Welcome back to Extreme Exposure, a weekly column bringing you the best photography and news from the world of action and outdoor sports. This week, pro surfer Mick Fanning had one of the scariest heats of his life, Scott Jurek's Appalachian Trail record gets criticized by State Park officials and much more.
At the J-Bay Open in South Africa, three-time World Champion Mick Fanning had to fight his way through one of the most intense heats in his life. Only it wasn’t fellow finalist Julian Wilson he was fighting against. In some of the most jaw-dropping footage the World Surf League has ever captured (and that includes pumping Teahupoo or Cloudbreak), Fanning fought off a shark attack early in the last heat of the competition. On tape, it looks as though the shark (or sharks) is making a pass at the Australian to get a good sniff. But Fanning fights back and actually kicks back to get the shark away from him before it breaks his leash, forcing him to swim in. And if you’ve ever had to swim in sans board, it had to be one of the most terrifying swims of his life.
In interviews after, both Fanning and Wilson are visibly shaken and emotional. Hard to blame them: in what other sport do you have to worry about beating your opponent on the field of play, and then have to deal with surviving the wildlife that calls that playing field home? The World Surf League ended the event shortly after the attack. With the equal second, Fanning and Wilson move into No. 2 and No. 3 in the ratings, respectively, with Adriano De Souza holding on to the world’s top spot by a mere 250 points.
Shark attack at #JBayOpen. Thankfully, @mfanno is unharmed. "We are incredibly grateful that no one was seriously injured today. Mick's composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying situation was nothing short of heroic and the rapid response of our Water Safety personnel was commendable - they are truly world class at what they do. The safety of our athletes is a priority for the WSL and, after discussions with both Finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of the competition. We appreciate the ongoing support we have in South Africa and once again want to express our gratitude to the Water Safety Team." - Paul Speaker (CEO, World Surf League)
He Fought the Law
One week Scott Jurek is on the top of the ultrarunning world. The next, he’s being hung out to dry by local officials. As I wrote about last week, Jurek set the record for fastest time to complete the entire Appalachian Trail. But it seems that officials at Baxter State Park, where Jurek finished in Maine, didn’t share his enthusiasm for the milestone. Park officials cited Jurek for public consumption (the champagne he used to celebrate), hiking with an oversized group (support team), littering and violating the media permit.
According to the post, Baxter State Park officials took serious issue with Jurek’s sponsorship while using the park to help raise public awareness for those sponsors on the park’s land. Translation: Jurek is making money for himself and his supporters, and Baxter State Park may not be seeing enough of it. Does the park have a point of contention? Let us know in the comments section below.
Three Times a Champ
Jill Kintner had an absolutely huge weekend at the Mountain Bike Nationals in Mammoth Lakes, California. The 33-year-old former BMX rider won the Downhill Nationals, the Slalom and the first-ever Enduro National Title. She started riding BMX at seven years old and claimed more than 70 titles before she made the full-time switch to mountain biking in 2004. The talented cyclist came out of BMX retirement in 2008 when she won a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The three wins in Mammoth Lakes this weekend were the 16th pro national mountain bike titles of Kintner’s decorated career.
What does your summer camp look like? At Windells Camp in Mt. Hood, Oregon, campers concentrate on improving their action sport’s game, whether it's BMX, skiing, snowboarding or skate. The camp was started by Tim Wendell and Craig Kelly over 25 years ago and has kicked out some serious talent: Shaun White, Tanner Hall, Sammy Carlson, Kevin Pearce and Ryan Sheckler are all former Windells campers. Camp director Chase Burch doesn’t just coordinate groms. Here, he logs some summer snow time for himself.