A shark scare halted the action at the Margaret River pro surfing event in West Australia today.

Organisers at the World Surf League competition called in American Kolohe Andino and Brazil's Felipe Toledo during the second semi-final. The 30-minute semi was half-completed, before a salmon and tuna feeding frenzy led to action being stopped.

"We saw all these splashes and I don't think either of us could really surf after that," Andino told Fox Sports. "I paddled over and said 'I think there's sharks out here'.

"I saw so many fish swimming under me and I know the big fish follow the small fish. They said we could go on hold and I said 'OK', because I couldn't really think."


Extensive safety checks were carried out, before the second semifinal resumed, with Andino beating Toledo 15.63 to 15.00.

In the opening semi, a bloodied and bruised reigning world surfing champion John John Florence progressed to the final with a win over Jack Freestone. Florence hit a shallow reef during the victory, but still had enough to end the Australian's dream run.

Florence was at his brilliant best, dominating the battle with scores of 9.90 and 9.37 for a total of 19.27 (out of 20).

Freestone, who knocked out world No1 Owen Wright in an all-Australian quarter-final and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater in the third round, was out-classed by Florence and finished on 10.57.

Florence opened with a 7.17, before peeling off a 9.37 ride that almost ended in disaster, when he jumped into shallow water and collided with the reef. The 24-year-old surfaced clutching his elbow and was clearly in pain, while being jet-skied back into the line-up.

He was interviewed shortly after the race, nursing a bloodied and swollen arm.

"I looked up and there was just a wall in front of me, and I went straight into it hard and just bounced off it with my elbow," Florence said. "It's not my leg so I can stand up. I'm good."

Florence's coach Ross Williams expects the Hawaiian to be fine for the final.


"I was a little worried, but John's a tough nut," Williams said. "I think he'll be good.

"These guys aren't looking at the reef ever, they're just looking at the section. That was a nice little section he came out of and that's all he was concentrating on, but unfortunately the reef was completely dry when he finished."

Williams believes Florence has thrived at Margaret River, because it's similar to the breaks he surfs at Hawaii.

"It just comes back to John and his upbringing on the North Shore," he said. "There's a handful of surf spots just like this, so he feels at home here."