Surfer 1, shark Nil
Knocked off his board by an attacking shark, a surfer punched the creature before escaping unharmed during the televised finals of a world surfing competition in South Africa on Sunday. Three-time world champion Australian surfer Mick Fanning was struck by the shark from behind and knocked into the water as he sat on his board waiting his turn during the JBay Open in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape Province. “I felt something grab, get stuck in my leg rope and instantly jump away. And it just kept coming at my board,” Fanning said, once safe on the rescue boat. Fanning said at first he swam away but then decided to defend himself and turned to punch the shark in the back. “I’m totally fine. I’ve got nothing wrong with me,” Fanning said in an interview. “There’s a small depression in my board and my leg wrap (was) bitten. I’m just totally tripping out. To walk away from that, I’m just so stoked. Oh man.” The World Surf League cancelled the remainder of the event and Fanning will split the prize money with fellow Australian surfer Julian Wilson, who was also in the water when the attack happened. The two will share second place.