Remember when a shark attacked pro surfer Mick Fanning live on TV, back in 2015? Well, Fanning, along with the rest of the elite surfing world, have been back at the very same spot, Jeffreys Bay in South Africa for the WSL J-Bay Open, and once again, the surfer has had to be rescued from the waves from a shark.
When it’s firing, J-Bay is one of the best surf spots on the planet, with some calling it “The Mecca of all waves”. However, due to the eco system there, there are a lot of seals, and where there are seals, invariably there are sharks. Plenty of them.
While surfing against Brazilian tantrum thrower and surfing wizard Gabriel Medina, who finished 3rd in the overall rankings last year, but is languishing down in 9th this year, Mick Fanning was waiting patiently in the line-up for a wave when the WSL water safety team spotted a shark approaching. Both surfers were immediately pulled from the water, unharmed.
It’s been an eventful competition down in South Africa, with a similar shark-based emergency happening the day before, and earlier in the week surfing legend Kelly Slater broke his foot, a horror injurt which ruled out of the competition, and possibly out of his final season.
Despite these flare-ups, the Open at J-Bay has been heralded a classic, that’s seen incredible surfing on perfect waves, and Brazilian Filipe Toledo taking top spot. The win takes him up to 7th in the overall rankings, with five more stops between now and December.