Mick recounts the web clip seen around the world
"I felt so insignificant, the thing was so powerful and just moved so fast ... "
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 July, 2015 - It’s the most famous final in WSL history: Mick Fanning vs. Julian Wilson at Jeffreys Bay. A shark bumped into Mick knocking him off his board and into the water, but more importantly landing him dead front and center in the international media spotlight.
It was such a heavy thing to witness, and beyond the Mick vs. Shark memes and social media well-wishes and marriage proposals, at the heart of this is a man who came very close to dying. The kind of thing that really stays with a person, especially Mick who’s grown out of his drunken Eugene phase to become an even-tempered, inspirational and well-spoken world champion.
On Tuesday after a 20-hour trip home from South Africa, Mick and Julian had a press conference to satisfy the world’s curiosity and to help themselves process what had happened. Both surfers showed a mix of light-heartedness and intensity.
The camera that captured the incident was unsighted by a wave for the second part of the attack and Fanning tried to fill in the gaps:
"If you look at the footage closely, there's more splashing as the wave goes down and that's when it came back for a second go at my board," said Fanning.
“Seeing the size of it was the scariest thing”, he added. “I was swimming away, but then I turned around – I wanted to know if it was coming for me. I wanted to go down fighting, even if it would have been an unfair fight. In our sport, we always think about sharks and we know we are in their domain.”
"To walk away from a shark attack with not a scratch on you is a miracle really. You just count your lucky stars and if there is someone up there looking out for me, well thanks."