The Cape Fear Countdown


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Updated 1180d ago

As the official waiting period for the Red Bull Cape Fear Challenge winds down, organisers have made the call to go ahead with the event this Sunday. Following the Teahupoo come down, the Cape Fear Challenge is bound to fill the void that the Tahiti Pro left in it's wake, with a swell expected for Botany Bay capable of producing waves in excess of 8ft.

After more than two years of preparations and months of waiting, Mathews and co will welcome the likes of professional big wave veterans such Shane Dorian, Bruce Irons, Ian Walsh, Jamie O’Brien and more to their home wave in a battle of the world’s best.

The contest format will be more similar to that of a boxing event. Seven heats with ups with competitors perfectly paired with one another. If you fall off and don’t hit the bottom, chances are you’re going to get washed in to that cliff faceThe carefully matched up head to head heats will take place over 40 minutes, featuring 20 minutes of paddle-in surfing and 20 minutes of jet-ski assisted tow-ins. Effectively, every heat is a final with 7 winners to be crowned at the end of the day. All the action will be taking place on the one day, winners will be crowned the same day as the contest start.

Contest director and competitor Mark Mathews has surfed the biggest, heaviest waves around the world and by his informed opinion, the wave at Cape Fear is pound-for-pound, the heaviest on earth.

Completing the world class line-up local wild cards like Maroubra’s Jesse Polock will step up to the plate, to showcase their local knowledge against the world's best.

"There’s no wave in the world from 6-10 ft that is heavier or more dangerous," Mathews says. "Deep water swell pitch on a super shallow ledge that’s covered with razor blade barnacles and then it breaks only 10-15 metres from the cliff face. If you fall off and don’t hit the bottom, chances are you’re going to get washed in to that cliff face. There are plenty of dangers and only few willing to navigate them."