The 2018 Margaret River Pro has been cancelled following two shark attacks in the region.
WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt sent a letter to surfers this morning informing them of the cancellation citing the recent shark attacks at nearby Gracetown and the need to ensure the safety of tour surfers.
“The WSL puts the highest premium on safety,” Goldschmidt wrote. “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. We have decided that the elevated risk during this season’s Margaret River Pro has crossed the threshold for what is acceptable.”
Following the attacks at Gracetown on Monday the WSL implemented their safety protocols and met with a variety of stakeholders for feedback before making the decision to cancel the event.
Sage Erickson, WSL CT Surfer and Women’s Representative, spoke of the difficulty in making the decision to cancel the event:
“It’s a really difficult decision as the surfers love coming here,” “It’s beautiful, the waves are amazing and the community is very supportive of professional surfing. That said, the situation this season is really challenging and a number of surfers don’t feel safe. I know it isn’t an easy decision, but we really appreciate the amount of information and discussion that went into it.”
Points will be distributed per the WSL rulebook, but organisers have not ruled out potentially completing the events elsewhere during the season.
Margaret River Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
QF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
QF 3: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
QF 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)