The 32-year-old Gold Coast surfer achieved his objective of winning two more heats on Sunday (AEST), but put his family and friends through an emotional wringer with the last-gasp nature of his victories.
He came from behind in both heats, only producing the decisive wave with around 90 seconds to go in each one.Fanning shaded American CJ Hobgood 12.00 to 10.50 in the fifth round after scoring a spectacular 9.50 under huge pressure with his final wave.
In the quarter-final, Australia’s world-ranked No.32 Yadin Nicol was on the verge of ousting Fanning, who needed a 9.57 to advance to the last four.With the clock again showing under two minutes, Fanning delivered once more, scoring a 9.70.
Not surprisingly, Fanning had little left in the tank for his semi-final against Hawaiian John John Florence.
Fanning was outscored 18.30 to 5.00, with Florence clinching his second Triple Crown title in the process.
Florence advanced to the final against 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, the only other man who had a chance of winning the title.
Slater showed dazzling form in both his quarter and semi-finals, but needed Fanning to lose before the semi-finals.
He defeated Australia’s 2012 world champion Joel Parkinson 19.63 to 14.84 in their semi-final, logging a perfect 10 and a 9.63.
Source: NSW Sports