As you will have seen on any number of more reputable media outlets this morning, the World Surf League improved the watchability of their web cast immensely by adding sharks to the mix for the finals… Kudos to management on the out-of-the-box thinking. If anything was going to bring in the viewers, it was this. And not telling the competitors beforehand was a stroke of genius. It gave the whole spectacle an air of spontaneity. Brilliant.
Fanning was positioning at the beginning of the final with competitor Julian Wilson a distance out. The shark made the first move coming in from behind and catching Fanning while he was distracted by the waves. A short melee ensued where Fanning landed a surprise punch to the sharks back and made it to safety on the boat.
After the win, Fanning was dealt an additional blow by having to share his prize money with Wilson. See the highlight above and longer vid below.