The Battle of Cape Fear is the first big wave surf comp in Australia
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 October, 2014 - Once in a lifetime an opportunity comes to create history and bring about change. Red Bull Cape Fear seized that opportunity to change the face of professional surfing forever. It was history made in front of our eyes, after two years of hard work from conception to realization. Red Bull Cape Fear, the first ever big wave surfing competition in Australia, captured the true essence of surfing in a single spectacular Sydney day.
And Red Bull Media House cameras were on hand from day one to document the journey and produce The Battle Of Cape Fear, a cinematic surfing documentary narrated by Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Great Gatsby, Felony) and directed by Macario De Souza (Bra Boys, Fighting Fear, The Crew).
Sixteen of the world’s best big wave surfers, carrying prestigious surnames such as Dorian, Irons, O’Brien and Walsh answered the long anticipated call from contest creator and big wave alumni Mark Mathews to descend on Botany Bay with less than 48 hours notice to contest a surfing event like no other.
No beach. No sand. No safe zone. Just a punishing six-foot slab breaking on a razor sharp reef and crashing against an unforgiving cliff-face that was almost as difficult to negotiate as the waves themselves.
Some came unstuck before they even made it into the water, local Koby Abberton earning the ire of the stirring Pacific Ocean and being smashed brutally against the rocks and dragged into the water by the receding white wash. He emerged from the
mass of spit and bubbles beaten but not broken and went on to provide some of the most entertaining moments of the event, taking down good friend and big wave royalty Bruce Irons in the process.
It was them versus us - Hawaii and the USA’s heavyweights taking on the best Sydney and Australia has to offer. Little known locals such as Kirk Flintoff and Jesse Adams got their chance to shine on an international stage, with viewers from across the globe glued to the live TV and streamed event to watch history unfold. All sixteen competitors contested the unique boxing-card style format that saw eight one-on-one heats and eight winners crowned, though just surviving was a victory in itself.
However, the event very nearly didn’t happen, for only three or four times a year do the right mix of tide, wind and swell combine to provide the required conditions. And it took right up until the final day of the six-month waiting period for said conditions to conspire, with Mathews getting the forecast he’d been hoping for just four days prior and giving the green light to an event two years in the making.
And while the 10-12 foot barrels anticipated didn’t eventuate, the six-foot slabs were more than enough to test the contestants, Hipwood starting off affairs with a perfect barrel ride, disappearing under the curtain for what seemed an eternity before emerging triumphant and signalling the ideal start to the event. From there on it was a plethora of back-to-back barrels and wipe-outs, the planet’s best dominating pound-for-pound the heaviest wave the planet offers to mark a monumental debut contest, Red Bull Cape Fear.
© Sea Surf Media
A Red Bull Media House production in association with Mint Pictures and KM Movement, The Battle of Cape Fear provides viewers with a never-before-seen insight into the creation, preparation and fruition of a professional world surfing event that has changed the sport forever.
The Battle of Cape Fear premieres Wed 8 Oct at 8:30pm AEST on FUEL TV & Red Bull TV and will be repeated Wed 15 Oct at 8:30pm AEST on Redbullcapefear.com