10 of the world’s best windsurfers from eight countries completed a demanding competition in Kerry, Ireland during the first mission of the Red Bull Storm Chase – the most-challenging windsurfing contest of all time. Despite recorded storm-force gusts of up to 74 knots (137kmh) and fierce 20-ft waves, the sailors completed three rounds of competition in two locations on the Maharees peninsular. After possibly the most radical day in windsurfing history, Marcilio Browne, Dany Bruch, Victor Fernandez, Robby Swift, Julien Taboulet and Thomas Traversa advance to the second Mission of Red Bull Storm Chase.
Red Bull Storm Chase, Results First Mission, Brandon Bay, Ireland:
1. Thomas Traversa (France)
2. Dany Bruch (Germany)
3. Julien Taboulet (Spain)
4. Marcilio Browne (Brazil)
5. Victor Fernandez (Spain)
6. Robby Swift (Great Britain)
7. Boujmaa Guilloul (Morocco)
8. Josh Angulo (Cape Verde)
9. Leon Jamaer (Germany)
10. Kenneth Danielsen (Denmark)
The top six sailors from the first mission will compete in the second mission.
Remaining Red Bull Storm Chase competition grounds (2 will be surfed):
Cape Hatteras/US-East Coast, USA
South West Coast, Iceland
Omaezaki/South East Coast, Japan
North West Coast, Tasmania
About Red Bull Storm Chase:
Red Bull Storm Chase is the most-challenging windsurfing contest of all time, with a waiting period that started in August 2012. By hunting down 3 massive storms around the globe, 10 of the world’s best sailors will battle for the crown of ultimate storm windsurfer. Now extended into 2013, the competition is split into two parts in accordance with the main global storm seasons: Between January 10 and March 22, 2013, the sailors will be on standby to hunt down two massive storms at seven previously nominated destinations. From July 22, 2013, the top four sailors from rounds 1 and 2 will compete for the title in the final mission at one of the Red Bull Storm Chase destinations. To catch raging conditions, the participants have to be flexible-to-the-max during the two holding periods with just 48-hours to mobilise on-site before the next storm strikes. The contest format is simple: The top 1 0 sailors from the online voting compete in the first mission. Six advance to the second and the 4 best riders to the final mission.
Contest Period I: January 10 – March 22, 2013 (2 missions)
Contest Period II: July 22 – September 10, 2013 (1 final mission)
Brandon Bay, Ireland, January 28, 2013 – 10 of the world’s best windsurfers from eight
countries completed a demanding competition in Kerry, Ireland during the first mission of the
Red Bull Storm Chase – the most-challenging windsurfing contest of all time. Despite recorded
storm-force gusts of up to 74 knots (137kmh) and fierce 20-ft waves, the sailors completed three
rounds of competition in two locations on the Maharees peninsular. After possibly the most
radical day in windsurfing history, Marcilio Browne, Dany Bruch, Victor Fernandez, Robby Swift,
Julien Taboulet and Thomas Traversa advance to the second Mission of Red Bull Storm Chase.
Kicking-off at first light, the Professional Windsurfers’ Association (PWA) World Tour Head Judge
Duncan Coombs, Red Bull Storm Chase Sports Director Klaas Voget and local Guest Judge Timo Mullen
decided on a 10-minute heat format, with each competitor’s best scores in both wave riding and jumping
counting. Five two-man heats were drawn and the tension rose as the enormity of the task ahead of the
sailors sank in at a Brandon Bay beach known to windsurfers as ‘Dumps’.
Barely able to walk their equipment down the beach even the most experienced windsurfers present
questioned if even launching was possible. First to make an impression was 23-year old German Leon
Jamaer who launched into a barrage of high, floaty jumps and wave rides among the endless walls of
white water and open wave faces topping 20ft. Another European, Thomas Traversa managed to throw
in a perfect wave 360 over the savage shore-dump to the judges’ delight. The French sailors proved to
be on-fire as Julien Taboulet raised the bar with a barrage of sky-high combo jumps such as extreme,
delayed table-top forward loops. Germany’s Dany Bruch also notched a table-top forward and scored the
most hang-time with a stratospheric jump as lasting seven seconds. Moroccan aerial specialist Boujmaa
Guilloul got in on the act too with the full gambit of forward and backward combination rotations. With
only borrowed gear due to airline delays, it was a frustrating day for Danish talent Kenneth Danielsen
who struggled to show his full potential without familiar equipment in the testing environment.
Although the entrants were throwing caution to the wind both on and above the water, they were all
issued with padded ION impact protection clothing and were equipped with Weatherdock GPS devices
delivering real-time tracking. Watching over them during heats were expert Sea-Doo Personal Watercraft
safety drivers while a storm-proof Heimplanet tent provided shelter on the beach as raging gusts of
cross-onshore wind and hail showers ripped through..
With several former World Champions in-the-mix, the standard of competition would be pushed even
further. Robby Swift (GBR) made the benchmark move of the contest with a perfect, dry-landed,
pushloop-forward combo. More adrenaline-fuelled moves followed and Brazilian Marcilio Browne wowed
the judging panel with a technical and stylish Goiter rotation during a wave ride – especially impressive
considering the difficulties involved in making genuine turns in such strong wind. After two rounds and a
GoPro Expression Session free-sail, the judging crew then threw in another challenge by re-locating to
the sideshore wind and bone-crunching reef known as Hell’s Gate.
Mast-and-a-half high waves exploded onto stone as the sailors coped with wind gusting from 40-74
knots. Now fenced in by treacherous rocky islands and cliff-edged shoreline a different test was on the
table. As they dodged closing-out set waves in the third and final round, timing was critical to scoring a
steep ramp with adequate speed in the run-up. This was no problem for Tenerife-based Dany Bruch who
threw down an enormous, extremely delayed forward loop and calmly posted a backside 360 on a wave.
Julien Taboulet showed little fear as he flew off thick slabs of water and carved the powerful surf to
shreds, as did Thomas Traversa and Robby Swift who both landed combination moves. In terms of
overall impression the pedigree of the two waveriding World Champions present – Victor Fernandez
(ESP) and Josh Angulo (CPV) – shone through brightly. Both displayed superior wave selection with
linked turns and aerials conjured out of nowhere. As the light faded the six highest scoring sailors to
successfully qualify for Mission 2 – Dany Bruch, Marcilio Browne, Victor Fernandez, Robby Swift, Julien
Taboulet and Thomas Traversa – were paraded as an unforgettable day came to an end.
Red Bull Storm Chase Mission 1 – Quotes
Klaas Voget, Red Bull Storm Chase Sports Director:
„We couldn‘t have picked a more perfect storm, especially after waiting so long. I don’t think
I’ve ever seen so much wind or these kind of conditions in my life. The action was insane!“
Victor Fernandez, Storm Chaser (ESP):
„This is an amazing, once in-a-lifetime chance to compete with the elite of the windsurfing
world in unbelievably wild storm conditions. My 3rd round heat at Hell’s Gate saved me from
being knocked-out and I’m so stoked to advance. Making it to Mission 2 means I’ll hopefully
get to visit more spots around the world and continue this amazing adventure.“
Robby Swift, Storm Chaser (GBR):
„It was way windier than all of us expected and it was definitely the strongest wind i’ve ever
sailed in. This was a great experience and I was over-the-moon to score the highest-scored
jump of the event, even though I broke a board. The contest format was cool, with great
variety and a nice change from the stress of a regular week-long contest, but it was all over
so fast. I can’t describe how happy I am to make it through to the next Mission.“
Dany Bruch, Storm Chaser (GER)
„It was definitely windier than we could’ve been imagined and the windiest conditions I’ve
ever experienced – it was stormy for sure! The contest itself was a cool format with all of us
being good friends and able to push and motivate each other. It was super-hard to score well
- if you could land one good jump and compete a wave ride you had done well. We all had
fun and appreciate having been a part of it.“
Marcilio Browne, Storm Chaser (BRA):
„Considering what we were looking for it couldn’t have gone any better – it was definitely the
windiest day I’ve ever sailed and definitely different to other strong wind locations we
regularly sail in like Pozo in Gran Canaria, for example. For me it was a challenge as I’m
used to warm water, so the cold was very different to the kind of conditions I train in daily.
Now I know what to expect I can prepare for Mission 2 and can’t wait to score another storm
like this somewhere on the planet.“
Julien Taboulet, Storm Chaser (FRA)
„I was so happy to be selected for this first storm, plus it was important to be in Ireland in
honour of Mikey Clancy. It was my first time in such strong wind – it was impossible to even
waterstart sometimes. For sure we scored it big-time! I’m happy to make the cut for Mission 2
especially as it’s been such a long time since I competed, so it’s a great feeling to advance.
Thomas Traversa, Storm Chaser (FRA):
It’s hard to describe how windy it was – there was way more than I ever anticipated. I saw
that everyone was about as out-of-control as me, but we all tried our best, nobody
complained and the most important thing is that everyone is safe. I like the contest format a
lot and I think that for Mission 2 we’ll all be more prepared, relaxed and will know what to
expect. I don‘t think it could really be any windier and still possible to sail – but I have a 2.5
that I’ll take on the next one for sure!
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