A surfing competition will never get a larger audience than it had at the J‑Bay Open in South Africa. That’s because a great white shark attacked Australian surf champion Mick Fanning during the finals.
It’s terrifying to witness.
The large fin appears behind him like a nightmare. What happens next is obscured in splashing, but from Fanning’s account the shark bit through his leg rope, and he punched it in the back before it retreated.
The great white was at least 10 feet long.
Think about it for a second. An apex predator attacked one of the sport’s best athletes during the finals on live television. That’s like a grizzly bear clawing LeBron James; like a mountain lion jumping on the back of Tom Brady; it’s absurd, but that’s exactly what happened.
Thankfully, Fanning escaped unscathed. The sport of competitive surfing, however, has a lot of questions now circling around it.