Young Australian sensation Mick Fanning has signed a lucrative new five-year sponsorship agreement with the international surfing company Rip Curl, extending the existing relationship until the end of 2006 at least.
The new deal rewards the 20-year-old from Tweed Heads in northern NSW for an extraordinary 2001 that clearly cemented his place as one of the surfing world’s most outstanding talents.
After signing his new contract, Mick said: “Rip Curl have been really good to me since I first signed with them five years ago and I’m stoked with my new deal. I’m really looking forward to this year now, being on the World Championship Tour for the first time, and I just hope I have as good a year as I did last year.”
Over the past three years Mick has stamped himself as a potential future world champion with a highly consistent run of competition successes and awards that includes:
* Winning the 1999 Narrabeen Pro Junior (an event also previously won by Tom Carroll, Mark Occhilupo and Kelly Slater).
* Being the biggest prize winner (A$21,000) at the 1999 Super Skins specialty event, among a field that included Mark Occhilupo, Damien Hardman, Luke Egan and a number of other current and past World Championship Tour surfers.
* Winning the 2000 Mark Richards Newcastle City Pro 4-Star World Qualifying Series event.
* Nomination for the “Best Surfing Newcomer Award” alongside Taj Burrow, Zane Harrison and Bruce Irons in the 2000 NEA Extreme Sports Awards.
* Winning the 2001 Wet Dreams Masters 6-star World Qualifying Series event, at Western Australia’s Margaret River.
* Winning the 2001 Rip Curl Pro World Championship Tournament at Bells Beach, Victoria – becoming only the second wildcard entrant to win a WCT.
* Being named USA Surfer Magazine’s “Breakthrough Performer of 2001” – an award previously won by Bruce Irons and CJ Hobgood.
* Winning the 2001 ASP World Qualifying Series by a record margin, ensuring his place among the world’s Top 46 surfers contesting this year’s World Championship Tour.
* Nomination for ESPN-TV’s “Surfer of 2001” Award alongside CJ Hobgood, Bruce and Andy Irons.
In recognition of Mick’s great talent and recent rise, Rip Curl is now producing “Fanning The Fire” – a video profile of a truly humble young surfer. Due to go on sale worldwide in early March, the video features a collection of phenomenal action footage, plus interviews with Mick and a number of the world’s leading surfers.