Michel Bourez twice frisked by shark while foiling

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

If not for the damn COVID, Michel Bourez would be in South Africa right now warming up for J'Bay. The Eastern Cape is known for its wildlife, white sharks included, and since Mick was brushed in 2015 the Wozzle has had a shark strategy in place at Jeffreys.

Today, Michel Bourez was half a world away from J'Bay yet still had to employ his own shark strategy. No point retelling it all, here's the story from Michel himself (sic):

What an incredible day !Different emotions in just a few minutes.

I was doing a down wind from tahiti ( mahina ) to moorea(vaiare) when a hammer shark chased my foil and bite it. He broke the tail of my @signaturefoils so I could not keep going . Then I sat on my @firewiresurfboards and waved at my friends on the boat to come and pick me up.After 2-3 minutes by « myself » , I felt something was wrong so I looked around me and stayed in alert just in case the shark would come back again . I was right !

The 3-4 meters hammer shark came back again at me so I put my foil in between him and I to protect myself. He bite my foil for the second time realizing it was definitely not eatable and swam back away from me . The boat picked me up a few minutes after and I was safe .

15 minutes later I decided to go foil again and finished the race we had.

I felt like surfing at teahupoo when it’s 10-12 foot ! We know the risk to get hurt or even dying but the love of our sport is too strong. EVERY TIME I go foiling in the deep blue , I’ve seen hammers sharks cruising around so I know the risk since the beginning.The ocean is their world and I respect that !

No bad feelings at all ! He just owe me a new foil.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bourez Michel (@bourezmichel) on

 

Comments

Justint's picture
Justint's picture
Justint commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 5:38pm

Even sharks hate foilers

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 12:20am

Ha!

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 6:14pm

Too right justint.
Two blokes here have decided to start the foiling here just recently. Makes me nervous.

195

mickseq's picture
mickseq's picture
mickseq commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 7:16pm

this is the second time documented now that a shark has turned its nose up at a french surfer

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 10:07pm

Reads more like an add than a news story to me

blower's picture
blower's picture
blower commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 7:13am

I guess this is the way pro surfers keep their sponsors happy in the covid era?

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 10:18pm

What's more dangerous in the lineup - a shark or a foiler?

Justasurfbum's picture
Justasurfbum's picture
Justasurfbum commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 7:46am

Surfed with eight of them out Burleigh mid-morning about 3 weeks ago - Horrible!
Some were good and only moderately dangerous, some were kooks and absolutely terrifying. All were greedy and quite happy to zigzag right through the surfers.
Hearing the usual SUP piggys whinging about them getting all the waves was amusing though.
They always make me think of the roman chariots with the decapitation blades - fun times & coming to a lineup near you!

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 7:46am

Is that a trick question?
Is the answer: both?

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 9:04am

agree with all the comments above, they scare me, makes the old goat boats seem harmless.

Mad_DB's picture
Mad_DB's picture
Mad_DB commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 11:48am

Hammerheads love stingrays. Have seen them hunting eagle rays at high speeds over reef flats on the GBR quite frequently. The bottom of a foil looks much like a ray, Might be what happened here, same environment, same cast. Foilers beware of the hammers

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 11:51am

Ah, to true! Also I've seen these dangerous craft surfed too close to others on the points north the last month or so. Go find your own wave or stay way outside away from surfers. So dangerous.

cleelo's picture
cleelo's picture
cleelo commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 12:00pm

Foils do look like fun and I get why people ride them but they are a massive risk to other water users. As with other surf craft many riders over rate their own ability and because of this and the foil design there will be some serious injuries and possibly deaths as a result. On the Surfcoast in Vic there is a rapid increase in foils and it is becoming a serious safety issue at some popular breaks with ten plus flying machetes speeding through the line up. Its really frightening popping over a wave paddling out to see a foil blade coming straight for you at high speed. When there are foils buzzing all over waves like blowflies the surf stoke is replaced by fear and worry. Some foilers get that and generally keep well wide of the surf line but most foil learners don't and they are the main problem. Unfortunately there might have to be some kind of regulations like jet skis have brought in, eg keep 100m from other water users, and I believe that Marine Safety Vic are considering this after receiving so many complaints. So to me foils are way more dangerous than sharks.

PC

ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 1:01pm

3 confusing things -1. Sups & 2. Foils were supposed to reduce lineup numbers because they can access other breaks that surfers don't use / want to ride. 3.No need for breaking waves with a foil - why are the clogging up the good breaks & kooking out on safety?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 1:10pm

Look at me, look at me, look at me!

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 7:42pm

Exactly. They think we'll be happy for them. Oh man, how good will the drone footage be to show the wife and the guys from work! They'll KNOW I'm a real surfer after seeing that!

Billie

ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 2:18pm

Very succinct answer Craig thanks.

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 5:02pm

Are there any laws with these things or are they classed as a board rider like surfboards?

195

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 12:48am

Any surf craft ridden without & even with skill in a crowded line up is potentially dangerous. Tarring all and sundry with the same brush is pretty lame IMO. If people want to have different experiences in the surf to you, so what. Stick to the “safety” of your short board if it works for you I guess but try an embrace those who are seeking more variety in their surfing experience.....

Pristine

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 2:07am

Bodyboard vs foil? Ummmm...

