Fuck you Sharks.
It’s been just under a fortnight since we surveyed the crew at Headlanders Bodyboard Club for their thoughts and experiences on living in a region almost as well known for hosting Great White Sharks as it is for hosting A grade Hollywood celebrities, B grade Instagram influencers and Northern beaches trust fund transplants.
The general consensus from the respondents spoke of the need to balance the hunt for stoke against the desire for safety in a changing ecological environment.
Just prior to the articles publishing, a fully grown adult Sperm whale measuring close to 14 metres, possibly K.O.ed by a boat strike, decided to make the sharky region probably decidedly more sharky by spewing blood and body fluids into the ocean.
Located a few hundred metres down the beach from the fabulous wedges of Ballina’s south wall, the carcass was moved to landfill, but not before some sneaky bugger removed its bottom jaw with a chainsaw, with the ivory laiden teeth fetching a considerable price on the black market.
Then just yesterday, remarkable yet disconcerting footage emerged of a very near miss on former WSL stalwart Matt Wilkinson when surfing at Sharpes beach in the Ballina region.
Taken alongside multiple beach closures from the Gold Coast to the Mid North Coast in lieu of shark sightings in the last week, Headlanders Bodyboard Club president Troy Taylor took the brave decision to postpone this weekend’s club round.
It a statement to Infoamed, Taylor says:
“It certainly wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to postpone Round 4, we all know the current situation. Scheduling a contest during school holidays unfortunately means a load of crew are away, including our key committee members. But a near miss shark encounter a few hundred metres from one of our go to spots is literally a bit too close to home. We’ll just wait it out like we always do.
Headlanders will have drone support at all contests from here on, supported by our local SLSC”.
This was particularly disappointing for the club as Aussie legend Ryan Hardy was to be in attendance to conduct one of his coaching clinics that has been heavily promoted in the local community, an event which had already been rescheduled previously because of Covid travel restrictions earlier this year.
However, as any good leader does, Taylor has put the health and safety of club members first, which is to be applauded.