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Mick Fanning gets back on Jeffreys Bay surf break for first time since clash with shark

ABC GrandstandABC Grandstand 28/06/2016
© Provided by ABC Grandstand

Australian three-time surfing world champion Mick Fanning has ridden the waves at Jeffreys Bay for the first time since last year's terrifying brush with a shark.

Last July, fans watched in shock as Fanning was knocked off his board by a shark during the J-Bay Open off the coast of South Africa.

Fanning escaped the encounter without a physical scratch and has now conquered some mental demons by surfing the break for the first time since getting up close and personal with the local fauna.

The 35-year-old is only competing in a handful of World Surfing League events this season, including J-Bay, and had said he was always planning to ride the Jeffreys Bay swell again regardless of whether or not he was competing.

"I had so many great memories here and I just wanted to get back here and surf," he said.

Even so, he admitted nerves kicked in ahead of his first ride.

"I went out and had a look and a little bit of anxiety came up and a few different emotions, but once I got the wetsuit on and got the board ready and paddled out it was pretty much fine," he said.

"Once you catch that first wave and you realise that it was just a one-off incident, hopefully, then you just get on with it and you just go surfing again."

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