Friday, July 29, 2016

Mick Fanning Awarded SIMA’s 2016 Waterman of the Year Honor

What more can we say about Mick Fanning that hasn’t already been said in the past 12 months? The world watched him escape an encounter with a shark mid-heat and never looked away – from losing his brother during a week that decided the world title, to his triumphant climb into the title race to begin with – just about everything Mick experienced in a very public light had to tug at your heart strings. Then he announced early in 2016 it had all added up to taking a much deserved year off from competition. Inevitably, the world still pulls for Mick, even if he’s not going to wear a jersey most of 2016.

Come August, Mick will be honored in Laguna Beach, California as the 2016 Waterman of the Year for SIMA’s 27th Annual Waterman’s Weekend.

“Mick has overcome some major hurdles in his life while working his way to the top of the sport” reads a press release announcing the honor. “From personal losses to suffering a complete hamstring tear in 2004 that sidelined him for six months. Then in 2015, while battling for a fourth world title, Mick infamously battled a shark in a heat during the J-Bay Open. Throughout it all, Mick has always shown the heart of a champion and represented surfing in the most positive way.”

Fanning joins a list that includes last year’s Waterman of the Year honoree, Stephanie Gilmore, as well as legends like Tom Carroll Tom Curren, Andy Irons, Gerry Lopez and Bruce Brown, to name a few.

Also being honored during the 27th Annual Waterman’s Weekend are big wave surfer Ramon Navarro as the 2016 Environmentalist of the Year, with the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Simon Anderson. The two-day fundraising event is expected to will support the SIMA Environmental Fund. The Waterman’s Ball itself attracts more than 600 people each year as is expected to raise close to $400,000 to benefit 18 different ocean conservation groups.
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