Red Bull Cape Fear’s back with a vengeance in 2017

We now declare the waiting period open! Come and meet the stars and see how the show will roll out.
By Mimi LaMontagne

It’s been the question on everyone’s mind; after the chaos, carnage and craziness of 2016 will Red Bull Cape Fear be returning for another insane episode?

It's with much pleasure we can give you an answer: Cape Fear is officially back and the waiting period is now open.

From May 1 to August 31, 2017 the weathermen behind the world’s most intense big wave event will be mapping swells, following storm fronts and waiting for that perfect moment to pull the trigger on the competition's third instalment.

As big wave charger and Cape Fear mastermind Mark Mathews describes it, “Pound for pound, Cape Fear is the heaviest and most dangerous wave in the world.”

As if last year's terrifying event wasn’t enough proof, it’s time to put Mark's statement to the test once again. Safety teams are prepping, surfers are training and all eyes are ready to be glued to the jagged rocks of Cape Fear's home in Sydney, NSW, Australia.

This year the event format has changed slightly, in an effort to keep heats running safely and smoothly throughout the one-day event.

The format is as follows:

  • 20 surfers.
  • Five times 40-minute round-one heats. Four surfers in each
  • 15 wave maximum per surfer. Single highest paddle and single highest tow wave will count for each surfer’s total heat score
  • Overlapping heat format will vary between paddle and tow, whereby surfers will adhere to a priority system that will in effect allow all surfers to catch both paddle and tow waves
  • The winner of each heat will progress straight to the final, the second-placed surfer in each heat will move to a repechage round pending conditions, whereby they will surf for one last place in the final.
  • The highest-placed surfer at the end of the final will be crowned Red Bull Cape Fear champion!


So who, you ask, is brave enough to face the heaving barrels of Red Bull Cape Fear in competition this year? The 20 fearless surfers listed below, including all of last year's field, plus three international entrants and world-tour hall-of-famer Taj Burrow. Good luck to all, bring it on!

  • Andrew Mooney
  • Blake Thornton
  • Billy Kemper
  • Dean Morrison
  • Evan Faulks
  • Jai Abberton
  • James Adams
  • Jesse Pollock
  • Justen Allport
  • Kirk Flintoff
  • Koby Abberton
  • Laurie Towner
  • Makua Rothman
  • Nathan Florence
  • Perth Standlick
  • Richie Vaculik
  • Riley Laing
  • Russell Bierke
  • Ryan Hipwood
  • Taj Burrow


Mark Mathews
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