Mick Fanning Claims Billabong Pro Tahiti, Cements ASP WCT Rankings' Lead
Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pro Tahiti culminated in dynamic fashion today, with swell pulsing for the all-Australian Final.
Fanning was put on the ropes early in the Final bout with Parkinson collecting a 9.50 and an 8.87 on his opening two rides. However, former event runner-up fought back mid-heat with an impressive 9.37 before backing it up with a nail-biting 9.50 to take the lead and hold it as the buzzer ran out. With today's win, Fanning has become the first Australian since Mark Occhilupo (AUS), 46, in 1999 to claim the Billabong Pro Tahiti title and has further cemented himself into the frontrunner spot on the 2012 ASP WCT rankings.
"It's a 35 minute Final so I knew the waves were going to come," Fanning said. "I just had to be patient. It's Teahupo'o so it goes on and off. You can get two 10s in two minutes so I knew I just needed to keep my composure throughout the Final. Joel (Parkinson) is such an incredible surfer and he's gotten so good out here. He raced out to an early lead and I knew I needed to focus on my own game plan. I got that good score about mid-heat and then was able to sell him when he had priority on one that didn't pan out for him. The second wave was the one and it's an incredible feeling to come back and get the win. I'm stoked."
Joel Parkinson (AUS) placed runner up behind Mick Fanning (AUS) cementing the No. 2 position on the ratings.