Keen to put his encounter with a shark at the J Bay Open behind him, Mick Fanning has returned to competitive surfing with a gutsy performance at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. The competition got underway in less than ideal conditions and was a day when the surfing world waited to see how the infamous shark episode would affect Mick’s performance.
The wave at Teahupoo looked like a messy beach break wave at times, rather than the fearsome slab wave that we are all accustomed to seeing and as the conditions deteriorated the contest commissioner Kieren Perrow was forced to call off Round 1 prematurely. The testing conditions were no problem for Kelly Slater, who even after getting guillotined by the Teahupoo lip, then posted the highest score of the day with a combined score of 15.10, whilst rookie Spaniard Aritz Aranburu took an early win over the experienced Filipe Toledo and Keanu Asing.
The full results and highlight videos can be seen at the official WSL website and it will be fingers crossed for improved conditions, when the Dawn Patrol returns at 7.30 am local time. In the meantime we have embedded a WSL clip below of, Mick Fanning talking about how he is pleased to return to competitive surfing following the much publicised shark attack at J Bay. Would you be quite as cool as Mick and what are your thoughts on running the opening heat in such messy conditions?
Photos courtesy of WSL/Kelly Cestari/Stephen Robertson