HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The World Surf League announced on Tuesday that the remainder of the Margaret River Pro – one of Australia's premier surf events – had been canceled over concerns about recent shark activity.
On Monday, two separate shark attacks were reported at a nearby beach called Gracetown, just under four miles from the contest site. The presence of beached whales in the area of the contest has attracted aggressive sharks, the WSL says, increasing the possibility of future attacks.
"Sharks are an occasional reality of WSL competitions, and of surfing in general. Everyone associated with our sport knows that," said Sophie Goldschmidt, the CEO of the World Surf League. "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."
Other nearby locations have been closed by community officials to both surfers and swimmers, the WSL says.
The Margaret River Pro is a championship-tour contest that draws the best surfers from around the world, including Hawaii's John John Florence, the reigning WSL World Champion.