Red Bull Cape Fear gets the green light!

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Peahi has the height, the Eddie the prestige, but Red Bull Cape Fear has the carnage. The 2016 version of the event proved that when contestants rocketed from watery cannons just metres from the Cape Solander rocks.

This year's event has shifted south to Shippies where the proximity of rocks is swapped for the infamous steps.

Yesterday the event got the orange light to run on Monday and competitors are packing boards and awaiting instructions.

Note: Red Bull confirmed the contest has got the green light and will run on Monday.

Swellnet has been working with the organisers and the storm that's caught their eye is actually packing two swells. The first is an XL macker that will hit on Sunday out of the south-west, while right on its tail is a slightly smaller swell - though with better orientation - that's due on Monday morning (see image below). The second swell will reinforce the energy already in the water.

Current estimates have the size pegged around 12-15ft through Monday morning, easing during the day. The wind, which is a big factor down there, will be moderate to fresh N/NW, likely shifting more NW into the afternoon and possibly easing through the day.

And the possibility for carnage? Low tide is at 9:30 in the morning, when the swell should be at its biggest and the first heats will be in the water. 

The competitors now have to confirm they can make it and get to Hobart by Sunday night - except for the ten blokes who live just down the road of course.

Stay tuned for further news.

Surfers competing in Red Bull Cape Fear:

  • Mick Fanning (AUS)
  • Russell Bierke (AUS)
  • Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
  • Jamie O-Brien (USA)
  • Kai Lenny (USA)
  • Pedro Scooby (BRA)
  • Laurie Towner (AUS)
  • Ryan Hipwood (AUS)
  • Nathan Florence (USA)
  • Billy Kemper (USA)
  • Daniel Griffiths (TAS)
  • Shaun Wallbank (TAS)
  • James McKean (TAS)
  • James Hollmer-Cross (TAS)
  • Tyler Hollmer-Cross (TAS)
  • Michael Brennan (TAS)
  • Zebulon Critchlow (TAS)
  • Brook Phillips (TAS)
  • Marti Paradisis (TAS)
  • Alex Zawadzki (TAS)

Comments

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:32am

Broadcast live?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:33am

Yeah, bookmark this page: https://www.redbull.com/au-en/events/redbull-cape-fear/athletes

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 11:12am

Much midget.

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:36am

Keramas may run the same day. Could be a busy day of web watching, or will Red Bull and WSL collaborate now that they're in bed together? (Red Bull Airbourne)

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:36am

That is a killer lineup. Love to see the locals go against the big names.

yahabo's picture
yahabo's picture
yahabo commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:43am

Zebulon. That's one hell of a first name!

saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 10:57am

Any word on whether they intend to close land access? I live nearby....

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 11:26am

Def no spectator access.

saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 11:58am

Thanks, saves me a walk in.

EZ's picture
EZ's picture
EZ commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 11:33am

Unfortunately? for the rest of us locals we will all be in the water given the conditions.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 1:10pm

And she's on for Monday ...what are you calling Craig ...12-15 ft ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 1:14pm

No official call yet Udo? But yep 12-15ft easing through the day.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:09pm

Is it paddle or tow in? Wouldn't fancy paddling 15' shippies although would kill 4-5' Keramas as a spectacle.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:14pm

Mix of tow and paddle. Likely tow in the morning and then changing to paddle?

Fazesurf's picture
Fazesurf's picture
Fazesurf commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:16pm

I thought Jughead got a call up?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:19pm
udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:33pm

Owen to Eugene are you in it...Eugene yes unfortunately.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:55pm

What about Parko?

simba

gingeryeti's picture
gingeryeti's picture
gingeryeti commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 3:54pm

Booger wants a paddle expression session...

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxMjkTsHllF/

dannyz's picture
dannyz's picture
dannyz commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 4:13pm

the boogs would run away with it if it was just paddle

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 8:59pm

That lad charges harder than anyone.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 9:24pm

Yeah Sprout, he’s crazy. No fear

Garryh's picture
Garryh's picture
Garryh commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 5:43pm

Go Danny

WinterSwells

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 9:58am

The Amazing Race (Red Bull) "Shipstern Targa Challenge"
(1st Stage) Hobart to Shipstern starts with grueling 2hr 'Tasman Bridge Bottleneck'
(Note: Clever contestants will grab a servo coffee for some loose change.)

(2nd Stage)'Carpark Roadblock' 2hr Walk track penalty carting 'Slabs of Red Bull'
(Tas.Nat Parks require Gold Coin entry) Tight arses need to 'backtrack' for a coffee.

(3rd Stage) (9:30 am) 'Low Tide Jet Ski cut off' or paddle into the monster set waves.

Watch for 'Locals Only' 'Swellnet Taz Tigerz' for possible interference calls...It's On!

