South Africa’s J-Bay Open surfing championship has been cancelled after one hell of a scare. Airing live on TV, the camera was focused on Australian Mick Fanning, who was waiting on his next wave.
Suddenly, you see a shark fin enter the picture as it begins to attack Mick. After thrashing around with the shark, he was rescued by J-Bay Open’s water rescue team on jet-skis.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Fanning spoke about the shark attack.
“I was just sitting there, I was just about to start moving and then I felt something grab…get stuck in my leg rope. I instantly just jumped and he kept coming at my board. I was just kicking and screaming.”
“I saw fins. I was waiting for the teeth. I punched him in the back!”
Officials at the World Surf League said there were two sharks in the water, and both Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson were pulled from the water.
Instead of suspending the J-Bay Open for a time, organizers decided to move forward with cancelling the event as it was the final round. Fanning and his finals opponent, Julian Wilson, will split the prize money and championship points.
A statement from the WSL praised Mick and was thankful there were no serious injuries.
“We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick’s composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable – they are truly world class at what they do.”
Yeah, if a big ass shark just tried to take me out, I’d be happy with the rest of the day off. The prize money would be a bonus. There would be zero chance I would tell organizers let’s keep going. Let the sharks have the waves for the day.
The first video features just the attack, and the second is the feed as the attack happened.