The men’s title match at the World Surf League Finals was put on hold with a shark spotted in the competition area at Lower Trestles in California.
Brazilians Gabriel Medina and Felipe Toledo were halfway through their second heat in the best-of-three decider after world No.1 Medina won the opener.
But the surfers were hauled onto jet skies and competition halted for 15 minutes due to the shark sighting.
“A shark has breached the side of the line-up and it’s about six to eight foot so we’re going to search the line-up and make sure it’s gone,” WSL head of competition Jessie Miley-Dyer said.
Coincidentally Mick Fanning was in commentary at time, with retired Australian three-time world champion famously attacked by a during competition at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
Fanning was rattled by the attack, which miraculously left him uninjured, but could now joked about it from the broadcast booth.
“They’re probably looking for my phone number to light me up – it’s your fault,” he said of the finalists.