Well behaved waves rarely make history. Maybe that’s a spinoff of a cheeky Marilyn Monroe quote, but still, there’s a reason you see more photos of Jaws than you do of Rio. Misbehaved waves are what make surfing fun. They’re what make surfing interesting.
And no wave is more mischievous -- and deadly -- than Sydney’s Cape Fear.
The wave, sometimes referred to as Ours, shouldn’t even be considered a surf spot. The very fact that people surf there is a testament to the innovative insanity embodied by big-wave surfing.
Take it from Cape Fear aficionado, and contest organizer, Mark Matthews. "There's no wave in the world from six to 10 feet that is heavier than it. Deep water swells pitch on a super shallow ledge that's covered with razorblade barnacles and then it breaks only 10-15 metres from the cliff face. So if you fall off and don't hit the bottom, chances are you're going to get washed in to that cliff face. There are plenty of dangers and few people willing to navigate them."
Luckily, we’ve found those few willing navigators. Competitors include Alex Gray, Bruce Irons, Dave Rastovich, Dean Morrison, Ian Walsh, Jamie O’Brien, Jesse Polock, Koby Abberton, Laurie Towner, Makua Rothman, Mark Mathews, Richie Vaculik, Ryan Hipwood and Shane Dorian. Stacked, we know.
The contest waiting period is from April 17 through to August 1.
On top of that, the RedBull Cape Fear will be running with a never-before seen format. It’ll look a little something like this:
•Six one-on-one battles
•Each battle will consist of the two best-matched surfers
•Like a boxing card, the first five battles are on the under card for the main event. Consider it six consecutive finals if you will.
•Each battle will consist of approximately 20-minutes of paddling in and 20-minutes of towing in
•Surfers will be judged by wave size and difficulty
•There will be four surfers in the water at all times - two contesting the paddle-in element and two contesting the tow-in element
•Each battle will crown a winner
The RedBull Cape Fear is a waiting period event, and it’ll run whenever the surf warrants it.
Go to the official event page for more info or to sign up for email updates. Stay tuned.