In a rather harrowing story retold on his Instagram page, Michel Bourez revealed that he’d been attacked by a shark in his native Tahiti. Like many Tahitians, Bourez is a gifted waterman. Apparently he was doing a downwind run on his foil board from the island of Tahiti to Moorea, surfing big wind swell with a boat spotter, when he was attacked by what he believes was a hammerhead shark.
“I was doing a down wind from tahiti ( mahina ) to moorea(vaiare) when a hammer shark chased my foil and bit it,” wrote Bourez with a friendly nod to his sponsors. “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.”
Bourez says he spent a few agonizing moments floating in the ocean waiting to get picked up. “I felt something was wrong so I looked around me and stayed alert just in case the shark came back again,” he says. “I was right ! The 3-4 meter hammer shark came back again at me so I put my foil in between him and I to protect myself. He bit 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.”
The Tahitian – who finished 13th in the world last year – ended up getting back in the water to finish the run with his mates. “I’ve seen hammer sharks cruising around so I know the risk since the beginning,” he said. “The ocean is their world and I respect that ! No bad feelings at all ! He just owes me a new foil.”