Three-time Surfing World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) has been awarded the event wildcard for the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona, marking his first CT event since retiring in 2018. This year also celebrates 20 years since Fanning won his first CT event, also as a wildcard, at the 2001 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
“I am excited to be back in a jersey,” said Fanning. “I haven’t really had a challenge in the last few years. I injured my knee in 2019 and then have been working towards getting a level of fitness and level of surfing that I was happy with. I’ve been training and working to get my knee back to one-hundred percent. I wanted to get my surfing back to a level that I was happy with, as well. I feel like I am getting there. I’ve been working pretty hard in the last few months just personally, and then having this goal to be ready for this event has definitely kickstarted a bit of fire in there.”
Prior to his retirement, Fanning spent 17 years competing on the elite CT. His illustrious tenure includes 22 Championship Tour victories and three World Titles, cementing him as one of the greatest surfers and sportsmen in history.
Fanning will be against reigning WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) and CT rookie Morgan Cibilic (AUS) in men’s Seeding Round 1, Heat 6 when the competition gets underway. Ferreira, fresh off of a first-place finish, and Cibilic, with a career-best 3rd place, will bring their Newcastle momentum when they come up against the surfing icon.
Reef Heazlewood To Replace Kelly Slater at Narrabeen
Reef Heazlewood (AUS) has been awarded wildcard entry as the WSL Event Replacement. This will be the third CT start for the Sunshine Coast local, and an opportunity to once again showcase his skills on the elite stage. Heazlewood will aim to repeat his standout performance from the 2019 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast when he eliminated Julian Wilson (AUS) from the event.
Heazlewood will face CT veterans Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Adrian Buchan(AUS) in Heat 4.
“I’m so excited to receive a spot in the draw for the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic,” said Heazlewood. “There’s so much history at Narrabeen so it’s so cool to be able to participate now there is an event back. There are definitely a few locations I’d love to compete at and Narrabeen is at the top of that list. I’m really hoping for some big running lefts with barrels or ramps. I really hope that I can put on a show when I get out there.”
Local Heroes Laura Enever and Dylan Moffat Prepare for CT Start
Laura Enever (AUS), former CT competitor, will trade in her commentary microphone for a jersey at her home break event. Since falling off of the CT in 2017, the 29-year old has made moves in the big wave surfing scene and is now known to charge waves of consequence. With sizeable swell currently on offer at Narrabeen, Enever could upset the competition in her CT return. Enever will face current World No. 1 Carissa Moore (HAW) and compatriot Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in Heat 3.
Dylan Moffat (AUS), Narrabeen local, will compete in his first CT event with the support of his home crowd. Moffat was awarded his wildcard spot through the North Narrabeen Boardriders Club as he is the highest-rated QS competitor in the club. The young Australian will face Brazilians Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Jadson Andre (BRA) in Heat 5.
Fanning was awarded the event wildcard through the event’s title partner, Rip Curl. Enever and Moffat were awarded wildcard entries for Narrabeen through the North Narrabeen Boardriders Club. Heazlewood was awarded wildcard entry as the WSL Event Replacement for 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater, who withdrew from the event due to an ongoing foot injury.
The event window for the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Coronaopens April 16 and holds a competition window through April 26. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.
For fans wishing to attend the event in person, event entry will be first-come, first-serve starting at 7:00 a.m. AEST on each ‘on’ day of competition. The venue capacity will be limited to a maximum of 5,000 people at one time, adhering closely to NSW state government guidelines. This capacity could change each day due to beach size changing with tides and swell size.
The Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona is proudly supported by our partners Rip Curl, Corona, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Northern Beaches Council, Red Bull, Oakley, Hydro Flask, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Boost Mobile, Dometic Outdoor, Bond University, BF Goodrich, and Oakberry.
Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic Women’s Seeding Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Heat 2: Caroline Marks (USA), Tyler Wright (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic Men’s Seeding Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Yago Dora (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW), Frederico Morais (PRT), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Dylan Moffat (AUS)
Heat 6: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS)
Heat 7: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Heat 8: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Michel Bourez (FRA), Leonardo Fioaravanti (ITA)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS), Seth Moniz (HAW), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Jack Freestone (AUS), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 12: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jack Robinson (AUS)