In roughly three weeks time, the waiting period opens for the Red Bull Cape Fear Challenge. What’s that you ask? It’s an internet-audience friendly surf contest at Sydney’s Cape Fear, better known to you and me as Ours. The event was at least partially dreamed up by Ours regular and certified hellman Mark Mathews, and it will feature an unusual format. Six “battles” (their term, not mine) between two surfers, consisting of 20 minutes of tow-surfing and 20 minutes of paddle-surfing. Each of these rounds is effectively a one-off; the winners of one battle won’t have to advance to the next, and the whole event culminates with the final matchup, between…well, we don’t know exactly. They’ve announced the list of competitors, but not, strangely, the list of matchups. The waiting period is loooong, from April 17-August 1, so the organizers can be plenty picky about swell conditions. Judging from the event’s website, which bills the format as a “one-on-one Red Bull Cape Fear battle to the death – possibly quite literally,” the contest won’t go until the swell looks positively murderous.
The invite-only 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.