Red Bull Big Wave Africa 2001Dungeons, Hout Bay, Cape Town, South AfricaMay 23 ¿ 10 June 2001
Top internationals for Big Wave Africa 2001
A quartet of top international big wave chargers have accepted invitations to take on the biggest rideable waves on the Africancoastline in May and June when the third annual Red Bull Big Wave Africa extreme surfing event is staged in Cape Town.
The international contingent is headed by Californian Mike Parsons, winner of the US $60 000 XXL award last week for the biggestwave ridden in the North Pacific – a 66 foot monster on the Cortes Bank, an underwater mountain 160 Kms off the coast of California!
Parsons will be joined by the flamboyant Brad Gerlach, runner-up for the 1992 world championship title and two time Gunston 500champion, Mavericks standout Grant Washburn and up and coming Hawaiian big wave exponent Jamie Sterling, to present a potentforeign challenge to the local contenders.
The local challenge will be led by defending champion Sean Holmes who won BWA 2000 with a perfect 10 point ride when he freefellinto an 18 foot wall of water, pulled into the barrel and emerged unscathed to the hoots of the spectators on the flotilla of boats in theline-up and on the slopes of the Sentinel.
The likes of runner-up Rudi Palmboom (Dbn), Cape Town legends Cass Collier and Ian Armstrong, Reunion1s Davy Stolk and risingstar Chris Bertish, who has impressed the big wave fraternities in California, Mexico and Hawaii with his exploits since the beginningof 2001, are all honing their fitness levels and fine-tuning their specialised equipment to ensure they can conquer the ocean and theirfellow competitors.
Scheduled for May 23 to June 10, BWA 2001 will have an 18 day window period during which the 16 invited big wave chargers, thefour internationals and 12 South Africans, will wait for the Roaring Forties to generate gigantic waves, with the event only being runwhen the swell is bigger than five metres (15 foot).
The venue is again Dungeons, the powerful deep-water reef under the towering cliffs of the Sentinel at the mouth of Hout Bay. FrigidAtlantic Ocean water temperatures, an abundance of sea life, including the adjacent Duiker Island seal colony and the predatory GreatWhite sharks this attracts, and the fact that the venue is only accessible via a 15 minute boat ride, combine to produce a unique,hardcore challenge for the participants.
Big Wave Africa is run by Gary Linden, the San Diego based surfboard shaper, big wave rider and contest director, while the watersafety aspects are controlled by Shawn Alladio of K38RESCUE to ensure the safety of the participants.
The whole event will be streamed live on the internet at www.redbull.co.za The website goes live two weeks prior to the start of thewaiting period with info on the invitees, event format, weather and wave predictions, multiple daily updates and images of what theparticipants are getting up to, along with plenty more coverage on the most extreme surfing event on the African continent.