Shark attack halts start of 2021 season

After a blistering start to the 2021 season at Honolua Bay, the Maui Women’s Pro has been put on indefinite hold due to a shark attack.

Steph Gilmore at Honolua showing why she’s a 7x world champ. Pic: Keoki Saguibo/World Surf League

“We had a shark incident this morning with a recreational surfer. Due to that we are putting our event on hold indefinitely,” said WSL CEO, Erik Logan. He went on to say that event organisers were working with local officials to assess when the competition could resume. The victim of the shark attack was not part of the event but was a recreational surfer surfing at the comp site about three hours before the event was due to kick off. He is said to be in a stable condition in hospital.

Pic: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

The opening day saw most of the completion completed with picture perfect conditions at Honolua Bay creating an epic start to the 2021 season. The women seemed stoked to be back competing and it showed in their surfing with Tyler Wright scoring a perfect 10 in her heat against fellow world champ, Steph Gilmore.

“The way it set up on the reef, I was like, ‘Oh, this is one of those ones that if you put yourself in the right spot it can work out really good,’” she said. “There hadn’t been one of those all day. Once I saw it, I just went with the feeling, and then I celebrated a few times along the way.”

2x World Champ Tyler Wright dominated her heats scoring a perfect 10 against fellow world champ Steph Gilmore. Pic: Dayanidhi Das/World Surf League

For the first time the event is being held as a broadcast-only event, meaning that there are no spectators on-site. Event protocols were developed using guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Maui Pro pres. by ROXY Seeding Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.00 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.23, Keely Andrew (AUS) 6.10
HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.57 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 11.43, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.16
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 12.33, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 8.60
HEAT 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.00 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.24, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 5.80
HEAT 5: Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.36 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 8.50, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6.96
HEAT 6: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.83 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.04, Sage Erickson (USA) 7.90

Maui Pro pres. by ROXY Elimination Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.07 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 14.00, Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.30
HEAT 2: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 14.93 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 12.50, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.00

Maui Pro pres. by ROXY Round of 16 Results:
HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.10 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 14.53
HEAT 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.83 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.70
HEAT 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.90 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 11.36
HEAT 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.24 DEF. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.70
HEAT 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) 11.83
HEAT 6: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.23 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.23
HEAT 7: Sage Erickson (USA) 12.67 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 11.10
HEAT 8: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 18.20 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 13.16

Maui Pro pres. by ROXY Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 18.33 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.40
HEAT 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.37 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.30
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.04 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.27

For now though, the comp is on indefinite hold and our thoughts are with the shark attack victim and his family and friends.