Five questions for Mick after his win in Tahiti…
1. What just happened?
I don't know. I've been trying to figure it out. I came here looking for a keeper result and then all of a sudden I was in the final and started thinking… shit… I might just be able to win this thing and it somehow worked out.
2. You had some tough heats leading up to the final.
That was such a heavy run, especially with Ricardo and Owen. Those guys were probably the gnarliest to draw out there in this event. I just tried not to let them get in my head… you can count on those guys getting a coupla big scores so I was concentrating on getting a few bombs myself and it worked.
3. How do you feel going into the final against Joel?
The mad thing was Joel and I were the first two guys in the line up in the morning. Joel actually said to me when we were sitting out there, 'How crazy would it be if we were sitting out here at the end of the day?' Weird that it worked out that way. Going into the final I felt really good though, I'd just survived two big heats and knew there was big scores out there. I knew if I was patient I'd get a shot at a couple of winning waves.
4. Joel got off to an amazing start scoring a 9.50 and backing it up with an 8.87. You were combo'd for much of the final. Were you freaking?
I definitely wasn't comfortable. It wasn't an ideal position to be in but after my quarter final with Ricardo I knew a couple of set waves could change the situation so I just tried to stay as composed as possible.
5. Describe the last wave you had in the final and what you felt after the hooter went.
Well, I was chasing a 9.01 and Joel had priority. A set was approaching and to have any chance I had to sell Joel on the first wave and get him to use priority. I was able to do that and the next wave was a bomb. I got into it pretty nicely and it stayed open enough to let me out. I knew it was probably my best wave so I was psyched. Definitely one of my most special wins. Everyone knows Teahupoo is an event that I've had some serious struggles with in the past so to take it out meant a lot. I just wanna say a big thanks to my family and friends and I want to especially thank my Tahitian family, the Riou's. And cheers to everyone that backed me to get the job done.