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Expectations high as Red Bull Cape Fear returns

 2017 Red Bull Cape Fear Champion Russel Bierke. Pic Red Bull/Rod Owen
2017 Red Bull Cape Fear Champion Russel Bierke © Red Bull/Rod Owen


Red Bull Cape Fear

20 big-wave specialists will charge super-dangerous slab in Sydney

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 May, 2017 - Red Bull Cape Fear – the one-of-a-kind, invitation-only surf competition is back in 2017. The waiting period this year has been called – beginning 1 May and staying open through to 31 August. Last year’s event proved that Cape Fear is, pound for pound, one of the heaviest waves in the world.

Big wave surfer and Red Bull Cape Fear Contest Director, Mark Mathews said “Last year’s event was beyond my wildest imagination and I can hardly wait to see what Mother Nature throws up at Cape Solander this year. Having the 16 surfers from 2016 event and the additional four internationals will make for an unbelievable show.”

Red Bull Cape Fear by the numbers;
-    20 surfers
-    8 – 12ft waves, close to three stories high
-    27 Olympic pools worth of water breaks over a shallow reef
-    Waves breaking 10 meters from the rocks of Cape Solander
-    Surfers towed in at speeds up to 50km/h

When it’s inevitably called ON, 20 of the world’s most experienced and daring slab riders will be pulling out all the stops. This includes icons like Laurie Towner, Ryan Hipwood and Makua Rothman, along with last year’s Red Bull Cape Fear champion, Russell Bierke who’s “excited to see what kind of swells are brewing this winter, the Southern Hemisphere has swell systems developing everywhere at the moment, so I have a good feeling that we will run this year in some amazing conditions.”

The four-month event window will ensure that Red Bull Cape Fear is run in the most optimal swell of the big wave season. When assessing incoming swells, Ben Macartney, Chief Swell Forecaster of Coastalwatch, says “I'm analysing mean sea levels and pressure for any major storms forming over the Tasman Sea or Southern Ocean. Then I’m assessing potential surf-heights, wave period, wave direction and arrival times - as well as local winds  ideal for running Red Bull Cape Fear.”

Red Bull Cape Fear uses a unique, overlapping heat format. Four surfers will compete across five, forty-minute heats. The unique overlapping heat format will vary between paddle and tow. The single highest paddle and single highest tow wave will count for each surfer’s total heat score. The winner of each heat will progress straight to the final, the second place surfer in each heat will move to a re-charge round where they will surf for the final spot in the final. The highest placed surfer at the end of the final will be crowned the Red Bull Cape Fear champion for 2017.

The event site for Red Bull Cape Fear will be closed to spectators, however the entire competition will be broadcast LIVE and free at Red Bull TV. Safety is our priority – the event site does not allow organisers to safely accommodate large crowds and protect the integrity of the environment. All other areas of the National Park will remain open for visitors.


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