Heads up everyone! Bring your surfing paraphernalia and head on down to Ripcurl KLCC! Australian Rip Curl Surf Champ team surfers ASP World Champions Mick Fanning, Steph Gilmore, and topriders Owen Wright and Matt Wilkinson will be making their way to Ripcurl for a special autograph session! If you’re a surfing buff, then you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to meet them all in the flesh! Deets follow….
Date: 17 May 2010
Location: Rip Curl store KLCC
Stephanie Gilmore stormed onto the women’s professional surfing scene in 2005, winning the Roxy Pro Gold Coast at the age of 17. Since then, Stephanie (also known as ‘Happy’ for her infectious smile) has clinched her inaugural ASP Women’s World Title in her rookie season in 2007 and has went on to secure five ASP Women’s World Tour victories en route to her second consecutive ASP Women’s World Title. Talk about girl power!
Mick Fanning is one champ you shouldn’t miss. He has had an extraordinary life story and has faced some pretty high hurdles. When he was 16 and his career was just taking off his older brother Sean was killed in a car accident. Sean and Mick often spoke about doing the tour together and challenging each other and the best surfers in the world for a title. Mick was completely heartbroken after the death of his brother but he stayed true to their dream and continued on his rise as a professional surfer.
In 2002 Mick finished in the top five in his rookie year on the ASP World Tour and was moving closer to the number one spot each season when in 2004 tragedy struck again. While on a photo trip to Indonesia Mick tore his hamstring off the bone when he fell trying to execute a critical maneuver. Doctors were unsure whether he would ever fully recover. To repair the horrific tear Mick underwent major surgery. A steel grappling hook was drilled into a bone in the back of his leg to hold his hamstring in place. After six months of intense rehabilitation Mick was finally able to get back on a surfboard again He went on to beat Kelly Slater, the greatest surfer of all time and in 2009 Mick saw himself winning the World Champion title once again.
Growing up on NSW southcoast Owen Wright grew up practicing with perfect reef barrels and punchy beach breaks. Owen really made an impact on Hawaii’s North Shore when he was only 14 surfing a day at 3rd reef Pipeline and scoring some huge heaving Pipe barrels. His style is smooth and tight in the pocket with a handbook of Aerial maneuvers Owen loves nothing more than floating above the lip, but is just as happy in big meaty barrels. Working hard both in and out of the water 2009 is looking like a massive year for Owen with Dream Tour qualification in his sights.
Matt Wilkinson is recognised as one of Australia’s best young guns and this goofy dude has his sights set firmly on the ASP World Tour. Affectionately called ‘Wilko’, he has been a competition machine in the Juniors and will concentrate full-time on the World Qualifying Series this year. He lists Homer Simpson as a hero and was once featured in a Rip Curl Podcast getting “distracted” around 30-odd times during an interview! Wilko has a great traditional surfing style but is always pushing the progressive side of surfing too. He can nail airs at the drop of a hat and we’re working on him to invent something new very soon.