MICK FANNING VS GREAT WHITE SHARK DURING FINALS OF J-BAY OPEN
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa and the finals of the J-Bay Open. 3 times WSL World Champ, Aussie Mick Fanning, is sitting on his board, about to lie down to paddle, when a great white shark either bites or gets caught up in his leash. There is speculation that there might have been 2 sharks. The surfer’s heroic response to the situation is sure to ensure his legacy as the surfer that fought a great white (and survived) for the whole world to see. According to Stab Magazine the WSL footage garnered over 2.3 million views and another 9.4 million views on Facebook. Compare this to Owen Wright’s perfect final in Fiji which received 61 thousand views and you get the picture.
What this means for pro surfing, who knows but it sure has received attention way outside of the bounds of the surfing arena, featuring on news channels across the world. What this means for the J-Bay Open is worrying since there have been previous incidents at the event, including Taj Burrows being chased out of the water during a previous contest.
Besides Mick’s heroism, the actions of fellow Aussie and the other competitor in the final, Julian Wilson, should not be overlooked. He ignored Mick’s pleas to stay away and did his best to get to his friend before the shark took him. Thank goodness it didn’t.
This is one of those events that is so unbelievable in every context, including the fact that Mick left the water without a scratch, that you can’t help but think that Mick had somebody watching over him yesterday…