Champion surfer Mick Fanning was unhurt by the shark, but how scary is this video? And what is going on with sharks this year?
This took place during live competition in South Africa. That is a big shark. Yikes.
When the online poker boom hit in 2003, poker fast became one the most popular pastimes – and for a few, full time income generator – in the world. Amateurs and professionals alike rushed online, hoping to make it big in the live tournament scene and be the next Chris Moneymaker.
Moneymaker was the first person to ever win a major tournament after qualifying for the event through an online casino, and his win has since seen millions flock to the game. As Intercasino explains, many choose to go to online casinos, because “playing it online offers players the chance to play the different variants of the game and savor the excitement and fun that each variant provide.” Nowadays there are 60 million poker players in the US alone, and over 100 million worldwide.
Out in the real world, the boom also had a pleasant side effect: it helped shine a spotlight on poker runs. Poker runs are races where the objective isn’t to be the first to cross the finish line. Instead, all participants have to form the best poker hand that they can by using cards they get from stations found along the race course.
Poker runs have become popular fundraising activities in recent years. Most poker runs are held for charity, which ties in perfectly with poker’s newfound status as a charity fundraising tool. Hollywood celebrities and famous athletes are always hosting charity poker tournaments, for example.
“When done properly, they result in a ‘win-win’ situation for the organizers and participants, with large sums being raised for the cause at hand and those participating having a memorable experience that keeps them coming back year after year,” the PokerRun.org site explains.
Originally the domain of motorcycle clubs, other groups eventually came up with their own versions of the fun charity race. Kayakers, paddlers, and rowers call them “poker paddles”. The ethos is the same, though: it’s not a race, so take your time to enjoy the course. After all, poker paddles are more about having a leisurely experience with a group of like-minded individuals than it is a mad dash for the finish line.
One such poker run variant is the Annual SUP Poker Run that takes place in Florida in the summer. It was created “with the sole purpose of raising money to help offset the cost of attending the highly anticipated invitational, which includes bussing, food and housing.” In Illinois, SUP Poker Paddle Runs have been used to raise funds as part of the Leukemia Cup Regatta, a series of events benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
So how does a poker paddle event sound to you? Would you be willing to break out the SUP boards for charity? Not only will it be a great way to raise money and call attention to a benefit or issue, it’s also the perfect excuse to take to the water on a weekend.
This is excerpted from Surfer Today's article "How to survive a shark attack". I've left out all the more commonly known stuff about avoiding dawn/dusk, muddy water, bleeding in the water etc. Particularly to the point is the bit on "If the shark grabs you with its mouth". Are you feelin' me, homeboys?
If something brushes or bumps you underwater
Leave the water straight away to investigate. Minor bites in water are often not felt when they occur, and bleeding into the water can entice a shark back for more.
If you spot a shark
Stay cool, but shout loudly to warn others in the area. Don't antagonize or try to scare the shark away. Leave the water as quickly and unexcitedly as possible.
If you can't leave the water
Be very still and stay quiet. Keep your eyes on the shark as it swims. Sharks often retreat from prey, then circle back to gain speed and strike. Get out of the water as soon as it's safe to do so.
If you are diving and are approached by a shark
As above, stay very still. If you are holding any fish or catches, release them, then swim to safety when possible.
If you are circled or bumped
Circling and bumping mean the shark is either curious or intent on attacking. In either case, you should assume you are in imminent danger and be prepared to defend yourself.
Use anything you are carrying as a weapon, as a last resort utilizing hands and feet. Strike at the sensitive gills and eyes with repeated, short, sharp jabs. Be relentless. Hit as hard as you possibly can until the shark gives up and leaves.
If the shark swims toward you in a zig-zag motion
Back up against something - or someone - solid. Defend yourself as above. Don't give up until the shark does.
If the shark grabs you with its mouth
Be as hostile and vicious as possible. Latch onto the muzzle of the shark with any free limbs to avoid being thrashed. Then claw, kick, elbow, and generally endeavour to injure the eyes and gills. Do not play dead. The shark will simply attempt to swallow its catch.
Get to shore as calmly and quickly as possible, instructing anyone nearby to ring for an ambulance. If you have a bite and are able to apply pressure to the wound, do so right away, while leaving the water, to minimize blood loss.
If you see someone has been bitten
1. Help the victim to shore and keep them warm by wrapping them in the nearest available towel or cloth.
2. Apply pressure directly to wounds with any available cloth or fabric. If blood soaks through, do not remove the original cloth; simply add more as needed. Apply force also to pressure points directly between the injury and the heart. Common pressure points include the groin area, above the elbow, and behind the knee.
3. If pressure points do not slow the bleeding, and medical help is not immediately available, a tourniquet may be the solution. Wrap the wound in a stretchy fabric as tightly as possible, and insert a stick or rigid pole between the bandage and skin. Twist to tighten until blood flow slows considerably or stops. Use this measure only under extreme circumstances, where no other choice is available.
4. Elevate the bleeding limb to a position above the heart; if possible, at least 12 inches.
5. Keep the victim still. If a limb appears disfigured, or broken bones are suspected, leave the limb in place. If possible, pad with soft material, applying ice to the outside of the pad.
6. If shock is suspected, treat appropriately: call 911 or your local emergency number, lay the person down, begin CPR if necessary, and don't let him/her eat or drink anything.
While shark encounters are no doubt on the rise, attacks resulting in death or injury are still exceedingly rare.
Stand Up Paddling in the Hamptons...Ya Mahn. Saturday at Cold Spring (down the road from Hampton Watersports) said Watersports store will be sponsoring a free SUP demo, featuring boards from Naish, Starboard, and Adventure. I myself think nobody makes a more beautiful board than Naish, the Starboards are excellent, and I look forward to learning about the Adventure gear!
