The Red Bull Cape Fear Challenge
After surfing Cape Fear aka Cape Solander aka Ours for over a decade, Mark Mathews and gang are finally bringing a surf contest to the southern-most tip of Botany Bay, Sydney. With the help of good pal Ryan Hipwood and the support of Red Bull, Mark’s created a made-for-television event that’ll take place at the perfect location […]
After surfing Cape Fear aka Cape Solander aka Ours for over a decade, Mark Mathews and gang are finally bringing a surf contest to the southern-most tip of Botany Bay, Sydney. With the help of good pal Ryan Hipwood and the support of Red Bull, Mark’s created a made-for-television event that’ll take place at the perfect location for a surf contest. Sure, Pipeline breaks close to the beach, but Cape Fear literally breaks alongside a cliff. You can stand above and look down at wild tubes and even more wild beatings less than 10 metres away, and feel the spray of salt and blood! The wave itself is fickle and tricky but the cliff and ensuing backwash make the wave all the more exciting; the backwash turns four foot waves into six footers with the help of the cliff.
Mark Mathews and arguably surfing’s best spectator spot, Ours, site of the Red Bull Cape Fear Challenge. Photo: Toby Manson
The best time for surf on the east coast of Australia is easily from April til August. The difference, however, between a big-wave surf event in Australia as opposed to, say, the North Pacific, is that Australia is far less predictable. Long range forecasts are exactly that, with low pressure systems sitting far closer to shore.
Koby Abberton is hands-down one of the best at Ours. He’ll be a tough man to beat. Photo: Bill Morris
Imagine JOB clocking POV like this from inside Ours…
We can deduce from the trailer that the event will run a man-on-man format split between tow and paddle. And before we throw our hands in the air about the devil of tow, you must realise that on a good day at Cape Fear, less than half of the best waves are approachable without a rope.
What’ll make this such contest such a hit is its mainstream appeal. As Shane Dorian told Stab not so long ago: “There’s definite interest in huge waves, because the average non-surfer is not going to appreciate the technical ability of Dane Reynolds doing a giant air reverse. There’s no difference to them between Dane Reynolds’ air reverse and some little kid’s air reverse. But everyone on Earth has a fear of drowning and can relate to how scary and powerful the ocean is. So when you see someone on a huge wave, the fear is relatable. I think that’s why it has such a big impact on non-surfers.” At Ours, the bigger the wave and the deeper the tube, the better the score. That’s something that makes sense to Johnny Average.
The event is invitation only and, while the list is yet to be confirmed, we can assume men like Koby Abberton, Ryan Hipwood, Richie Vaculik and obviously Mark will be front and centre.
Watch for updates over at the event’s portal.
You can expect to see Ryan Hipwood, who’s played a big part in making Cape fear happen, drifting into plenty of crucial moments like this. Photo: Jason Corroto
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