The Australian Surfing Awards took place at the QT Gold Coast, where three-time WSL Men’s World Champion Mick Fanning was inducted into the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame.
“Public or private, there’s the sense that Mick Fanning, despite his renowned game face and rock-hard attitude in competition, is an open book. What you see is what you get, and that might be a quality Australians love in a person more than anything.
There were the inevitable comparisons with the original Coolie Kids of the 1970s: Wayne Bartholomew, Peter Townend and Michael Peterson. But these kids were different, and so were the times. Archetypal grommets of the late 1990s, they dived into the new century with gusto, making movies, signing contracts, and learning how to win. In 2001, Fanning did just that at world tour level, taking out the Rip Curl Pro at perfect Bells Beach as a 20-year-old wildcard. Four months later, he put in a defining series of free surfing performances in phenomenal winter waves at Lennox Head.
Both became classic defining moments — vital rites of passage for any great Australian surfer. But most of all, Mick Fanning has defined himself by comebacks. There was injury, like the hamstring avulsion that threatened to stop his title runs before they started. There was the crazily unexpected, like the white shark encounter during the J-Bay CT final in 2015, which remains the most-watched moment in professional surfing history. And more than anything else, there was family tragedy: the deaths of his brothers Sean and Peter.
In each case, he was able to draw out the lessons. The hamstring tear led to a strengthening and fitness regime that became a benchmark for elite surfing and contributed mightily to his first world championship.
Through all this, Mick grew from an almost inarticulate grommet to one of the great modern spokespeople for the Australian surfing culture. His humble and easy way of communicating carries through his many media and public appearances, always reinforcing that natural sense of who he is, and in the process, engaging all Australians and millions of people worldwide.
Mick Fanning retired from competition in 2018, with three world titles and a wide range of major event wins to his name, including four each at Bells and J-Bay. He lives on the Gold Coast and surfs all the time.”
Also awarded on the evening were fourteen additional categories The voting is done and the finalists are locked in for all of the categories in this year’s Australian Surfing Awards Iconic names like Wright, Robinson, and Tullemans are on the honour roll.
2021 Australian Surfing Awards Incorporating the Hall of Fame FINALISTS:
Male Surfer of the Year
Female Surfer of the Year
Griffith University Rising Star Award – Female
Griffith University Rising Star Award – Male
Max McGillivrayHeavy Water Award
ASB Greater Good Award
Mike Durante, Ron Clarke, Jenna Clarke – Surf February
Tahlia Anderson – Surfing The Spectrum
Cooper Chapman – The Good Human Factory
Peter Troy Lifetime Award
Coach Of The Year
ACCIONA Innovation Award
URBN Surf Melbourne
Surf Better Now
Surf Culture Award
Tracks Magazine – 50 Years
Chris Nelius and Team – Girls Can’t Surf
Vaughan Blakey – Postcards From Morgs and Free Scrubber
Simon Anderson Club Award
North Shelly Boardriders
Queenscliff Boardriders Club
Indigenous Surfing Community Celebration Award
Naru Indigenous Corporation
Nikon Surf Video of the Year
Spencer Frost – A Corner of the Earth
Tom Jennings – SPIRIT, Starring Jay Davies
Andrew Kaineder – FIRST NAME IN THE WATER | RUSS BIERKE | 90
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