Mick Fanning Wins 1st Heat In Return To J-Bay A Year After Punching A Shark

How’s bloody Mick Fanning. If he isn’t one of the toughest units in Australia, I honestly don’t want to know who is.

After enduring a horrific year in 2015 both in and out of the surf, Fanning has today successfully returned to the venue that nearly did him in almost one year ago to the day.
Fanning dove back into the water at the J-Bay Open in South Africa, the same venue where he suffered a monumentally frightening encounter with a shark in what was one of the most widely viewed and talked about sporting incidents of 2015.
Fanning fought the shark off by punching it, before being rescued by nearby support crews, with the entire ordeal beamed live around the globe by the WSL.
Fast forward nearly 12 exact months and Fanning returned to the scene for the first time, fighting off an ankle injury that threatened to ruin his party and taking out the first heat of the 2016 J-Bay Open in commanding fashion.
The 35-year-old three-time world champion easily downed Brazil’s Alejo Muniz and American Connor Goffin with a pair of strong waves that netted him a heat score of 13.67, 2.87 points clear of second. The effort was enough to slingshot Fanning into the third round of the competition.

Bookmakers have Fanning as the joint-favourite to take out the whole event.


Source: WSL.
Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty.