During the semifinals, three orcas rushed towards the shore where a group of surfers were.
One of the surfers reported being as close as 50 centimetres from one of the whales.
According to marine biologists at Norwegian Orca Survey, the orcas were on the hunt.
“Based on the group size and behaviour, we have no doubt saying that these orcas were searching for seal prey,” they said.
One whale can be seen charging full speed at a surfer before it veers off.
“Fortunately, orcas use echolocation to better investigate their habitat and prey. It is likely that the charging orca realized, at the very last second, that the surfer was not a seal and took a sharp turn and moved away,” said Norwegian Orca Survey.
The surf competition organizers said none of the surfers or the orcas was injured.