World champs has Donegal roots

World surfing champion Mick Fanning.

World surfing champion Mick Fanning.

Surf star, Mick Fanning, who has strong Donegal connections has claimed his third world surfing title in Hawaii just prior to the Christmas holidays.

Mick is the son of Malin head man, John Fanning, who left Donegal to work in England in the 1960’s before moving to Australia in 1970.

Mick has visited Donegal a number of times in the past and has enjoyed surfing at a number of locations around the county.

His last visit was back in the summer, midway through the European leg of his assault on the hotly contest world title crown.

Just like the recent stormy conditions and high seas that have been battering Donegal, the finals of the World championships went down to the wire in the huge surf of a slightly warmer Hawaii where he faced a tough battle against surfing legend Kelly Slater who was in the hunt for his 12th world title.

Although Mick did not enjoy a wave blessed visit to Donegal in August with only small waves, there was no shortage of massive waves at the location known as “Pipeline” on the island of Oahu, where it looked as if he was twice out of the running to clinch his third title, before making two remarkable last minute comebacks in his heats to put the title beyond Slater’s reach.

Fanning’s visit to Donegal features in a new surf film called “Missing”.




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