A Photo We Love: Mick Fanning

A moment that the 3x world champion probably can’t remember, yet will certainly never forget.

Mick Fanning
A Photo We Love: Mick Fanning© Corey Wilson/SurfingMagazine.com

You already know the story. Mick Fanning’s in the dying minutes of his Quarterfinal heat against Yadin Nicol at the 2013 Billabong Pipeline Masters. He needs a near perfect score. A massive set breaks on Pipe’s third reef. One minute later, Mick swings into one, stalls, gets barreled and comes out with the spit. The beach erupts. The judges are faced with the biggest decision of the year. And then, nothing.

Nothing at all. Just waiting. Was it the score? Was it not? The judges took their sweet time and everybody, including Mick Fanning, were hanging at the edge of a cliff wondering. Waiting. And waiting, and waiting.

This photo shows Mick entirely lost in anticipation. If you look closely, you’ll see Taylor Knox and Joel Parkinson — the two men who chaired him up the beach. They too are waiting. And if you look even more closely, you’ll see a guy wearing some sort or orange hamster costume. Weird.

Orange hamster suits aside, it’s a moment that Mick will never truly forget -- certainly those were the longest 30 seconds of his career, perhaps even of his life. After a pause that seemed like eternity, it was finally announced that Mick got the score. Elation, tears, relief all ensued. Congrats, big guy. That truly was your moment.