Stab Magazine | Shark Wins Another Heat At Jeffreys Bay
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Shark Wins Another Heat At Jeffreys Bay

Shark is seriously putting together a convincing title campaign.

news // Jul 4, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the waning seconds of Round 3 Heat 2, with Connor Coffin and Ace Buchan in the water, WSL water patrol sprinted to the two competitors and plucked them from the water after a Great White was spotted near the lineup.

Another comp, another shark.

“With about 10 seconds to go a shark was spotted down the line at the end of Impossibles and out to sea about 200 yards,” explained WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow. “The overhead spotting plane was actually the first to see it. We’ve had the drone out there and we’re just kind of seeing it pop up. It’s actually moving quite fast and we’re just keeping an eye on it. We’re going to be on hold for another 15 minutes, then we’ll come back and reassess.”

For the competitors, the quick reaction of the water patrol caught them momentarily off guard.

“Um, nothing happened, then all of a sudden the jet skies were flying at me,” said Coffin afterwards. “I was like, ‘Oh no, this means only one thing. I’m not getting a free ride into the beach for nothing.’ They said they’d seen a fairly sizable Great White coming up the point. I was hoping we were going to see it.”

After going on hold and watching the shark’s movements, the contest was eventually called back on.

“Good news, the plane has been monitoring the shark and watching it swim out the back,” said Perrow. “It’s right around the corner now, about a kilometer away out to sea and heading away from us, so we’re feeling comfortable to get back underway.”

As far as the size of this shark, “It was big enough for us to stop heats for a while,” grinned Perrow.

This is the second contest of the 2018 WSL Championship Tour season to be stopped due to shark activity in the water. At the Margaret River Pro, the decision was made to cancel the contest and later finish it at Uluwatu in Bali.

It’s worth noting, world title contender Gabe Medina was one of the most vocal opponents of continuing the Margaret River contest, and in 2016 voted not to return to J-Bay after the Mick Fanning shark encounter the year prior. At this point, there does not appear to be any momentum to end the J-Bay contest, but as we’ve already seen this year, that can always change.

Coming into the middle of the 2018 season, Shark is proving to be a serious title threat.

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