The Red Bull Cape Fear surfing competition kicks off in Sydney today and after the storm that has battered New South Wales over the last few days, the swells are expected to reach between 7-10 feet.
Monday's forecast predicts a solid, heavy swell and perfect wind direction for Cape Fear, two elements that come together so perfectly only once in a blue moon. "This is the best forecast I have seen since 2001," said Red Bull Cape Fear Contest Director Mark Mathews. "We are going to be in for a crazy event if all plays out as predicted."
When the first horn blows on Monday, 16 surfers will take to the wild waters in 8, one-on-one, winner takes all battles. But these surfers will not only be battling each other, they'll be out in the water, on the edge of Botany Bay, taking off on what Mathews' describes as, pound for pound, "the heaviest and most dangerous waves in the world."
Tune into all the action from the live stream on Red Bull TV here:
8 head-to-head battles
4 surfers in the water at all times (2 contesting a 30-minute paddle-in element and 2 in a 30-minute tow-in element)
Each battle crowns a winner, and the 4 highest placed winners will progress through to the final
The highest placed surfer at the end of the final will be crowned the Red Bull Cape Fear Champion
TOW VS PADDLE SURFING
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.