Shark Stalks CTers On J-Bay Lay Day, Gets Sprayed By World No. 19 - Stab Mag
Framegrab: Zoard

Shark Stalks CTers On J-Bay Lay Day, Gets Sprayed By World No. 19

And Rio Waida barely flinches.

elsewhere // Jul 15, 2023
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It’s been eight years since Mick Fanning’s traumatizing shark encounter at Jeffrey’s Bay.

Since then, there have been countless J-bay heats put on hold due to shark sightings and multiple attacks on free surfers (including one just a month-and-a-half ago).

Today we witness the first publicly shared footage of a great white shark at the 2023 Corona Open J-Bay captured by Nathan Florence‘s filmer Zoard. Per Nate’s Instagram:

Some groms came in down the point and said they had seen a big great white close enough to see its eyes! Had @zoard throw the drone up to see if we could spot it sure enough shark was cruising up the point! Tried to alert @riowaida_ with drone it was nearing him and call people on beach to let the surfers know it was swimming right through lineup! All turned out well everyone went in and the shark just cruised its way up the point and went on its way! What a crazy thing to watch we know we playing in their home but to see how easily and mellow they can approach undetected is wild! @iangentil actually sprayed it. 

It will be interesting to see how Rio and Ian, two tour rookies, handle this encounter in their upcoming heats. After blowing off nature’s apex predator, will Ian find inspirational railwork in his elimination round matchup with Italo Ferreira? And I can’t imagine Rio will want to sit patiently in one spot during his next heat.

The shark also cruised by Stab Highway Europe Presented by Monster Energy star Eli Beukes, who is no stranger to creatures with big fins in his home country. The way Eli so calmly paddled away, looking more interested in a potential set than the predator, was unnerving and impressive.

As the star of How Surfers Get Paid season 2, ep 1 (coming this Thursday, Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker, puts it, “The only reason you see them is because the water’s clean — they come past every day sniffing toes.” 


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