All hail Saint Mick.
Ain’t a surfer alive, pro or no, who has emerged from the chrysalis of his boozy mid-twenties, without brain or backbone, and transformed into a butterfly as soulful as the three-time world champ Mick Fanning.
Fanning, who turns forty-two on Monday and who grew up in hard-scrabble Tweed Heads, where life on a bar stool boring hell out of the girls working the taps is about all you can aspire to, has turned into surfing’s greatest philanthropist.
During “one-in-one-thousand-year” floods on the NSW north coast, an hour or so south of Mick’s joint on the Gold Coast, he spent days on his jetski evacuating the wretched from their watery prisons.
And, now, Mick is auctioning off a five-day vacation at his Hamptons-themed three-storey house on a eleven-thousand square feet of beachfront dirt at Bilinga, just across the road from Coolangatta airport there, to raise money for flood victims.
Mick paid $3.25 mill for the block in 2011 and built the three-level house, complete with elevator, two years later.
It’s the same place, you’ll remember, a mysterious strawberry blonde busted into a couple of years back.
Sarah Foote, a thirty-nine-year-old from Ballina, “an obsessed mother”, was accused of following Fanning between January 29 and February 4, the break-in allegedly happening on Feb 2.
Foote was accused of sending four letters (“Rambling hand-written letters with accusations of pedophilia, declarations of love for Fanning and thoughts of wanting to kill him”), three by post, one personally delivered.
Each included hand-drawn love hearts, a self-portrait by Ms Foote, and one contained a beaded bracelet.
The excerpts were chilling.
“I occasionally want to kill you … to end our occasional miserable bullshit … I wouldn’t want to end our best times though. Because I have so much love for you and I would like to see what’s in store for future for us two.”
“You really are a strange man.”
“What is wrong with you? Or for that matter, what is right with you?”
“I can be a real bitch.”
“The places I liked always became marred by murder.”
“I have smelt a murdered corpse in Rockhampton. She was very stinky, worse than any road kill I have ever smelt.”
“I met a kiddie killer, she smothered her baby. Only spent a year in a psychiatric hospital, then was released only to murder another child.”
“IDK when we will incarnate again together in this world.”
Anyway, Mick don’t live there any more, he bought a swinging little joint off the beach with its own skate ramp, “a three-million dollar masterpiece”, but offer enough cash and you could be legally owning the old place for five days.
Right now, the highest bid is $16,044, the auction part of the Mick Fanning Charity Golf Tournament, being held on June 10. Steph’s got a board in there and former world number one tennis ace Ash Barty is giving a signed racket.
A local real estate agent, Mishy Canning, also involved in the philanthropy game, says Fanning has been a hero over the course of the past few months.
“He was out there in the community and was on the water meeting everyone and was really affected by their stories,” Canning said. “When you’re on the ground seeing how people are affected it’s pretty emotionally daunting. He (Mick Fanning) and his wife have been working non-stop to raise money for the families.”