A year after his encounter with a shark in Jeffreys Bay, Mick Fanning returned to produce a fairytale finish by winning the J-Bay Open of Surfing after beating John John Florence in an exciting 35 minute final.
Although only competing in select event due to taking a personal year, Fanning’s win sees him jump up to 5th place on the WSL leaderboard. Florence’s runner-up finish sees him move up to 2nd place in the leaderboard.
Florence scored his best ever result at J-Bay by beating SA’s Jordy Smith in the Quarterfinals and then Josh Kerr in the Semifinal to meet Fanning in the final.
Fanning Met Julian Wilson in the Semifinals, a rematch of sorts of last year’s dramatic final. Both opened strong with Wilson getting the lead but a strategic Fanning took the wave of the heat posting a 9.10 to win the heat.
Kelly Slater finished in 5th place after being defeated in the Quarterfinals by Kerr, and sits in 19th on the WSL leaderboard.
J-Bay Open Results
1st Mick Fanning 17.70
2nd John John Florence 17.13
SF 1: John John Florence 16.50 defeated Josh Kerr 14.43
SF 2: Mick Fanning 17.10 defeated Julian Wilson 15.17
QF 1: John John Florence 10.70 defeated Jordy Smith 10.50
QF 2: Josh Kerr 12.94 defeated Kelly Slater 11.97
QF 3: Julian Wilson 12.33 defeated Gabriel Medina 11.93
QF 4: Mick Fanning 17.64 defeated Filipe Toledo 16.40
Photos by WSL/ Kirstin and WSL / Cestari