The U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington will have two shark boats in the water. Unbelievable!
I told you just days ago that ex-WSL CEO Herr Paul von Speaker is sitting on his parlor’s settee and grinning smugly. Two roses rest in a floral Ashley Madison vase just below a Thomas Kinkaid limited-edition lithograph titled, The End of a Perfect day.
He was right.
When all was said and done, surfing is the most watched sport on the planet. And when our old flame went on Fox Business News and pronounced that it would be the most watched sport on the planet we all laughed. Laughed him right out of a job. But he was right and do you think he was thinking “sharks” all along?
Do you think he was considering warming oceans plus over-fishing times over-population equals an increase in shark on surfer action? Do you think he was calculating that it would only take one exceptional kick-off to get the numbers rolling that increased incidents would continue to pad?
He must have been, right?
And now, sharks at contests are the new norm.
Who would have ever even though, one decade ago, that the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California would have two dedicated shark spotting boats controlling the lineup? The Orange County Register reports:
This week in Huntington Beach, where shark sightings have become the norm the past three years, organizers of the U.S. Open of Surfing aren’t taking chances with the 200 surfers from around the world who’ve come to their contest.
Guards contracted with the U.S. Open of Surfing will monitor the contestants from two personal water crafts, specifically watching for sharks, according to Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis, who met with event organizers this week to talk about shark safety measures.
“The organization is in constant communication with its athletes and event organizers regarding venues, safety protocols and response abilities,” the World Surf League said in a statement. “There will be multiple safety and response skis in the water during the US Open and we’ll be working with lifeguards to ensure everyone stays safe and has a great event.”
The possibility of a shark encounter is a statistically legitimate reality. Panis said there were 56 shark sightings at Huntington City Beach in 2015 and 36 sightings last year. So far this year there have been 17 sightings in the city beach area where the contest will be held. And while that number is down in Huntington, other spots along the neighboring coastline — in Dana Point and Long Beach — have seen a dramatic upturn this year, with sharks being sighted in some spots almost daily.
Lifeguards and the two private water craft operators will be in constant communication, Panis said.
Some 750,000 people are set to attend this year’s extravaganza and just imagine if they are treated to a great white snatching Brett Simpson’s board as he Huntington Hops down the line? Just imagine if young Kanoa Igarashi gets swallowed whole then gets spat on dry land like Jonah of old (unharmed except for a slight bleaching)?
Surfing will grow into the stratosphere and probably double all sports combined.
Yes, ex-WSL CEO Paul Speaker is grinning smugly next to his End of a Perfect Day.