“One of the reasons why I chose Narrabeen was because if I came back at a place like J-Bay or a place like Bells, there would be probably more expectation for me to do well,” continued Fanning. “Events like those were staples in my World Title campaigns. Narrabeen is probably not, a left hand beach break and when you are going up against guys like Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreria in lefts, I don’t have the weapons they have. I think that was more of the challenge to me. The expectation goes out the window once I go to an event like Narrabeen.”
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 was awarded the event wildcard through the event’s title partner, Rip Curl. Laura Enever and Rip Curl sponsored athlete Dylan Moffat have also been awarded wildcard entries for Narrabeen through the North Narrabeen Boardriders Club. All event wildcards will await the final results from the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup to determine their heat matchups for the opening round at Narrabeen.
The event window for the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic opens 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.
More event information available at World Surf League