Windsurfers around the world, get ready – as of Monday, January 9, Red Bull Storm Chase's official contest period is now open. The next major Northern Hemisphere storm (most likely) means the action is on. All we need is one Force 10 storm – and the right spot to sail it.
Of course, finding that out is no easy task – but that's just the price you have to pay to guarantee epic contest conditions.
What’s it going to take? Weather like this
Where’s it going to be?
Good question – we don't know, either. That's the reactive nature of the contest – we wait for a properly sized storm to form and mobilise to intercept it at the perfect location.
So what’s the perfect location?
Good access to the water for both sailors and safety crew, a place for judges to see the action and proximity to an international airport everyone can get to.
Crunchy and cold
How will you know it’s time?
Our team of windsurfing professionals are working closely with expert weather forecasters who will give us up-to-the-minute information. Our main contact is Dr Meeno Schrader. His day job? Weather forecasting for Olympic-level sailors.
How we will know it’s time?
We'll tell you, here and on our Facebook page – give us a follow to find out ASAP. First will be the alert at 120 hours prior to potential contest start – we've identified a potential storm and are scouting locations. Location lock at 96 hours. Point of no return 72 hours before potential contest.
Waves will batter the coast
What kind of storm do we want?
Best is a 'European Wind Storm' – these bad boys form in the North Atlantic, and make a beeline for the coasts of Scotland, Ireland and England. Wild but somewhat predictable, they offer a great chance for the action we're looking for.
What are the competitor strategies?
First one is get there – and it's no easy task. Says returning competitor Marcilio Browne: "For me, getting there is the hardest part – flying to the other side of the world on short notice, being ready to face cold weather and heavy conditions while super jet-lagged and tired!" But he has a plan: go big, not technical. "The way to score is not necessarily the most complex moves, but the bigger ones," he says. "Last time we saw huge points for massive stalled forwards!"
We’re looking for action like this
Is it gonna be awesome?
Well, it depends if we get a storm or not (and we really, really want a storm.) If it happens, it's gonna be awesome. If we don't get a storm by March 12, the waiting period will close. Fingers crossed for bad weather!