‘We would never forgive ourselves’ – Margaret River Pro cancelled

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

The 2018 Margaret River Pro has been cancelled, with the World Surf League citing the risk of shark attack on competing surfers as the reason behind the decision.

Two attacks on surfers –one an employee of the competition –were reported on Monday morning, with the event halted temporarily while a safety assessment was made.

Unfavourable conditions had paused competition during Tuesday and surfing was expected to continue later in the week until the cancellation was announced.

“Today, the WSL has made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of the Margaret River Pro, as a result of exceptional circumstances surrounding this season’s event regarding sharks and the safety of our surfers,” said WSL chief executive SophieGoldschmidt in a statement released on Wednesday morning.

Read more: Shark alert between Kilcarnup and North Point as second attack reportedSurfer bitten by shark off GracetownShe said the decision had been reached after “many hours of consultation with a variety of stakeholders and experts.”

“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.”

Competing surfersItalo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina yesterday voiced their concerns on social media, saying they did not feel safe training or competing in the location.

”We are committed to being as prepared as possible for what nature throws at us. However, the threshold has been crossed for the organisation and if we decided to continue the event under the current circumstances, and something terrible were to take place, we would never forgive ourselves.”

“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.

“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.

“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.”

Margaret River Mail

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