EZ's picture
EZ's picture
EZ commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 10:24am

25-30 knt offshore?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 11:50am

15-20kt more so.

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:57am

Hmmmm gonna have to work out how to push that team meeting to finish by 9am.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 7:44pm

Sharkman ..if RCJ is paddling in on Monday what dimensions board will he be on?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:23pm

Who is sharkman?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:53pm

RCJs shaper..

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:28pm

Post by National Parks saying all paths etc are open to the public. 

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:56pm

But the event site area closed to public and photographers

saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 7:13pm

Have you got a link for this info Udo?

saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 7:25pm

Found it. I reckon this means no access down to the rock shelf, which would be totally reasonable.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 7:43pm

Dunno...Cape Fear Cape Solander was a lockout eh ?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 7:20pm

Is Forecast still on track ?
RedBull site - Cape Fear FAQs

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 7:22pm

Heard mixed reports from this arvo but yes it is. Great winds, morning low tide and hopefully 12-15ft easing sets. 

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 7:59pm

salty h check martiparas insta click the link

saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven's picture
saltyheaven commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 10:06pm

Got it, fair enough. I've canned the idea anyhow.

EZ's picture
EZ's picture
EZ commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 6:57am

I'm calling it a flop. Barely knee high down here. They will be lucky if they get 3-4 ft.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 7:51am

And they're starting to push back the start time...
Swell late or no show?

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 8:52am

looks small on the cam. long shot tho so possibly deceptive. they’re saying 9am start

river's picture
river's picture
river commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 9:35am

Shame its so small for shippies , the local boys would be feeling ripped off , hardly the spectacle it could have been in a decent swell. The seppo commentary is pretty nauseating .

HORACE's picture
HORACE's picture
HORACE commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 5:26pm

Well that was underwhelming for what it could have been. Too much emphasis on getting an all day perfect wind rather than a big raw swell I would say. She hardly bared her teeth. I know what I'd rather watch. It also goes to show the difficulty of predicting swells down here. It is hard enough to predict for the following day than a few days out. I've got to say the Cape Solander comp a couple years back was far more edge of your seat entertaining.

liplauncher's picture
liplauncher's picture
liplauncher commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 6:32pm

that commentary is the worst dribble I've ever had to listen to
had to turn it off
man vs nature? where do they get those yokles
and why have tow ins in such easily paddleable conditions?
maybe places like shippies should be left alone with no comps/commercial activities

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 6:37pm

Im glad i got some work done today, between 2ft Keramas and not doing it Shippys that was all a bit of a disappointment.

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

carpetman's picture
carpetman's picture
carpetman commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 7:21pm

I really like the RB CF concept but think it fell short today. It was smaller than everyone would have liked but if tow was taken out the spectacle of seeing guys JUST paddling would have made up for it. An absolutely hectic wave, so not trying to talk down whipping into an 8-10ft bomb, but this is a once off. We want to see guts and glory.

Regardless, I hope red bull keep the concept going. Next time just don’t wait two years for a mediocre swell event. There were plenty of big ones they could have gone on.

seanboz's picture
seanboz's picture
seanboz commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 9:36pm

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M5P0Je3euy0

Raw footage for those who missed the stream
(or can do without the commentary)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 1:36pm

Here's a curveball - been speaking with someone from the BOM, who's got data access to the early trials of Cape Sorell's new directional buoy (won't be publicly available until next year).

Apparently, Monday morning was recording 4.5 - 5.0m at 16 secs, with direction SSW (215 deg).

By comparison, this morning's data was 4.0m at 13 secs, from the SW (225 deg).

And the South Arm is a little bigger today than Monday, despite the smaller size, lower period and slightly more westerly component in the swell direction.

This is even more perplexing. Monday's data fits in with observations from SA (Mid Coast was tiny, Victor was very large) and also fits in with Victorian observations (Surf Coast was very large, and the size differential between there and the MP wasn't as big as normal). But, with all of these obs taken into account, plus the buoy data, Tasmania should have delivered plenty of waves through the South Arm and much bigger surf at Shipsterns than we ended up experiencing.

Once again: magic numbers is the key here. The regional direction may have been well aimed for Tasmania as a region, but Monday's particular period/direction combo just wasn't perfect for Shipsterns or the South Arm.

Jeez, I wouldn't mind a spare four years to do a PhD on this.

jimmy-dell's picture
jimmy-dell's picture
jimmy-dell commented Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 1:50pm

I think Mark Hemmer's team have a major project running on these inshore nuances of swell direction and period.... will probably a high res product from the next BRAN iteration.... I think there is more than a couple of PhDs and Post Docs in the data associated with nearshore swell dynamics....

Jimmy Jack