Mick Fanning & Julian Wilson Split J-Bay Prize
Sunday, July 19 2015, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa - An intense day of competition concluded with a frightening moment as three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) came face to face with a shark during the J-Bay Open Final. He was unharmed in the incident, but the WSL Commissioner's Office decided to cancel the remainder of the event. Fanning and fellow finalist Julian Wilson (AUS) will split the prize money and receive second place points.
When something shocking like this happens, points and prize money comes second. We take our hats off to the water safety team for their quick response during the incident and also to Julian who risked his life paddling towards Mick to safe him.
Kelly Slater couldn't have said it any better on his instagram post,"Glad to know this guy and even happier that he swam/walked away unscathed. The only mark on him is a tiny scratch (probably from hitting the shark) on his left hand knuckle... I believe good things come to good people and although you can't say this was 'good', the outcome was amazing. @mfanno's instincts kicked into high gear and his scramble to face the shark and keep the board between them may have saved him. The scariest moment was when he turned around to face where the shark would be coming from after swimming 20 meters towards shore. I can't even imagine the vulnerability he must've felt. Great job by the contest announcers, water safety for getting right on it, @julian_wilson for paddling to help a friend out and basically everyone there to support."
Official statement issued by the WSL:
We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick's composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable - they are truly world class at what they do. The safety of our athletes is a priority for the WSL and, after discussions with both Finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of competition at the J-Bay Open. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team.