If surfing is your game then this is the Mother of all surfing events. The Red Bull Big Wave Africa competition invites a select group of the world's top big wave surfers to spend three weeks in Cape Town and challenge Dungeons, an open ocean reef located under the towering cliffs of the Sentinel Mountain at the mouth of Hout Bay in Cape Town, the biggest and most radical surf break in Africa.
You can watch this unique surfing event from land on Sentinel Ridge or take a 15-minute boat ride from Hout Bay harbour and experience the awesome power of the ocean firsthand, there are a number of charter companies that operate boat trips all day to Dungeons on the day of the event.
The Red Bull Big Wave Africa Challenge normally commences in May and last three weeks, during the holding period the judges wait for the optimum conditions in which to stage the contest, when they give the Green Light, the waves are on and everything is right in the universe. At the end of the waiting period, if the waves have not arrived the contest gets shelved till the next year without being run. In 2006 the rules changed for the Red Bull Big Wave Africa from last years 21 days waiting period, which was a relatively small window, to the new extended four month period, closing on August the thirteenth. This is not for the fainthearted, Dungeons features strong currents, cold water, kelp and a huge variety of sea life, add 30ft monster waves to this and you are ready to go surfing. If you enjoy watching these fine athletes wipe out then simply hook up with one of the following charter companies below:
Red Bull Big Wave Africa Challenge 2006
The South Africans came out on top of the podium at the finish of the 8th Red Bull Big Wave Africa challenge. John Whittle of Durban took home the R100 000.00 cheque, Andrew Marr took home R75 000.00 and Christo Bertish R25 000.00 not bad for a day out surfing.
The surfers got the amber alert on Tuesday 25 Jul, when a massive storm launched itself off the Antarctic ice-shelf, moving down along the Atlantic Ocean into the Roaring Forties, sending a range of deep swells towards Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. The consequence of these pulses are 15-30 ft waves, and these are expected to become even bigger. The contestants were immediately put on an amber alert.
The start of the Red Bull Big Wave Africa Challenge 2006 was a great day, despite initially producing only 12-15 ft high peaks that lurched around the take-off zone for the first three heats with 6 surfers per heat.
The 1st heat had former winner, SA Sean Holmes, facing Andrew Marr ,Carlos Burle, Evan Slater, Ian Armstrong and Jason Ribbink.
The 2nd heat included another ex champ, Greg Long, who rides against Richie Sills, Chris Bertish, Ross Clarke-Jones, David Smith and Grant Washburn.
The 3rd heat had the 2006 Mavericks Big Wave champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker, surfing against John Whittle, Paul Paterson, Jamie Sterling, Thomas King, Kleynhans and Mickey Duffus.
Red Bull Big Wave Africa motivates surfers to risk it all by offering R25 000.00 to surfer riding the biggest wave. The cash went to local surfer Andrew Marr winning the Sensi Threads Biggest Wave Award.
For more great surf pics of this event see Ndorfin.