Mick Fanning To Become Australian Cricket Captain

And Wilko drops a clanger tribute to his mate and hero

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Australian sport is in turmoil. The Australian cricket team is a disgrace, the footy codes are still suffering fan fatigue from drugs and salary cap scandals, and throwing thongs at goannas trying to steal sausages that fall off the BBQ plate will net you a $300 fine from the rangers if they happen to catch ya doing it. We need a hero. We need someone who can rekindle some faith in the sports that were once at the heart of our nation’s pride. We need Mick Fanning! Imagine Mick Fanning Australian cricket captain, wouldn’t matter if he couldn’t hit a ball or place a field, we’d all be at the MCG on Boxing Day just to watch him walk out in the baggy green for sure. Or what about Mick Fanning Brownlow Medalist, or State of Origin half time orange peeler? And why limit him to just sport? How about Mick Fanning Gold Logie winner? Or Mick Fanning PM! He could single handedly bring renewed respectability to even the most tarnished of institutions the shark bashing legend that he is. Aaaah we can dream… In the meantime the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach kicks off today and Mick will be starting his campaign for one final swing at the Bell. And to celebrate we dedicated an entire issue of SW to great man’s career complete with testimonials and tributes from his greatest friends and rivals, including the following one from fellow Bell ringer Matt Wilkinson. Read it and laugh and then go grab yourself a bit of surfing history.

“Nah mate ya board’s shit ay.” Mick, a true friend.

“I only remember the times that I’ve beaten Mick. The rest of our heats I’ve erased from my memory. So that leaves me with a recollection of one heat. Ha! In the past few years I’ve had a bit more of a brain going for heats against Mick but in the past it felt like the end of the event for me if I drew him. I’d be like “Well, I’ve made round 3 and now I’ve got Mick so, that was pretty good.” He’s so good at switching between being on and ready for a heat and then back being himself. The afternoon before or the morning of the event you’d speak to him and he’d be normal but then as soon as you’re down the comp, especially in his world title winning years, he was not there for anything but the win. You could see it in his eyes, his whole persona was different. He was the full ice man. You’d have conversations with him that he wasn’t even part of. Haha! The one heat that sticks out me most is the one time I beat him. It was in Peniche and I needed a score and paddled for a wave and missed it and he swung and got an 8.5. As it turned out the next wave was better and I got a 9.5 and the win. But then later I was thinking about it and the only reason I got the win is because I was too shit at paddling to get the first one and that ended up putting me on the wave that would have been his. Haha! Tactics. I’m gonna miss having him on tour. He’s the guy you go to for honest feedback. He helps you through personal shit when you have stuff going on, helps you feel loved if you’ve done something stupid, tells you your board looks shit if it does, and that’s not before your heat with him either, haha. He’s the friend who gives you truly honest guidance and wants the best for you. It’ll be weird without him. I won’t miss losing to him though so that’ll be nice.”
– Matt Wilkinson, Bells Beach Champion 2016.

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Vaughan Blakey