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Sunday, September 27, 2009
Updated: June 15, 12:06 PM ET
Fanning On Fire

After a win at the Hurley Pro in California, Mick Fanning's victory at the Quiksilver Pro France makes it two in a row.
Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson have been friends for a long time, but with Mick's win today at the Quiksilver Pro France (the second in as many events), it would appear that their relationship could be hitting a rocky patch. As we head down the home stretch of the 2009 World Tour season a meager 146 points separates the two "Coolie kids."

"You couldn't club the smile off my face with a stale baguette," joked Mick on his Twitter page.

With the 936-point cushion that Parko enjoyed at event's start all but gone, the world title race has obviously tightened, but it's even closer than you might think. Thanks to stat man Mike Newman, consider this:

  • Mick's 2009 win ration is 76.19%, while Parko's is 81.48%.

  • Mick's 2009 average heat score is a 14.96, while Parko's is 14.98.

  • Mick has eight scores over 17.00, while Parko has six.

  • On average Mick wins an event every eight events he surfs, while Parko wins one every 9.9 times he surfs.
  • The numbers don't lie. There are three events remaining and nary a whisker separates the two mates. We could very well be in store for one of the best world title finishes in recent memory. Heck, this race could make it all the way to Pipeline if we're lucky. Plus, with the history between the two and the multitude of storylines available, there will be no shortage of intrigue...or hype.

    "It's back on," said Mick in his post-win interview. "Everyone thought Joel was going to run away with it and it's unfortunate for him that he fell out early, but I've put in a lot of work to get these last two wins and I'm just psyched on heading into the rest of the season."

    "It's two back-to-back events where I have had to surf four heats on the final day to get the win and it takes a lot out of you," he continued. "The conditions were deteriorating and I was fortunate to get those scores on the board early on."

    By the final day of the Quik Pro Kelly Slater was the only other man that had a shot at catching Joel, but Portugal's Tiago Pires reveled in playing the roll of giant killer, knocking Florida's favorite son out in the quarterfinals. It's going to take a lot of work and a bit of magic for Kelly to get back in this thing, but he's won at Mundaka and he's won at Pipe, so history is on his side in that regard.

    The waves for the final day were bad and got worse with every passing heat, but given the "dismal" forecast organizers were looking at, they had no choice but to wrap things up today. So now the boys have a week off in France. CJ's going to go looking for more new boards, Parko's headed back to the drawing board, and it may take Mick a few days to recover from the party Hossegor's throwing for him tonight.

    1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.66
    2. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.87

    SF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.76 def. Patrick Beven (FRA) 12.90
    SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.43 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.33

    QF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.70 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.60
    QF 2: Patrick Beven (FRA) 14.86 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.00
    QF 3: Tiago Pires (PRT) 17.70 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 17.43
    QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.00 Taj Burrow def. (AUS) 12.33

    Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.33 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.40
    Heat 2: Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.83 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.37
    Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 11.43 vs. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.30
    Heat 4: Patrick Beven (FRA) 14.10 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 12.67
    Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.23 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.33
    Heat 6: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.83 def. Tim Boal (FRA) 9.36
    Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.40 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00
    Heat 8: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.74 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.40

    CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 10 (After Quiksilver Pro France):
    1.Joel Parkinson (AUS) 5896 points
    2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 5750 points
    3. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4872 points
    4. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4792 points
    5. Kelly Slater (USA) 4638 points
    6. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 4573 points
    7. Taj Burrow (AUS) 4417 points
    8. Damien Hobgood (USA) 4384 points
    9. Bobby Martinez (USA) 4314 points
    10. Taylor Knox (USA) 4216 points