Get ready for the return of Windsurfing’s wildest contest, Red Bull Storm Chase.
The world’s toughest windsurfing contest returns – the 2018 Red Bull Storm Chase waiting period starts January 5th! Red Bull Storm Chase – the windsurfing contest that happens only in windspeeds of Force 10 (89-102kph) and huge waves – requires a peculiar set of weather conditions. In 2017 the perfect storm proved to be elusive – in 2018, the chase is on again. Beginning on January 5th, 2018, the Red Bull Storm Chase waiting period is open. Organizers and competitors of the world’s toughest windsurfing contest will be watching the charts for a Force 10 storm to hit the Northern Hemisphere. Despite the three-month waiting period in early 2017, no suitable storm appeared – leaving the storm chasers eager for more. The unique contest format means eight of the best windsurfers in the world will mobilize on short notice to chase the storm to the ideal windsurfing location, where they will battle it out to see who is truly the best storm windsurfer in the world. The expert judge’s panel – including Professional Windsurfing Association Head Judge Duncan Coombs – will look for jump height and trick difficulty, the most stylish wave rides, and timing-critical moves as the riders take advantage of over mast-high waves and up to 100kph winds.
• The world’s toughest windsurfing contest
• Contest window begins January 5th, 2018 and runs to March 17th, 2018
• Riders judged on jumps, wave riding, and execution of tricks
• Four riders are qualified from last event; four more selected from a pool of ten in the days leading up to the event
• Fans (and riders) can propose locations
• Event is confirmed only 72 hours before the start of competition.
Force-10 winds, massive waves
Beginning January 5, 2018, competitors and organisers will start watching the weather charts to see when and were a suitable storm will hit. The perfect storm requires Force 10 winds, which peak around 100kph. Such winds can generate waves up to 10m high.
One of the biggest challenges is finding a location that can handle such a storm and has guaranteed water access, and availability of medical and safety support for the competitors and film crew.
The competition window: January 5 to March 17
The Red Bull Storm Chase waiting period kicks off on January 5 and will end on March 17. Professional weather forecasters will be watching every storm system in the Northern Hemisphere. Everyone involved will get a first alert 120 hours before a storm hits – that means we’ve got our eye on something, and we’re watching to see where it goes. At 96 hours, a location is chosen. At 72 hours, everything is at the point of no return and competitors are already making their way to the event location. They’ll have 24 hours on location prior to competition for preparations and safety briefings.
Jumps, tricks and wave rides
The Red Bull Storm Chase competitors will be judged by an expert panel, led by the Professional Windsurfing Association’s Head Judge, Duncan Coombs. The judges are looking for impressive tricks, jumps and wave rides. The bigger the jump, the more difficult the trick and the more stylish the wave ride, the more points a rider scores.
The riders return
Last year, 10 riders were nominated to compete against the four finalists from the previous Red Bull Storm Chase. The four – Thomas Traversa, Dany Bruch, Leon Jamaer, and Marcilio Browne – all return, as do the 10 nominees listed below, including Philip Köster, PWA Wave World Tour champion, and Kai Lenny, whose talent seems to shine on whatever board he chooses to ride. Once the location and timing of the contest is known, the judges will select the remaining four competitors from the pool of nominees.