WSL cancels Margaret River Pro over shark concerns - Hawaii News Now

Florence Fletcher
April 18, 2018

A man in his 30s has been bitten by a shark near Gracetown in Western Australia's South West, with organisers temporarily suspending the nearby Margaret River Pro global surfing competition.

The WSL says the safety of surfers is a priority and they have therefore chose to cancel the rest of the competition. This can not be just talk, and it can not be compromised.

Ms Goldschmidt said surfing carried various forms of risk, but the cancellation was necessary.

Surf Life Saving WA said a shark was spotted at 8.45am local time at nearby Cobblestones surfing spot. "Everyone associated with our sport knows that", said Sophie Goldschmidt, the CEO of the World Surf League.

World Surf League released a statement declaring that they 'made the hard decision to cancel the remainder of the Margaret River Pro, as a result of exceptional circumstances surrounding this season's events regarding sharks and the safety of our surfers'. However, current circumstances are very unusual and troubling, and we have decided that the elevated risk during this season's Margaret River Pro has crossed the threshold for what is acceptable.

But organisers said "actively aggressive sharks" remained in the area on Wednesday, possibly due to the presence of nearby beached whales. These findings have resulted in nearby locations being closed to surfing and swimming.

Just how the cancellation of the event affects world title points remains to be seen.

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With pressure coming from the generally unflappable athletes, the WSL made the only decision it could and cancelled the third event of the championship calendar.

Margaret River is a special venue, with incredible partners.

Two people were bitten by sharks on Monday while surfing off the same stretch of Western Australias southwest coast.

Sounds like some sort of make-up event might be in the works, a lá replaying a rainout in baseball.

"The Tourism Minister and the acting Fisheries Minister need to get their heads out of the sand and realise this issue is not going to go away and we need a proper shark mitigation strategy to try and fix the negative impact this has had before more damage is done". Our condolences for your Fantasy Surfer team, if you were in the process of crushing it.

Stay tuned, surely there'll be juicy sound bites and accusations of cowardice thrown 'round.

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