Heard of The Don award? It’s a Sport Australia Hall Of Fame Award named after the first hall of fame inductee, cricketer Sir Donald Bradman. Each year it’s delivered to the Australian sportsman who most inspired the nation. And this year, there’s three surfers in the mix.
Obviously, Mick Fanning is front and centre. How could he not be, after surviving a shark brawl at the start of a world tour event final? Then there’s Julian Wilson, who was also in that final, and after a second of processing what was happening, started paddling as hard as he could towards Mick, planning to assist in any way he could. Also in the mix is Sally Fitzgibbon, who blew out her eardrum during the Fiji Pro, but strapped her head up and kept surfing to win the event.
Other nominees include golfer Jason Day, Rugby League star turned NFL player Jarryd Hayne, and the Socceroos. There’s 12 nominees who’ll be trimmed down to four finalists before the winner is announced at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame event in October.
It’s hard to imagine that one of the three surfers won’t be awarded the induction, and most likely Mick given the nature of the “most inspired the nation” criteria and the fact that, for a time, it was impossible to turn on any television or smart device without seeing that thrashing fin and that blue jersey.
Unfortunately, Mick and Jules will be in Portugal on the night that the awards are held. Sally, however, will be on a break between France and Maui.
Photo: WSL / Sean Rowland
1. Flawless Fanning
That was surely as close to flawless as you can get. There was barely a hiccough all event long for Fanning, as the three time champ put on a display of timing you’ll find hard to surpass. It’s one thing to have all the speed in the world but the ability to store it up via deep fades and bottom turns, to allow the wave to catch up to you, before clobbering it into the stratosphere is a Fanning signature. Few surfers have combined speed, accuracy, power and flow like he has. Watch as he blast sections into the sky or Zoro’s the shit out of it with top turn hooks for this 9 in the final. “They don’t call him the surgeon for nothing. He just gave that thing a face lift,” noted commentator Ross Williams.
For more on this story, check out: http://www.surfinglife.com.au/world-tour/14124-top-five-takeaways-from-trestles
For more photos, check out: http://www.surfingmagazine.com/wsl/mick-fanning-wins-the-2015-hurley-pr…
For more photos, check out: http://www.surfermag.com/photos/hurley-pro-finals/#8655a4f031…
Mick rode FCS II fins at the competition and his board featured a single to double concave. Photo: G…