2018 Margaret River Pro cancelled due to shark

World Surf League cancel the remainder of the Margaret River Pro, due to sharks

Sharks are winners on the Margaret River Pro ! Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, has sent, this wednesday, a letter to surfers to inform them of the cancel of the Margaret River Pro. Third stage of the world surfing championship, the “Margaret Pro” will not be completed, while surfer girls (including Johanne Defay) were going to play the quarter-finals and surfer boys round 3. Reason given by the WSL CEO : safety concerns, due to the presence of sharks on the competition site.

The WSL puts the highest premium on safety. This cannot be just talk, and it cannot be compromised. Surfing is a sport that carries various forms of risk, and is unique in that wild animals inhabit our performance environment. Sharks are an occasional reality of WSL competitions, and of surfing in general. Everyone associated with our sport knows that, said Sophie Goldschmidt. There have been incidents in the past — and it’s possible that there will be incidents in the future — which did not (and will not) result in the cancellation of an event. 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.”

“It’s a tough decision because surfers like to come here,” said Sage Erickson, WSL Surfers Representative.  It’s beautiful, the waves are fabulous and the public fully supports professional surfing. That said, the situation is tricky this season, and some of the surfers do not feel safe. I know it’s a complicated decision, but we appreciate the quality and the density of the exchanges and discussions that led to this decision.”

Sage Erickson underwater – Picture Morgan Maassen

“Sharks are part of our life as surfers and every time we surf, we accept this risk,” says WSL surfer representative Adrian Buchan, “Because of the presence of failed whale carcasses, multiple attacks and alarming signals, I fully support the WSL’s position to place the safety of surfers before any other consideration. This region of Australia (South Wales WA) is one of my favorites as it is one of the most natural. I’m sorry for the local community and look forward to coming back here soon.

The organizers hope to finish the event on another site during the season … A difficult decision, therefore, for surf lovers but probably the best decision to take ’cause to the risks run by the riders ! Next event from May 11th to 20th, with Oi Rio Pro in Brazil …

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