Red Bull Big Wave Africa 2003
Surfing South Africa (SSA) Speciality event
Dungeons, Hout Bay,
Cape Town, South Africa
June 7 - 27, 2004
Marr completes line-up for Red Bull Big Wave Africa.
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 May 2004: - - Andrew Marr from Kommetjie in Cape Town who began his big wave surfing career at Waimea Bay in Hawaii and arguably now spends more time than anyone in the huge waves that batter the coastline of the Cape Peninsula, has been allocated the twelfth and final spot in the line-up for the 2004 Red Bull Big Wave Africa event that runs from June 7-27 at Hout Bay.
Marr takes the place of last years event runner-up John Whittle after the Durban charger notified the organisers of his withdrawal from the event due to personal circumstances. Marr joins a star-studded field of local and international big wave chargers that includes 2004 winner Greg Long, fellow Californian and three-time Mavericks winner Darryl Flea Virostko, Brazilian star Carlos Burle and 2000 winner Sean Holmes from Wilderness in the Southern Cape.
Along with Virostko, the other newcomers to Red Bull BWA 2004 are Mexican Coco Nogales and New Zealander Doug Young who will be the international alternate. The giant Grant Washburn of Mavericks fame is back for his fourth crack at the title after missing last years edition while Hawaiian standout Jamie Sterling, a finalist last year, returns for the fourth consecutive year.
click image to enlarge
Holmes and Marr are part of the six man SA contingent that includes Durbanites Grant Baker and Jason Ribbink third and fourth respectively in 2003 and Capetonians Mickey Duffus and former world pro-am surfing champion Justin Strong. David Smith (Cape Town) is included in the event for the first time as an alternate along with the fearless Richie Sills (Durban).
The challenge to surf the biggest rideable waves on the coastline of Africa is based in Hout Bay on the Cape Peninsula and the competitors, along with the three alternates, wait for swells exceeding five metres in height at Dungeons, the open ocean reef under the towering cliffs of the Sentinel Mountain, during the 21 day holding period.
The life threatening nature of big wave surfing has led to the contest itself only being staged twice since it was initiated in 1999 in near perfect 15 18 foot (5 6 metre) swells in 2000 when Holmes clinched victory and in similar size but incredibly hollow waves last year when Long dominated proceedings ironically both occasions held on the day after the holding period ended!
Doug Young Papatowai, NZ. : photo Phil Erickson
(Click on image to enlarge)
However, the invitees challenge Dungeons every time it breaks and several wind-blown sessions that were unsuitable for the contest have produced rides on swells in the 20 foot plus (7-8 metres) range, creating wave faces the height of a four story building as they rear up and break, which have been hailed as the biggest waves ever surfed on the coastline of the continent.
A prize-pool totalling R125 000 is at stake, of which R35 000 goes to the winner and R15 000 to whoever rides the biggest wave in the three weeks, while the streamlined contest format geared to completing the contest in under four hours enables contest director Gary Linden (California) and his newly appointed assistant, local big wave surfing legend Jonathan Paarman from Hout Bay, to thoroughly check the often fickle conditions before giving the contest the go-ahead.
The all important safety aspects of Red Bull BWA will again be coordinated by California based water safety expert Shawn Alladio and her Brazilian partner Marcelo Ulyssea on PWCs. They will conduct refresher water safety courses for the local backup crew comprising Cape Towns foremost big wave tow-in team of Glen Bee, Pierre du Plessis and Nico Johnsen along with the operators of the support vessels coordinated by Grant Spooner of Marine Scene.
Photo Grant Ellis/Tostee.com
Dr Duncan Laurenson, himself a surfer, and a pair of paramedics with state-of-the-art life-support systems are in the line-up at Dungeons on every day the break is surfed, backed up by an interim trauma unit and ambulance available at the event HQ in Hout Bay harbour, a 15-minute boat trip from the break.
Information on the status of the event, wave and weather predictions, instructions on how to view the surfers in action, video clips, images and biographical details are available at the comprehensive www.rebullbwa.com website.
Red Bull Big Wave Africa 2004
Grant Baker (Durban)
Carlos Burle (Brazil)
Mickey Duffus (Cape Town)
Sean Holmes (Wilderness)
Greg Long (California)
Andrew Marr (Cape Town)
Coco Nogales (Mexico)
Jason Ribbink (Durban)
Jamie Sterling (Hawaii)
Justin Strong (Cape Town)
Darryl Flea Virostko (California)
Grant Washburn (California)
Doug Young (New Zealand)
David Smith (Cape Town)
Richie Sills (Durban)
For details on previous events visit www.redbullbwa.com
For more BIG Wave news check the Big Wave Events Directory
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