Fluiddreams's picture
Fluiddreams's picture
Fluiddreams commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 8:44am

Even worse is the SUP/foil hybrid.....

markhj's picture
markhj's picture
markhj commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 9:05am

Just yell out to these idiots you will see them in the carpark when they get out. And go & see them in the carpark & scare the bejeezus out of them. Wax up their windscreens. Let their tyres down. Beat them up. We do it with kite surfers - they are non real board riders mostly (some are surfers) and they ride kites because it's so much easier (effectively you can't fall off). With foils, there are plenty of swells to ride everywhere. No way do you tolerate them in the lineup. Get aggro.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 9:10am

You beat up people for having fun?

1173

YoungOne's picture
YoungOne's picture
YoungOne commented Tuesday, 7 Jul 2020 at 12:40pm

markhj, if you're serious with that comment, you're a disturbed, fragile, insecure fellow... probably the kind that is often vocal and macho, but only in the presence of your mates, who you hope will back you up in your misinformed idiocy.
I hope you were joking. If not, grow up.
(BTW - I'm not a fan of SUPs, kiteboarders or foilers in the surf zone, but you can't go resorting to animalistic behaviour just because you don't agree with what they do. Just ask them nicely to go elsewhere. Surfing is supposed to be beautiful).

gpm's picture
gpm's picture
gpm commented Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 12:28pm

When its windy enough to kite, its rubbish to surf, so you can't complain about kites being in the surf...
Surf in morning when its offshore, kite surf the same waves in the arvo once its windy.

But yes, when in the wrong hands, foils are death traps :)

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 2:01pm

Rabbits68 , "If people want to have different experiences in the surf to you, so what." I think most are concerned about being hurt by one of these things. If somebody makes a mistake on a foil board the chances of injury, i assume, would be far greater to people in the line up then if it was a surfboard or bodyboard. I think you will find most people are all for others having different experiences in the surf, however, if it's in their line up with a greater risk of a horrible injury.......thats when it crosses the line.

195

rj-davey's picture
rj-davey's picture
rj-davey commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 12:14pm

On that logic couldn't boogers say the same thing to surfers? Relatively speaking I expect our boards cause a comparable leap in risk to them

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 9:18pm

From my perspective on the West Coast, I am always happy to see boogers in the line up picking off random drainers...

.... they don't seem to give a shit about much but the vision and experience.

They sure make sunbathing more interesting ;)

Henno's picture
Henno's picture
Henno commented Sunday, 5 Jul 2020 at 11:44am

I am so glad the supermodel French guy on his $5000 carbon fibre thingy had his friends to pick him up with their $80,000 boat. One of the scariest first world problems I’ve ever heard of.

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 12:24pm

That's true rj, i guess swimmers could say the same about boogers. I guess it's all relative. I personally see more issues with the foils in regards to the severity of injury.

195

shoogsyboy's picture
shoogsyboy's picture
shoogsyboy commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 12:24pm

Harden up you clowns!! If it's your break you are surfing and you don't want foilers or suppers then tell them to fk off. What ever happened to localism?

Tristan Goose's picture
Tristan Goose's picture
Tristan Goose commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 12:37pm

bunch of jetski wave jumper types been getting precariously close at my local recently, duck dived a wave the other day and saw one whizzing by less than 15 metres away

Joff's picture
Joff's picture
Joff commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 1:24pm

One thing Australia needs right now is more rules and bans.
I mean - if it's not a 3 ft tooth pick it doesn't belong in the lineup and is a danger to everyone involved, am i right? Ban everything else!
Just yesterday I was reading about a foiler who lost control and decapitated 4 short boarders in the line up, actually one of the guys was riding a mal so he doesn't count.
Three innocent lives lost - Won't somebody think of the children!

Totom's picture
Totom's picture
Totom commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 7:21pm

I'm curious about this accident you read about, can you quote the source please? and what is "a 3 ft tooth pick" ? is this the size of the mast you are talking about?

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 7:49pm

Problem I see with the foilers on this side is they insist on learning and using them in crowded easy to surf spots where kids, mums and kooks also surf so bad combo and accident waiting to happen, heaps empty half waves around where they could be (and sups btw) but they dont seem to get it. Also of note is that its mostly the flashy rich guys and sponnos too who are generally wankers in the surf at the best of times , much less when they are showing off their 2000k toys (you know who you are Howi son and mates )

kbomb's picture
kbomb's picture
kbomb commented Monday, 6 Jul 2020 at 11:22pm

Agree with all that mikehunt

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wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson commented Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 10:23am

If you get run over by a mal or a short board or an SUP maybe you will get bruised, maybe you will get a fin chop. If a foil runs you over and it goes wrong it will cut your head off. That’s the difference.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 5:56pm

Yep, foilers should probably stay away from crowded surf spots. As someone else pointed out they can ride waves at spots that most others can’t, so why gravitate to a spot with 50 people sitting in close proximity? But of a fuck-wit move I reckon.

theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep's picture
theblacksheep commented Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 8:55pm

Any place with hipsters out is FAR more dangerous than a coupla foilers. They are a fucking plague of throw-my-limp-wrist-in-the-air-instead-of-turning leashless soy vegan latte drinking beard creamed board-more-expensive-than-my-car kooks.
Guaranteed more injuries from these carnts