Billabong Pro Mundaka Round One Completed at Bakio
Current world number one Mick Fanning has moved a step closer to securing his maiden world title by winning comfortably through to the third round of the Billabong Pro surfing event in Spain.
The man they call white lightening can secure the title on Spanish soil with an event win, but only if compatriot Taj Burrow and eight time world champion Kelly Slater fail to reach the semi final stage.
Lake like conditions at the famed Mundaka left hander saw a relocation to nearby Bakio beach on the opening day of play, with light footed Fanning dominating his first round match. An 8.17 followed by an 8.90 was easily enough to relegate fellow Aussie Kai Otton and Tahitian wildcard Manoa Drollet into the losers second round.
World number four Joel Parkinson blasted his way into round three with an impressive performance over American duo Cory Lopez and Gabe Kling. A near perfect 9.33 ride clinched it for the smooth surfing Aussie, who took to the air in the small waves to score 17.83 out of a possible 20.00. Despite his childhood friend Fanning currently in poll position to claim the world title, Parkinson is adamant the year is far from over.
The upset of the round went to local Basque wildcard Aritz Aranburu who sent three times world champion Andy Irons and Australian rookie Ben Dunn packing into the losers second. Aranburu was a late inclusion in the Billabong Pro following the withdrawal of South African Travis Logie and after watching the event his whole life, now finds himself battling it out against the worlds best.
French surfer Jeremy Flores notched up a sixth first round win on his rookie season with a victory over Australian pair Troy Brooks and Michael Lowe. The current world number eight has had a stellar tour debut and is in the box seat to take out the ASP rookie of the year award. Keeping busy in the small line-up, Flores rode 12 waves in the 30-minute-heat to steal the win by less than 0.1 of a point over Brooks.