Former F1 star Eddie Irvine has close encounter with a shark

Leave a comment

Retired Formula One star Eddie Irvine faced a lot of battles in his racing career, but likely nothing like the recent run-in he had with a shark.

According to a BBC report, the former Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar F1 pilot was swimming and spear fishing for dinner in the Atlantic Ocean near his home in the Bahamas when he came face-to-face with a shark.

“I hit a big snapper, but the spear went right through it,” Irvine said. “A big ray came past me and behind it was a seven-foot lemon shark. It was swimming more aggressively than I had seen before.”

The question of whether the shark wanted to get the 48-year-old former F1 star’s autograph or potentially wanted to see what the Northern Ireland native tasted like was never answered, as Irvine wisely put himself in reverse and started working his way back to land in almost slow-motion so as not to spook the shark.

“I watched him and started making for shore and he started to follow me,” Irvine said. “I swam backwards keeping my eye on him and he circled again – then he just came straight for me.”

After keeping its distance, the shark began to zero in on Irvine, who was forced to use his spear as a weapon to keep the shark at bay.

“My island is surrounded by (sharks), but normally they are just three or four footers,” Irvine said. “There was nothing I could do until he got within about three feet, when I could jab him with my spear.”

Irvine said he hit the shark “somewhere on the nose,” causing it to temporarily retreat before coming back for more.

Fortunately for Irvine, he was able to get to some nearby rocks and climbed out of harms way.

“There are lots of sharks here,” he said, “I saw a 12-foot tiger the other day from the boat.”

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

Getty Images
Leave a comment

EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup