Adventure-seekers rejoice – the inaugural Red Bull Cape Fear event took place this past weekend in Sydney’s relentless Botany Bay. After two long years in the making, the high seas adventure gathered 16 of the world’s best big wave surfers for six to eight foot sets over one of the planet’s most dangerous reefs.
Big name competitors like Shane Dorian, Jamie O’Brien, Bruce Irons, and Ian Walsh made their way to travel to the Australian coast to take on unpredictable waves for an exciting day filled with adventure and thrill. With a total of 16 participants from all around the world, Red Bull set up the contest as one-on-one bouts, leaving two surfers to take each other on individually. Although there were no 10 to 12 foot giants, the focused surfers managed to provide spectators with plenty of gasp-worthy barrels and wipe-outs with local Ryan Hipwood being the first, pulling into a “heavy slab” and remaining out of sight for quite some time before emerging with a win over Hawaii’s O’Brien.
Hipwood’s victory was the first of many other locals taking the prize over their respective international rivals.Back-injured contest director, Mark Matthews, pummeled Shane Dorian, taking the ship wheel trophy and $10,000 cash prize after a tense 40-minute battle of paddle-in surfing. In following meets, locals Richie Vas, Kirk Flintoff, Koby Abberton, and Jesse Polock claimed their victory, with elites like Laurie Towner and Dean Morrison finishing off the champions’ roll to make it an Australian clean-sweep against their Hawaii and U.S.-based counterparts.
Throughout their sheer domination, Australians also had their fair share of distress. Proving the Botany Bay’s notorious and deadly oceanic structure was Koby Abberton’s grueling entry into the water; his body was tossed by a breaking bomb into the air, only to be crushed against the barnacle-covered rocks before slipping back into the water. Yet even with a safety crew on location, the tough surfer refused to give into his aching discomfort, making up for his brutal ingress with a brilliant conquest over his good buddy, Irons.
After viewing all of the excitement on Red Bull’s livestream, we can’t wait for what 2015 has to bring!