A recent incident at a surfing competition at Half Moon Bay, California highlights the unpredictable nature of sporting events in the natural environment.
On February 13, two large waves wiped out spectators at Mavericks Beach, causing multiple injuries including broken bones, cuts and bruises to more than a dozen people. In this case the event organisers did not foresee this unlikely but high impact scenario in their risk management planning.

On the Gold Coast however, the recent threat of a tsunami forced the postponement of the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro and the evacuation of the event’s beach venue following the Chilean earthquake last weekend.

Risk management programs for a surfing event must consider the safety of surfers, spectators and everyone else affected by the event.