Saturday June 27th from 11A-2P. Contact the shop if you have questions (631-283-9463...they also regularly rent and sell SUP gear.)
(Top: Nice friendly conditions for Stand Up Paddle fun on flat water. Bottom: Yours Truly enjoying a fine day at K Road...that photo by Jeff Schultz.)
"Who is Michael calling a clown? Or a joker? You gotta be kidding me!"
That's what they're saying (Jeff and the Wolf, anyway). Or should be! For I am a clown and a joker SUPsurfing! Still, on a lovely Sunday morning wave at Cryder, stomach high and reasonably smooth, I found that song in my head on a particular wave. I am...not the best at making sure the coast is clear when surfing...I try, I just forget sometimes, or fail to turn my head enough. On this particular wave I did see that we were in party mode, and happily everyone got their ride (I think).
In any event the song popped on like it was built into my board. And I got the irony. Still there were some satisfying Sunday morning waves, and the water was comfortable in a 3/2 (Jeff in a shorty reported brisk conditions.)
4.7 windsurfing, sunny and warm, on a Saturday? Hashtag Jackpot I say!
And it wasn't even in the forecast. I'd been by the windsurfing shop to chat with Jonathan, sent the obligatory lamentations about the crumbling forecast for the day (first the gusts were to be 20, then 15, then no gusts.) And then Scott noticed the trees. "It's gonna happen!" he cackled, and he was right.
Up to South Jamesport it was Scott, myself, Peconic Jeff (who sailed over from Red Cedar Point) and a late/short/sweet appearance by the Wolf (Jon showed up with a kite.) There were quite a few dead fish on the beach, and I saw one every hundred yards on the water due to the toxic bloom in the bay (too much nitrogen from fertilizer and septic systems...see this report for details). Still the windsurfing was excellent! She Who Must Be Obeyed was out of town so I had all the time in the world, and sailed until my knees hurt from lack of jumping practice. A fine day. 4.7 Saturday, sunny and warm: Any questions?
Mary Lee has left the building. Or the coast of Long Island, which is good enough for me. When we last reported on the lovely 3,500 pound great white shark, she was idling away the hours off of Gilgo, whilst anything with a brain larger than a peppercorn kept its distance. But now Mary has headed down to Chincoteague, perhaps in search of horse meat. If you check out Ocearch's excellent shark tracker, you'll see that Mary Lee spent some special time just north of Seaside Heights. Good eats in Jersey?
The only people I want to hear telling me that sharks are beautiful creatures that pose no danger to humans are windsurfers and SUPpers who have had a shark display interest in them while out on the water. Happened to me once, and it sucked. No fun at all. Yet sharks have as much a right to live as deer ticks and mosquitos and cockroaches, and thanks to the good people at OCEARCH (who research and track apex predators de la mar) we know that a 3,500 pound great white shark, 16 feet long going by the nom de fish Mary Lee is currently cruising off of Democrat Point, eating whatever the hell she pleases and taking no shit from anybody. Mary Lee is tagged and wearing a microphone, so both her position and dialog can be tracked. Her position is the more interesting, as the dialog varies little:
Mary Lee: "Get the f*** out of my way."
Everyone else: "Okay."
(Maps: Mary Lee's track from awhile back. Note the visit to the middle of Long Island in the past. Right now Pete Roesch says she's off of Robert Moses Park, with a Superlight stuck between her teeth.)
I''m repeating it for good measure. And because I love swap meets!
Windsurfing. Stand up paddling. Kiteboarding. Stuff to buy, to sell, to swap.
I love swap meets. All that gear that's seen all that wind and water. Waves even!
Hampton Watersports, Saturday May 9th, 9A-4P. Swapping is free, if you sell you get 100% store credit or 80% cash (last time I checked.) What watersportsman (or woman) isn't going to spend every dime they get from selling gear on MORE GEAR? Not me. I need more gear. You need more gear. Also you have too much gear that you're done with but that someone else could really use. Go swap.
See you there! For more info call the shop (631-283-9463). Hampton Watersports, 1688 County Road 39 Southampton, NY 11968
From points west:
Take the Long Island Expressway (495) east to exit 70 south (County Road 111 Manorville).
Follow CR 111 south to end.
At end it forces you onto Sunrise Hwy (RT27) east.
Follow RT27 past exit 66 (North Road Shinnecock).
RT27 will merge into North Highway CR39
When 27 changes from highway to road (with 2 lanes in each direction), Hampton Watersports will be 1 mile further on your right.
From east of the shop:
You know where the shop is, dog.
(I deleted the cough that was before the word "kiteboarding" in the original post, so as not to irritate Messrs. Barber and Hulse. They'll still be irritated, but I'm just saying.)
4.2! Giant airs! Four turn front-side down the line waveriding!
I missed it, but Jeff didn't. Nor did Scott, the Wolf, Jon, Pav, Bruce and Eric. It sounded so sweet...I haven't sailed in the ocean in six months, and haven't caught scary air in over a year. I want it!!!
Meanwhile in the strange incidents category: Jon had his Starboard quad board stolen right off the beach! Apparently, some caterer thought the board would make a cool buffet table. Fortunately, some off-duty plumbers spotted the crime, and took down the guy’s license plate. Cops quickly tracked the car down at Dockers, where Jon drove over and retrieved his board. He was able to get back and still have a session!
Let's hear it for those plumbers...way to go guys!
(Scott heads outbound in search of rampage. Reporting, most of the prose and the photo by Jeff Schultz.)