Whether you are a surfing fan or not, by now you will have seen the harrowing moment when Three-time world champ Mick Fanning came face to face with a Great White Shark. On July 19, in South Africa, with the final of the J-Bay Open just four minutes old, the surfing world stood still as they watched in horror. The incident has since gone viral, catapulting Mick into the mainstream and making it one of the most talked about events of the year so far.
Redbull.com were the first to get an in depth chat with the surfing star after his near death experience.
Have you watched the footage yet? Will you, or is it something you don’t want to ever think about again?
I’ve watched it so many times. It’s surreal watching it play out. It’s like, ‘Did that really happen to me?’ I just can’t believe I’ve come through this completely unscathed physically. Mentally I’m a bloody mess, but I’ll come good in time.
Talk to us about the webcast. Is it crazy that the world saw it all go down live? A lot of people feared the worst, how much do you feel for your loved ones having to see that?
Thinking about this playing out on a live broadcast with my family and friends and people that support me all watching is something I’m still processing. That’s one of the scariest factors, and what really gets me emotional. From all reports, the WSL broadcast team handled the whole situation very well, and constantly assured everyone I was safe and coping. I’m super thankful to them for that, because it really was a crazy situation to deal with.
You said you’d be happy never to compete again, did you feel the same way when you woke up this morning?
I’m not thinking about whether I’ll go back at the moment. We’ll see how I feel. I’ll never surf on July 19 again, though. I’m just going to get home and get my head together. Like I said, heats and the world title really aren’t something I’m thinking about right now.
Read the full interview on Redbull.com