Top Surfers Set To Conquer Cape Fear

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Red Bull Cape Fear is back! This unique, invitation-only big wave surfing event returns in 2015, to be held at one of the world’s most challenging and dangerous waves located in Sydney, Australia.

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Participants pose for a portrait during Red Bull Cape Fear at Botany Bay in Sydney, Australia on August 31st, 2014 // Andy Green

SYDNEY (Australia) – Cape Fear is a daunting surf break that many wouldn’t dare to try. The event will feature 16 of the world’s top ‘slab’ riding specialists, who dedicate their lives to finding and riding the biggest waves around the world.

In order to host the event with the optimal surf conditions, the waiting period will be held for three months, from 5 May to 1 August 2015.

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Ben Macartney, Mark Mathews, Koby Abberton and Aaron Graham are interviewed during the Red Bull Cape Fear Media Launch in Sydney, Australia on March 19th 2014 // Bill Morris

Big wave surfer, Contest Director and the brains behind the event, Mark Mathews said “Pound for pound, Cape Fear is the heaviest and most dangerous wave in the world. The last few winters have been slow to say the least. We are definitely overdue for a massive swell. With a bit of luck 2015 will dish up the biggest Red Bull Cape Fear event ever!”

Red Bull Cape Fear employs a unique, overlapping heat format. The 16 surfers compete in eight designated head-to-head battles in a thrilling wave arena combining paddle and tow-in surfing. This battle style format is used to maximize the short waiting period and potential peak in a large swell and will give viewers the chance to witness epic contests.

Of the eight battle winners, the top four scoring surfers will progress to the semi-final, then final, resulting in the overall Red Bull Cape Fear champion for 2015.

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Shane Dorian (HAW) post heat during Red Bull Cape Fear at Botany Bay in Sydney, Australia on August 31st, 2014 // Andy Green

The event site for Red Bull Cape Fear will be closed to spectators, however the event will be broadcast LIVE and free at The adjoining headland is in a National Park and the area cannot safely accommodate spectators, and large crowds could also potentially damage the environment. Given this, no spectators will be permitted at the Yena picnic area. All other areas of the National Park will remain open for visitors.

Keep up to date with the event progress and check out the event teaser at Stay tuned on the website for more exciting content.

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Sam Macintosh performs at the Red Bull Cape Fear event at Cape Solander in NSW Australia on August 31, 2014 // Bill Morris


16 surfers Round 1 – 8 x head-to-head battlesSemi-Final – 2 x head-to-head battles, Final – 1 x head-to-head battle, featuring the winners from the SFOverlapping heat format – surfers paddle for 30mins and then tow-in for 30mins


Paddle-in: The traditional act of using one’s arms while lying face down on a surfboard to propel the surfer forward and into the wave before attempting to stand-up. The slower-moving the wave is, the easier it is to paddle in to.

Tow-in: A little like wake-boarding, the surfer is given a tow rope attached to a jet-ski and pulled to his feet outside the breaking zone. The jet-ski operator, or tow-in partner, then tows the already-standing surfer at speed into the next wave where the surfer lets go of the rope and attempts to ride the wave. The quicker the wave the more speed the jet-ski requires to whip the rider in safely. The major benefit of the tow-in is it allows surfers to ride much bigger waves.

For more information visit

Source: Red Bull