From: (Benjamin Cristi)

Date: Sat, 30 Sep 1995 02:55:49 GMT

A windsurfer was attacked at Davenport CA just outside the downwind break, around 5:15PM today (fri 9/29/95). He had just completed an outside jibe and was not yet planing, when, without warning the shark bit and held onto the back of his board. He jumped off and swam away, then moments later when the shark let go, swam back to his rig and sailed in.

There were teeth marks on both rails of the board, on one side between his rear and front straps, and on the other side near the fin, a span of maybe 2 feet (that's the mouth span !!). Just about everyone came in right after. A few stayed out, no doubt due to the primo conditions (I was planing on a 4.7, and the sets were well overhead).

The victim is fine (thank God), suffering only a slight cut on his foot. This could have happened to anyone of us.

Ben Cristi (, 408-744-1020)

Shark mauls sailboard; surfer lives

Mercury News Staff Report

Published 10/01/95 in the San Jose Mercury News.

A Santa Cruz windsurfer escaped injury when he was attacked by a shark just off Davenport Landing on Friday.

The surfer involved in the 5:30 p.m. attack just north of Davenport, identified as Mike Sullivan, couldn't be reached for comment Saturday. But Matt Haut, who works at Haut Surf and Sail in Santa Cruz, said he witnessed the incident, which he termed ``pretty hairy.''

``I saw this real thrashing, lots of white water spray everywhere,'' said Haut, who was windsurfing 30 or 40 feet from the spot of the attack. ``I saw his board being carried upwind and I saw him swimming frantically away from his gear. I knew something was wrong and I sailed up between him and his board.

``I saw death in his eyes. He was really, really scared.''

Although the attacked surfer managed to swim ashore and wasn't hurt, Haut said, his board was pocked with teeth marks.

``It's definitely a shark bite,'' said Sean Van Sommeran, executive director of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, who examined the bitten board and talked with several witnesses. He estimated the animal's size at 12 to 15 feet long.