For the third time this year, a WSL event has been put on hold due to shark activity.
An already furious Facebook live comment feed spilled over with new levels of vitriol ten minutes ago, as the live feed came to an abrupt end with no explanation.
A quick browse of Twitter revealed the reason for the stoppage was a shark sighting, prompting the skis to whip in and transport competitors to the safety of a boat.
Earlier this year Margaret river was halted on two separate occasions due to shark activity, however in the first instance, as with a similar stoppage in 2017, the live stream remained, allowing viewers around the world to watch as the competitors were returned to land and the WSL safety teams were deployed to try and chase the sharks away.
However, the incidents caused some what of a PR shit storm for the WSL with the international media piling in to question the organisers decision to hold the event, which, along with some pointed comments from various competitors, lead to the remainder of the comp being moved to Uluwatu and it’s future inclusion being called into question.
The WSL have been on tenter hooks when it comes to competitor safety since Fanning’s infamous run in with a shark at J-bay four years ago and are therefore understandably a little over-zealous with their plug pulling. However, these wildlife encounters have become part of the appeal and as long as everyone’s safe, we reckon they should definitely leave the live feed on when the men in grey suits show up!
At the time of writing, the event is still on hold, but is reportedly set to resume at 15:45 local time (14:45 our time!)
UPDATE: According to sources a large great white was sighted near the lineup by the spotting plane, but it has now made it’s way up the point, meaning competition should resume shortly.
UPDATE: Competition has resumed. Watch live here.