On Monday and Tuesday, the Red Bull Cape Fear event ran at Ours, the dumbfounding dinosaur of a righthander that blows its guts out meters from a rock slab in Sydney, Australia. Event organizer and esteemed (if somewhat suicidal) slab-hunter Mark Mathews made the call on Sunday, with forecasts calling for some of the biggest surf the area had seen in ages. On Monday morning, the 16 competitors—a hand-selected group of the world’s best (non-WSL, of course) slab specialists—were greeted by a massive, mutant swell, with waves doubling, tripling, quadrupling up just feet from hunks of rock.
Half-tow, half-paddle, and completely insane, the event crushed similar events for viewership, and introduced the world to a young Australian charger (who we’ve known was going to blow minds for a while now), 18-year-old winner Russell Bierke. It also reminded everyone how remarkably talented Laurie Towner, Ryan Hipwood, Koby Abberton, and so many of the other surfers invited are in waves of unfathomable consequence.