Australia surfing event cancelled due to shark attacks

Apr 19, 2018, 02:04
Australia surfing event cancelled due to shark attacks

Two men were attacked by sharks in separate incidents at Gracetown, Western Australia near the event area on Monday and in a statement on Wednesday, the World Surf League says the safety of surfers is a priority and they have therefore made a decision to cancel the rest of the competition. The first time was in 2015 when Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark during the J-Bay Open final.

The attacks were just six kilometres away from the tournament's primary event site at Main Break.

Two separate shark attacks on surfers over the last two days forced the World Surf League to cancel one of its major competitions in Western Australia, the organization announced Tuesday.

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt stated that the tour puts the safety of its surfers at the forefront and must continue to act with that priority in mind, no matter the financial losses or fan disappointment.

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A 37-year-old man was surfing at Cobblestones Beach at Gracetown, about 270km south of Perth, when he was bitten on both legs at about 1am Irish time by a shark.

A father-of-two has described from his hospital bed how he miraculously escaped a great white shark attack with his life while surfing off the Western Australian coast.

One-time world champion Gabriel Medina expressed fears about re-entering the water this week following the attacks and current world No.1 Italo Ferreira echoed those sentiments.

Italo Ferreira wrote on Instagram: 'Very risky, don't you think? The WSL maintains strong and constantly-improving safety, monitoring and support infrastructure and protocols, and we would normally have a high degree of confidence in our ability to protect our athletes. We've had multiple alerts. Everyone associated with our sport knows that.

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According to Australia's Shark Smart website, a decomposing whale carcass closeby is likely to be what has attracted the predators.

Mr Perrow said he understood that the cancellation of the event would be a disappointment to local supporters, although the decision had been made in conjunction with competitors.

"Today, the WSL has made the hard decision to cancel the remainder of the Margaret River Pro, as a result of exceptional circumstances surrounding this season's event regarding sharks and the safety of our surfers", WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt wrote in a release announcing the decision.

For now, the WSL and the CT surfers will look towards the upcoming Oi Rio Pro in Brazil this May.

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