This was the final day of the Pipeline Masters on the north shore of Oahu. Mick was in first place in the rankings, wearing the yellow jersey and was going for the world title. Early that morning Mick got the terrible news that his brother had passed away. This is the last thing I had ever expected because Mick had already had the worst year ever – shark attack, divorce and now this.
After a very sad morning on the north shore when he got the news he still wanted to surf the rest of the event and go for the world title. That is what his brother would have wanted. This photo was in his first heat of the morning against Kelly Slater and John John Florence, the two hardest opponents to surf against at Pipeline. Mick ended up winning the heat with this wave. He came out of the barrel and looked in the sky to his brother. When I got out of the water and looked at my images I had tears in my eyes after seeing this photo.