What a wild and lucky Sunday it was at Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa. Not only the entire surfing world, but also the entire world itself is now well aware of Mick Fanning's fighting off a great white during the final of the JBay Open and coming away physically unscathed.
If not for Fanning's quick instincts to do exactly what he needed to, and the speedy response by the Water Safety team, this would be a much harder story to digest. Easily the most witnessed shark attack in the history of human existence, Mick Fanning is clearly counting his stars today.
The World Surf League, Julian Wilson, and Mick Fanning have all decided that it was best to cancel the contest and split the points and winnings. They've felt it was no longer safe and not worth risking things after the luck they had.
Now let us not scream death to all sharks and go on manhunts. Rather, let us realize that sharks exist in their natural habitats and as surfers we will encounter them from time-to-time. In this humble writer's opinion, I do not believe the shark wanted a taste of Mr. Fanning—if he had he would've taken one and no leash (or much of anything really) would've stopped him.
There's going to be lots about this incredibly strange and incredibly fortunate event for time to come. The World Surf League now has the entire world's attention. Where they decide to go with it could shape the future of surfing as we know it.