Great White shark
Elliston Mayor Andrew McLeod, a survivor of a Great White attack, has called for a targeted approach in hunting the sharks.

Students at Elliston school left reeling after two surfer-teachers attacked by Great Whites leaving one dead, one severely injured

"It's really difficult to estimate how hard it's been for the kids at school…”

The children of a remote school in Elliston, South Australia, have been “hit hard” by news that a second teacher has been attacked and severely injured by a Great White shark.

Three days ago, Murray Adams, who is sixty-four and who had just celebrated forty years as a teacher, was bitten between the ass and legs by a Great White shark.

Adams had been surfing Blacks, the archetypal South Australian slab. Swells swinging onto shallow limestone shelf before evaporating in uncomfortably deep water, notorious for Great Whites.

Adams paddled in, climbed the cliff, refused an ambulance and drove himself to hospital, reflecting the chaotic nature of a Great White hit and the difference just a few millimetres can make.

He was the second teacher from the Elliston Area School, right there on the Flinders Highway, to be hit by a Great White while surfing.

Eight months earlier, a teacher at the same school was hit and killed by a Great White shark on a crowded day at Walkers Rocks.

Forty-six-year-old science and sports teacher Simon Baccanello had only moved to the coastal town of one thousand souls and known for its epic waves as well as its dark history of shark attacks in January 2023.

Baccanello bravely warned others to get out of the water as the shark started swimming towards him.

When the Great White appeared, Baccanello told the terrified kids, “Don’t worry, get yourself to shore”.

Jaiden Millar, a twenty two year old, saw the fatal attack.

“It was such a confronting incident. It could have been anyone. The worst part was there was a 13-year-old out there and he witnessed everything,” Millar told Adelaide Now. “There was a bloke on the beach tooting his horn and as I turned around I saw everyone paddling in. I saw his board tombstoning, which means he’s underwater and his board’s getting dragged under … trying to fight his way back up to the surface… He was gone. (We) saw the shark just thrashing around out the back. The shark’s obviously let go and come back and got him for a third time”.

Two weeks ago, fifteen-year-old Khai Cowley was killed after being attacked by a Great White shark while surfing at Ethels on the state’s Yorke Peninsula, three hundred clicks west of Elliston.

Now, Elliston mayor Andrew McLeod has said the spate of attacks is “alarming” and has called for a “targeted approach” to hunting the Great Whites.

He says students of the Elliston Area School were in the water when Simon Baccanello was killed and were “still coming to terms with the death of their teacher, affectionately known as Mr B.

“It’s really difficult to estimate how hard it’s been for the kids at school to have one of their teachers lost through a shark attack and now another one severely wounded due to another shark attack,” McLeod told ABC.

McLeod knows Great Whites.

In 2014, he was surfing with pals when a fifteen-foot Great White bit into his board, throwing him in to the water.

“He’d just paddled out and the shark came up from underneath and tried to eat him. He cleared the pointer to get back on the board,” his pal Tyron Swan told ABC. “He was ridiculously lucky; he should definitely not be here. If his legs were down [in the water] he would have been killed, if he had a smaller board he would have been killed, if he was hanging off his board he would have been killed.”


Two Australian icons. The one in the background out the door.
Two Australian icons. The one in the background out the door.

Cries of “traitor” fill air as Australia’s iconic Surf Lakes applies for U.S. citizenship!

Wrapping the Rusty Plunger in Stars and Stripes.

When one conjures “Australia,” Crocodile Dundee, Vegemite and Surf Lakes’ iconic Rusty Plunger immediately come to mind. Steam punking up there in Yeppoon, that wave-making device, straight out of Mad Max, was unveiled to the world for the first time by ultra-Australian Mark Occhilupo less than six years ago but has stamped its southern cross cred hard.

Alas, the winds of change blow furious and Surf Lakes is officially applying for U.S. citizenship.

Per the press release:

Surf Lakes has moved to become a USA-based company following the successful approval of a Scheme of Arrangement process in late 2023 and full implementation as of January 2024.

This new entity, Surf Lakes Global, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is now the parent company for Surf Lakes, providing access and momentum into the US market. Surf Lakes will maintain business operations out of Australia, including all research and development initiatives with the engineering team working at the Gold Coast and on-site at the R&D facility at Yeppoon. This strategic move was made due to many factors, including:

-The US represents a larger and more suitable market for Surf Lakes.
-The majority of Surf Lakes projects are in the US.
-43% of project enquiries to date have come from the Americas.
-The US has a much larger population than Australia (for perspective there are more people in Texas than Australia).
-Redomiciling in the US will yield improved access to US capital markets.
-The move allows for greater potential for investment in the immediate term and public listing opportunities in the medium-to-long term.
-Further strategic and business development opportunities.
-Closer and better connected to South America (Brazil represents another boom market for the wave pool industry).

Oi oi ouch.

But what do you make of this new development? An unforgivable betrayal or just the way things go down under (see: Mel Gibson moving to Malibu)?

Certainly more as this story develops.


Palm Springs Surf Club shut-down blamed on lightning strike!

“We understand the optics of this situation are not ideal, but we intend to use this down time to upgrade our advanced settings.”

Earlier today, the world awoke to the shock news that the Palm Springs Surf Club, a facility patronised and feted by the world’s best surfers, had been shuttered indefinitely because of “technical challenges.”

