TRIPLE worlds champion Mick Fanning has beaten his “favourite surfer — Aussie young gun Ethan Ewing — to reactivate his bid to win a fourth Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach title.
On a stunning day at the famed Victorian surf spot, Fanning produced some of his best surfing this year to emerge unscathed from the elimination second round.
The casualty was young star Ewing, the world junior champion who is competing as a rookie on the world surf league.
“He is my favourite surfer right now,’’ Fanning said of Ewing, who many believe could be vying for the Rookie of the Year crown this season.
“I knew I had to throw everything at him.’’
And so he did with Fanning producing two nine point waves to beat Ewing 18.20 to 12.03.
“I’m glad I got to surf against him,’’ Ewing said after the heat.
Also surviving the do-or-die second round was Joel Parkinson, also a multiple winner at Bells Beach.
Parkinson produced a 16.57 heat to send Miguel Pupo packing.
Sydney rookie Connor O’Leary also advanced into the third round with his defeat of Brazilian surfer Jadson Andre as did Bede Durbidge with his win over Stu Kennedy.
Originally published as Fanning beats his favourite surfer
SOURCE: newsnow sport