Random Happenings: An Orca-strated Interruption

Killer Whales Swim Through Lineup of Norwegian Surf Contest

The Lofoton Masters is advertised as "the world's northernmost surfing contest." Held each September since 2007, a typical Lofoton Masters provides nearly everything one would expect from a contest hosted off the coast of an archipelago inside the frigid Arctic Circle: icy peelers and craggy mountain backdrops, loads of rubber, and a formidable assemblage of European shredders.

And this year's contest looked to be no different. That is until, mid-heat, competition was briefly interrupted as a duo of Killer Whales swam through the contest zone, the first off which breaches into the frame of the video above just as the surfer in yellow beefs a floater on the closeout section of a waist-high runner. In the video, which has built to near-viral buzz across the Internet, the orcas can be seen migrating through the surf zone – one seemingly coming within a few meters of the beach – as a surfer in red waves his arms in celebration while the contest's commentator understatedly announces the whales' presence, saying coolly, "It looks like the whales have, eh, entered the contest area."

Though the situation was embraced with relative levity, it could have been much heavier, as, according to the Lofoton Masters Facebook page, the Norwegian Orca Survey confirmed the incident was "an actual attack," and the whales only "changed their mind in the last second.”

The contest continued on as the whales exited the scene, leaving the commentator to ask, "I wonder what the judges are going to score that one?" No word yet on how they did, but in the end, it wouldn’t matter much, as Bali's Edi Swinston and Sweden's Maria Petersson took first place honors in the Men's Open and Women’s Divisions, respectively.