You’ll remember BeachGrit’s Com Turren visited the Palm Springs Surf Club shortly after it opened to the public on New Year’s Day, booking two advanced sessions, at two hundred dollars per hour, and one intermediate session at one-fifty, but was denied the tubes cause of tech probs.

Still, our man enjoyed himself immensely concluding, “150 for 12ish intermediate waves in an hour seems like a fairly even trade given the $80 million dollar investment in this place.”

Following its closure, an email to patrons advised:

“It has been a tough decision to make but based on the current state of some technical issues with our wave machine, we will be cancelling the remainder of sessions scheduled for January; effective tonight, 1/10/24.

“In recent days, we have been experiencing technical challenges. We have been working through them but our goal here at The Palm Springs Surf Club is to consistently deliver epic waves. In order to maintain the quality we have worked so hard to achieve within our wave settings, we need to take the whole system down to make it strong again. As a team that has been dedicated to the stoke, it saddens us to make this call but we can confidently say we will be back again with the product you all have seen and hoped to experience.”

Later, the creator of the pool’s tech, Tom Lochtefeld, wrote to BeachGrit, giving a little more detail into what happened.

Chas and Derek – 

I’ll take the hit for the Palm Springs Surf Club (PSSC)  let down; although legitimately I can blame a ‘lightning strike’ (there was definitely was an aberrant power condition) and 3rd parties, i.e., the “technical challenges” which affected our advanced setting wave performance and PSSC’s ability to offer a premium surf experience.

Notwithstanding, due to the fault tolerance of our wave generating system, we can still make good intermediate waves; however, our ‘core’ market want premium slabs, barrels, and sections. Since Surf Loch is not satisfied with just ‘good’ and rather than compromise the offer, we have mutually decided with PSSC to cancel all remaining January / February surf sessions and the pool will remain closed until warmer weather. 

We understand the optics of this situation are not ideal, but we intend to use this down time to upgrade our advanced settings, improve our unfinished beach run-up, and expand our intermediate and beginner wave riding options.

You guys have treated Surf Loch fairly, and your confidence and support are of utmost importance to us, and we appreciate your understanding during this opening period.

We are excited to bring PSSC back online with an even better wave and overall surf experience.

Lightning!

Delivered by God or a bolt from Team Slater?


Suck it, wind!
Suck it, wind!

Rhode Island’s core surf community revolts against proposed offshore wind farm!

Raised fist.

There is one name in core and that is Sid Abbruzzi. The Package has done it all from creating Rhode Island’s surf culture through his shop Water Bros to fighting the man to protecting the coast and ensuring access for all.

When Sid speaks, it is well worth a listen and now he is lending his voice to the growing protest against a proposed offshore wind farm.

Monied interests are planning to erect 1000 turbines, each 850 feet tall, some 12.9 nautical miles off Rhode Island’s gorgeous surf-rich coast. These will be both the largest turbines ever built and the greatest concentration anywhere on earth.

The field will be built on Coxes Ledge, a geological formation that supports a variety of marine life including whales and delicious cod. Not only will construction damage the area but hundreds of miles of underground cables will also be installed sending sediment plumes into critical breeding grounds. Long dormant toxic lead deposits and heavy metals will also be dredged right back into the system.

While wind is generally seen as clean, these turbines are made from dirty Chinese steel and, also, the blades cannot be recycled ending up in ugly blade cemeteries.

Etc.

There is much naughtiness about the plan though the surf core is getting behind a legal effort to stop it all.

Would you like to lend your dollars?

Donate here!


Layer (pictured) in need of a little 80mph puff. Photo: Instagram
Layer (pictured) in need of a little 80mph puff. Photo: Instagram

Surfers smack lips after Ventura declares “State of Emergency” as freaky air wind, monster waves pummel coast!

Rotation time.

Surfers are odd creatures, relishing weather anomalies much, much more than the next man. Swell events, for example, pushing big ol’ barrels toward shore. The next man might be worried about his house, but surfers are there, boards waxed, ready to ride straight into infamy. Or wicked winds licking the sky, bending palms like toothpicks etc. The next man could be worried that his house will become crushed, but surfers are there, boards waxed, ready to stick an elusive double, even triple rotation.

But let us hurry quick to Ventura, California where a “State of Emergency” has been declared over barrels and airs.

Per the local ABC affiliate:

Strong winds whipping across Southern California are bringing dangerously high surf to beach communities once again Thursday.

The conditions prompted the city of Ventura to declare a state of emergency due to severe high surf events. The order allows the city to receive emergency funding from the state and speed up any needed disaster response.

The National Weather Service said: “High surf and coastal flooding are possible through Friday at west and northwest facing beaches.”

This comes after recent damage to the Ventura Pier during high tide events.

I would very much like the think that one Albee Layer is, currently, on his way to Silver Strand. The Maui-San Diego surfer has been really cursing himself after almost, but not quite, landing a 2x spin. Taking to Instagram, he wrote, “After thinking about this section instead of sleeping for most of last night I decided I hit it a half a second early and didn’t stomp hard enough on the landing. Good news is I probably hate myself enough to land it today if I get another chance which the odds are pretty low on. Fuck.”

I think the odds will very much improve with Ventura’s predicted 80mph winds. I think, even, a 4x spin in the cards.

Huzzah.