Getting back to J-Bay was a big priority for 3X World Champion Mick Fanning this year. Beyond surfing one of his favorite waves on the planet, there was that other little matter that needed addressing: burying the memory of last year's shark encounter.
But Fanning's bigger plans for picking up where he left off last year (he was surfing in the Final during the incident) hit a snag during his first warm-up session when he rolled his ankle in an awkward wipeout.
Doctors quickly determined Fanning had suffered a high-ankle sprain, and told him to rest it, which he did, dutifully. He watched in agony last week as a fresh swell lit up Supertubes and several CT stars drank it in.
But Fanning's wait paid off. He hit the water again Tuesday, one day before the J-Bay Open waiting period begins. On Tuesday afternoon he posted the following on his Instagram:
Good to go tomorrow! Ankle will hopefully hold in for the event, had a surf on it this morning and went better than expected. Thanks to Elmien Hugo for working on it all week. Super excited to go again at the #jbayopen - Mick Fanning
Mick will be surfing in the Heat 1 of Round One, against Alejo Muniz and Conner Coffin. Tune in live at 7:30 am SAST.