The Margaret River Pro has been cancelled following the shark attacks on two surfers and aggressive shark behaviour in the area.
The WSL cancelled the remainder of the Margaret River Pro, as a result of exceptional circumstances surrounding this season’s event regarding sharks and the safety of the surfers.
On April 16th, two separate shark attacks occurred at nearby Gracetown – approximately 6 kilometers away from the primary event site at Main Break.
The presence of beached whales in the area has attracted sharks and contributed to the aggression of their behavior, which, experts agree, has increased the possibility of further attacks.
These findings have resulted in nearby locations being closed to surfing and swimming.
“We are painfully aware that this decision will have commercial ramifications for the local community, and will disappoint some of our partners, fans and athletes. We sincerely regret that.
Our competitive structure allows for points distribution in the event of a cancellation. However, we are not giving up yet on somehow completing both men’s and women’s competition this year, and will communicate our thoughts on that when we know more,” said Sophie Goldschmidt the CEO of the World Surf League.
“Margaret River is a special venue, with incredible partners. It has produced many memorable moments over the years, and at the moment we have no plans not to return in the future.
We appreciate that not everyone will agree with this decision, but hope that they will respect it. Athlete safety will always be our absolute priority and we thank the local community, our partners and our surfers for supporting the decision,” added Goldschmidt.