The morning after…
The surf world was shaken up in the J Bay Open finals when Mick Fanning encountered a rather large great white shark. Thanks to the water safety crew the situation had no physical injuries but what about emotionally? Mick stated to Joe Turpel in an interview later that day that he wouldn’t mind never competing again. After all that Mick has overcome with his own health as a youngster, to going on to win three world titles, a terrifying encounter puts life into perspective. Especially his wife and his family. Now we can’t see Mick quitting professional surfing, it won’t be an easy one to shake off. Zander Morton and Surfing Magazine caught up with Mick the next morning at the airport and while thankfully he’s in one piece, the after shock is far from over.
Mick Fanning didn’t sleep much last night. And that shouldn’t surprise you. Not after what happened yesterday.
Jimmy Wilson and I ran into him while he was checking in for his flight to Johannesburg in the Port Elizabeth airport along with Kai Otton, Jarrad Howse and Ronnie Blakey. Mick was smiling and in good spirits. He gave us a high-five and hug, then asked if we’d go ahead through security and order him a Bloody Mary. Of course. The guy certainly deserved one.
Mick boarded the plane and sat by himself in the back. Jimmy sat next to Ronnie Blakey, Mick’s longtime friend and the guy who so gracefully handled the live, emotional post-heat interviews moments after embracing Mick in the back room with Kieren Perrow, Ace, Kai, Parko and longtime tour manager Renato Hickel, not a dry eye among them. I sat next to Jarrad Howse, Mick’s friend and coach at J-Bay. The four of us discussed the attack for the umpteenth time. As hard as we tried to steer our conversation elsewhere it kept circling back. It’s probably why Mick chose a seat with strangers. “Sleeping” on it only made it more real. And really, how wild is it that ours is the only sport in the world where a wild beast could maul a top athlete? How wild is it that it nearly happened?
Read the full article at Surfing Magazine
Photo cred: Kirstin Scholtz