A shark sighting off the coast of Western Australia shut down the Ironman 70.3 Busselton swim over the weekend. According to several reports, about 100 swimmers in the middle of their 1.2-mile swim were ordered out of the water by the Surf Life Saving Western Australia after people in a helicopter spotted a shark. The swimmers were taken directly to transition and they continued on with the bike and run competitions.
Pro racers were already out of the water, so that race wasn’t impacted. Dan Wilson (AUS) edged out three-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander (AUS) for the men’s win, and Katey Gibb (AUS) narrowly beat Jacqueline Thistleton (AUS) for the women’s top spot.
The relay portion of the event, however, was heavily impacted. All 190 teams had to skip the swim and instead compete in a bike-run format, with athletes being released from T1 in 5-second intervals.
Sharks have been on every open-water swimmer’s mind, with recent attacks in California, South Carolina and Florida making headlines across the U.S., a country that holds the title, along with Australia, as the world’s most shark-infested.