The Red Bull Storm Chase contest window is open!

Dear storms, we’re patiently waiting for big wind and huge waves. Love, Red Bull Storm Chase
By Josh Sampiero

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

A windsurfer hits a wave backside at Red Bull Storm Chase in Ireland
Stormy seas on the Irish coast © Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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

Two windsurfers approach a serious set of waves during Red Bull Storm Chase
Whitewater galore © Simon Crowther/Red Bull Content Pool

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

A European Winter Storm at Gwithian Lighthouse
Big waves batter the Gwithian Lighthouse © Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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! 

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