Cape Fear is On

It’s on at Cape Fear, for paddling and tow-ins, come Saturday. Photo: Red Bull

As one of the most dangerous waves on the planet, it’s fitting that the original name for Ours, that notoriously nasty Sydney Slab, is Cape Fear. This Saturday, the break will live up to its name when Red Bull hosts the Cape Fear Challenge, a standalone comp featuring some of the hardest-charging surfers in the world and run in a format that’s completely unique to competitive surfing.

“Pound for pound, Cape Fear is the heaviest and most dangerous wave in the world,” says Ours local Mark Mathews, who has helped orchestrate the contest. “There’s no wave in the world from 6 to 10 feet that is heavier than it. Deep-water swells pitch on a super shallow ledge that’s covered with razor blade barnacles and then it breaks only 10-15 meters from the cliff face. So if you fall off and don’t hit the bottom, chances are you’re going to get washed into that cliff face. There are plenty of dangers and few people willing to navigate them.”

For the past year, event organizers, Mathews included, have been waiting for the perfect conditions to run the contest. As the waiting period comes to a close, an ideal swell is predicted to light up Ours this Saturday. The green light has been given and the selected surfers from around the world have 48 hours to pack their bags, check their manhood, and get to Sydney.

The following surfers will compete:
-Shane Dorian
-Ryan Hipwood
-Richie Vaculik
-Laurie Towner
-Makua Rothman
-Mark Mathews
-Koby Abberton
-Jamie O’Brien
-Ian Walsh
-Dean Morrison
-Dave Rastovich
-Jesse Polock
-Bruce Irons
-Alex Gray (out with injury)

Here’s the contest format:
-Seven one-on-one battles
-Each battle will consist of the two best-matched surfers
-Like a boxing card, the first six battles are on the under card for the main event. Consider it seven 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

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