Stab Magazine | Red Bull Cape Fear called on, and everything you need to know

And The Winners Of The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Are... Watch The Pick-Up Episode 5, Presented by Vans, To Find Out

508 Views

Red Bull Cape Fear called on, and everything you need to know

Red Bull Cape Fear has been given the green light to run this weekend with only days remaining in the waiting period. Yeah! An ESE swell heads for Sydney and invitees fly into Kingsford Smith Airport as you read! It’s the event that’s been in the pipeline for years, with masterminds Mark Mathews and Ryan Hipwood seeing their […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Red Bull Cape Fear has been given the green light to run this weekend with only days remaining in the waiting period. Yeah! An ESE swell heads for Sydney and invitees fly into Kingsford Smith Airport as you read!

It’s the event that’s been in the pipeline for years, with masterminds Mark Mathews and Ryan Hipwood seeing their Frankenstein come to life this Sunday (Saturday US time). Doubling as the event director, Mark has spent more time in the lineup than anyone. He knows the conditions so well he can look at Maroubra and know exactly what the Cape will be doing. Hippo is the best non-local. But that could all change this weekend.

The pair have always believed heavy waves housed the best competition. Some would disagree. But then Teahupoo happened. The Billabong Pro, Tahiti was the best contest in surfing history and did a lot to satisfy our need for waves of consequence in competition. But we’ve never seen anything like this before. Sure, it won’t be as big, but there’s no cliff where you fall off in French Polynesia. Cape Fear holds just as much power as Chopes, Puerto, even Pipe and on any swell it’s not uncommon to see in excess of 20 broken boards.

Photo: Bill Morris

Photo: Bill Morris

Internationals Bruce Irons, Jamie O’Brien and Makua Rothman have all confirmed their places in the boxing-card style format. Ian Walsh is racing from a project in Africa to compete and Shane Dorian has already said he will not be attending. Expect a handful of local wildcards, too.

There’s two disciplines: tow-in and paddle. Towing is technical at Ours. The turbulence of the ocean can swirl under the ski and it can be difficult to get out of a wave’s way. Keep an eye out for Mathews’ knowledge as a deciding factor here – for his partner, at least. Paddling… well, you’ve seen how it breaks. Head down and hope.

Cape Solander is a break of specifics. Swell direction, wind and size all need to be cohesive for it to work. ESE is the ideal direction. If it’s too north or too east, the backwash is worst and will roll up the face. If it’s too south the wave pinches on the end because it bends back out to sea.

There is a main ledge right in front of the takeoff. The best waves are the ones that look like closeouts; all wall, no exit. The heat winners often won’t feature a very difficult drop because of the way they swing into the slab. They have a swirl to let you in that develops on a boil, and a slight backwash can enhance the barrel considerably. There is a back-up venue called Middles that is less fickle, attracts more swell and can handle an onshore wind.

If you think big waves, you think big boards. Not the case at the Cape. Shortboards work best, even a step down with lots of volume and plenty of glass. If your equipment is too long it’ll catch an outside edge on a late takeoff.

So, here’s some of the match-ups Stab‘s predicting:

Mark Mathews vs Jamie O’Brien
Bruce Irons vs Koby Abberton
Rasta vs Laurie Towner
Ryan Hipwood vs Ian Walsh

The competitors would love nothing more than to take off under a Solander lip to the cheers of thousands but unfortunately the event is closed off to the public because of national park regulations. So, head to the contest’s portal to stream the event. You won’t wanna miss this one.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023

38:24

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023

23:26

Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023

On-Duty North Shore Lifeguard Luke Shepardson Wins The Eddie Aikau

Local man prevails over 39 big-wave heavyweights at 29ft @ 19 seconds Waimea.

Jan 23, 2023

The Eddie Aikau Invitational Is On

Grab a beverage and enjoy surfing's Super Bowl Sunday

Jan 22, 2023

The Women’s CT Is About To See A Generational Shift 

Only three women have won a Title in the past 15 years. Here's why that's…

Jan 22, 2023
Advertisement