Surfer 1, shark Nil

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD - AP PHOTO

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.

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