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10 FT
10 SEC
10 KN
About Cape Fear

Cape Fear. The name says it all. And for the uninitiated, it's a deadly wave break in Sydney, Australia that is even more daunting than it sounds.

In the very bay where Captain Cook landed and settled in Australia more than two hundred years ago, Cape Fear has been the site of many a wreck - both man and craft - over the years.

An angry Pacific Ocean stirs and jerks like a mad witch's melting pot, pushing into the bay before pitching furiously on a shallow ledge so sharp is has the Gillette scientists baffled. Within a matter of seconds a 10-foot slab is formed and races towards a cliff-face just metres ahead before imploding on itself and anyone who dares attempt ride it.

"Pound for pound, Cape Fear is the heaviest and most dangerous wave in the world," says big wave surfer and one of the brains behind the concept, Mark Mathews.

"There's no wave in the world from six to ten feet that is heavier than it. Deep water swells pitch on a super shallow ledge that's covered with razorblade barnacles and then it breaks only 10-15 metres from the cliff face. So 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 few people willing to navigate them."

But the globe was sought over and those few brave, perhaps fearless souls have been found, Red Bull Cape Fear compiling a list of the world's best big wave surfers to contest the one-day epic.

The Format
  • 20 surfers
  • Five, 40 Minute round one heats with four surfers
  • 15 wave maximum per surfer. Single highest paddle and single highest tow wave will count for each surfer’s total heat score
  • Overlapping heat format will vary between paddle and tow, whereby surfers will adhere to a priority system that will in effect allow all surfers to catch both paddle and tow waves
  • The winner of each heat will progress straight to the final, the second place surfer in each heat will move to a re-charge round pending conditions whereby they will sur for the final spot in the final
  • The highest placed surfer at the end of the final will be crowned the Red Bull Cape Fear champion