Should You Care About Red Bull Cape Fear?

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_MG_0460Cape Frightened. Photo: Ray Collins

If you’ve seen the Red Bull Cape Fear website, you know there’s more ammunition for mockery than a late 2000s Adam Sandler movie. One such bullet: “An angry Pacific Ocean stirs and jerks like a mad witch’s melting pot, pushing into the bay before pitching furiously on a shallow ledge so sharp is has the Gillette scientists baffled.” But its hyperbolic copy is neither here nor there. It’s Red Bull. Drama is their business. The real question is, what the fuck is the Red Bull Cape Fear? The other question is, should we care about it?

First, the contest. In case you didn’t know the whereabouts of Cape Fear, it’s Ours, the often-seen slab in Sydney, Australia. But “Cape Fear” sounds scarier. In short, the contest consists of 14 invited surfers (including Jamie O’Brien, Bruce Irons, Ryan Hipwood and Dave Rastavich) competing in seven man-on-man matchups, which are called “battles.” The pairings are based on the surfer’s ability. Half of each heat will be paddle-in, the other half will be tow-in (more or less, the site says “approximately 20 minutes” for the paddle/tow ratio). And the first six heats are the “undercard” for the main event. If you’re not confused yet, rest assured that two heats will be running simultaneously. Still with me? Quick, what rhymes with orange?

Second, should you care? Well, it’s a bit gimmicky, isn’t it? They’re towing in, which feels like a step back. The format is really complicated. And, really, “Gillette scientists?” Have they even checked with the guys at Schick? So, no, in theory, you shouldn’t care. But wanna know what else you shouldn’t care about? Miley Cyrus. Kanye West. The car wreck on the other side of the road. There are plenty of guilty pleasures out there that tickle our interest, and the Red Bull Cape Fear contest has its hands out going goochie-goochie-goo. It’s got scary waves breaking in front of scary rocks and 14 marquee surfers doing battle on a live webcast (which can be viewed here on Sunday morning, Australia time). Unless there are waves at our local break or Miley’s twerking on TV, we’ll probably tune in. —Taylor Paul