to make the semis. I´ve never been past the
fourth round here, so it´s pretty good. I just got beaten.
"I just hope I can maintain my focus," he added, of the upcoming events on
tour. "It´s such a long year. It´s good to make another semifinal, as it
will help my ratings and the cause. I´ll go work on my boards and just get
ready for the long leg."
Parkinson, who won the 1999 Billabong Pro as a wildcard, fell on his last
wave against Lowe and there lost his chance for another title at Jeffreys in
2002. The 21 year old actually tied his opponent´s two-wave total, but on a
best single wave count back, he came up short. Having earlier eliminated
1999 world champion Mark Occhilupo (Aus) in a fantastic clash, the current
#4 was disappointed not to have more rest time in-between the quarters and
"Yeah, I just kooked it," said Parkinson, moments after falling on his final
ride. "It happens. When you lose on account of your own mistakes it hurts. I
was pretty tired from the last heat with ´Occy´ as I had to get straight
back out there, so I just wish I´d had a little longer of a break. Can´t
complain though, they were perfect waves."
Finishing equal fifth in the Billabong Pro were Taj Burrow (Aus), Sean
Holmes (SAfr), and Australians Kieren Perrow and Occhilupo.
Burrow, the standout yesterday after eliminating six-time world champ Kelly
Slater and current #3 Shea Lopez (both Florida, USA), failed to find the
same form against Fanning. A third quarterfinal finish moving him into 10th
position heading into Trestles and the all-important European leg of the
"Yeah, I made a few mistakes, but there was kind of only one set during the
whole heat," reasoned Burrow. "Mick surfed a good heat and I knew it was
going to be a hard one. Fifth´s not too bad, so I´ll take it. I feel my
strongest leg of the tour is yet to come, so I hope I can get some results."
Holmes, who earlier accounted for current ratings #2 Cory Lopez (USA) and
then #1 Andy Irons (Haw) yesterday, this morning eliminated an in-form Dean
Morrison (Aus). Against Wills in their quarterfinal, the South African
opened with a series of long barrel rides for the third perfect 10 of the
tournament, but was unable to find a decent second wave and watched his
strong lead dissolve away.
"That first one was great, buy I just couldn´t find another wave that would
allow me to do some turns," said Holmes. "That´s the way the cookie
crumbles. To get a 10 in the first five minutes of a heat is not great for
any guy competing against you, so everything to ´Willsy´. He surfed his
waves well and deserved to win. I´m pretty stoked and it was awesome surfing
in front of all the locals."
Perrow, now rated 14th, amassed the highest two-wave total of the event for
19.3 points, following a 9.5 and then 9.8 rides against fellow Aussie Phil
MacDonald in round four. Against Lowe in the quarterfinals, however, he
ultimately required another score worth 9.26 points.
Occhilupo, who opened his quarterfinal against Parkinson with a fantastic
9.4 ride, missed a crucial wave while holding priority and watched the
situation change. ´Parko´ was able to catch it, scored 9.0, and eventually
left ´Occ´ needing another 8.61 score by heat end.
"Yeah, I got a good one, but I knew he´d come back," said Occhilupo. "My
biggest mistake was missing that wave he got the nine on ´cause I had
priority. I thought it was going to break new me, but it didn´t and that was
the heat. It is a bit upsetting, but I lost to a pretty good surfer."
A second Mitchell Surfing Foundation (MSF) expression session took place
after the final, with Shane Dorian (Haw) winning the most radical award,
Darren O´Rafferty (Aus) the best tube ride, Damien Hobgood (USA) pulled off
the most innovative manoeuvre, and Phil MacDonald proved the most
Official results of the 2002 Billabong Pro
1st Mick Fanning (Aus) 27.7 - US$30,000
2nd Mick Lowe (Aus) 21.6 - US$16,000
Semifinals (defeated finish =3rd; receive US$10,000)
SF1: Mick Fanning (Aus) 17.6 def. Danny Wills (Aus) 15.25
SF2: Mick Lowe (Aus) 15.75 def. Joel Parkinson (Aus) 15.75
Quarterfinals (defeated finish =5th; receive US$8,000)
QF1: Mick Fanning (Aus) 16.5 def. Taj Burrow (Aus) 12.5
QF2: Danny Wills (Aus) 17.6 def. Sean Holmes (SAfr) 14.65
QF3: Mick Lowe (Aus) 17.35 def. Kieren Perrow (Aus) 15.85
QF4: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 18.0 def. Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 17.4
Round Four (defeated finish =9th; receive US$5,000)
H3: Danny Wills (Aus) 17.65 def. Lee Winkler (Aus) 8.5
H4: Sean Holmes (SAfr) 13.75 def. Dean Morrison (Aus) 13.25
H5: Kieren Perrow (Aus) 19.3 def. Phil MacDonald (Aus) 13.25
H6: Mick Lowe (Aus) 14.25 def. Pat O´Connell (USA) 13.25
H7: Mark Occhilupo (Aus) 16.05 def. Nathan Hedge (Aus) 15.25
H8: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 17.0 def. Fabio Gouveia (Brz) 11.75
Current Top 10 Ratings after Billabong Pro
1: Andy Irons (Haw) 4,092-points
2: Mick Lowe (Aus) 3,600
3: Shea Lopez (USA) 3,528
4: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 3,444
=5th Mark Occhilupo (Aus); Danny Wills (Aus) 3,372
7: Cory Lopez (USA) 3,276
8: Luke Egan (Aus) 3,204
9: CJ Hobgood (USA) 3,168
=10 Taj Burrow (Aus); Kalani Robb (Haw) 3,156
Live coverage available here
Stay abreast of the action at the Billabong Pro by logging on to www.billabongpro.com where there will be live streaming of scores, images and commentary.
Previous report #1: 2002 Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay WCT event fact sheet
Previous report #2: Worlds top rated surfers head to Jeffreys Bay for WCT
Previous report #3: Withdrawal creates space for extra wildcard at J-Bay
Previous report #4: Billabong Pro underway at J - Bay in good conditions
Previous report #5: Andy Irons sets pace at Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay
Previous report #6: Billabong Pro WCT postponed due to stormy conditions
Previous report #7: Holmes eliminates Lopes as J-Bay wct action resumes
Previous report #8: South African wildcard creates upset at Jeffreys Bay
Previous report #9: Billabong Pro J-Bay postponed due to swell decrease
Previous report #10: Small J-Bay surf postpones Billabong Pro again today
Previous report #11: Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay continues to wait for swell
Previous report #12: Sarges photo report from Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay
Previous report #13: Epic waves predicted in coming days for Billabong Pro
Previous report #14: WCT remains on hold MSF Expression session blasts
Previous report #15: Burrow eliminates Slater at J-Bay & rockets to quarters
The Hotline number: +27-(0)-42-200-2680 is updated regularly each day
throughout the duration of the Billabong Pro.
www.billabongpro.com & www.aspworldtour.com
Media Director, ASP Int´l
Mob (Aus): +61-(0)-407-189-289
ASP Office (Aus): +61-(0)-755-991-550
Mandy McKinnon - Billabong Media:
Mobile (Aus) +0417-079-941
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Paul Botha: +27 (0) 21 786 4282 / +27 (0) 82 423 1964
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