You've seen the artist renderings, now come witness the future!
Remember those pictures? Luscious watercolors featuring a stadium filled with screaming fans, surfers in the water doing triple flips, a scoreboard above their heads revealing time and score? They all come true Sept 19 in Wales, England, just a five-hour drive from the world’s third best wave (Fistral Beach, Cornwall).
Red Bull is holding UNLEASHED, a brand new event that could give us stars and will give us an option when global warming raises ocean heights, thereby erasing all other waves besides Fistral Beach, which will become the world’s best wave. Let’s dig in:
Red Bull Unleashed, a brand new surfing event set to feature some of the most progressive surfers in the world, is coming to Surf Snowdonia, Wales 18-19th September 2015. Held in the best man-made surfing lagoon ever built, a capacity crowd of 2,500 spectators will be closer to the action than at any previous surfing event.
By generating waves on demand, giving every surfer equal opportunity and without the wave lottery that can come with unpredictable ocean swells, the event will also unveil a fresh, exciting format brand new to surfing. Unhindered by having to juggle conventional surf event parameters such as ocean swell, tide and local winds, Surf Snowdonia’s lagoon offers the ideal blank canvas for surfers to express themselves.
“It’s been an awesome process selecting the athletes and coming up with a format that matches something as futuristic as surfing a head high man made wave,” said Red Bull Unleashed Sports Director and former World Championship Tour surfer Jarrad Howse. “With innovation, progression and crowd interaction as themes, I’m really excited about seeing something truly groundbreaking go down.”
A brand new innovative event format – only made possible by the on-demand nature of the waves, will see Formula 1 style leaderboard qualifying narrow a 24 surfer field down to 16 seeds, using their highest single wave scores. A series of head to head clashes will then go down, themed on medieval jousting tournaments, which, set in the beautiful Welsh countryside, with its hundreds of castles and rich folklore will be an echo of sporting combat from another time.
Each pairing of surfers will go wave for wave against each other in best of five, matchplay-style clashes to decide who advances.
Spectators can expect to witness mind-blowing performances from some of the most exciting freesurfers in the world at close range as they take on the game-changing, no waiting period format and guaranteed perfect waves in a stadium atmosphere. Tickets can be purchased from www.redbull.com/unleashed and cost £8 per person.
Jarrad Howse is excited and, of course, so am I.