Tracks - - Buzz - BY BEN BUG­DEN

It’s not of­ten that Mark Mathews makes the wrong call at Ours, aka Cape Solan­der aka Pik­ers Hole aka Cape Fear aka [in­sert lat­est name here]. He knows the wave bet­ter than any­one and a life­times worth of tube vi­sion and min­i­mal pound­ings at one of the heav­i­est and no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult waves break­ing un­der the sun is tes­ta­ment to that fact.

It was this in­ti­mate knowl­edge of the wave that led to Mark re­ceiv­ing the du­bi­ous hon­our of be­ing the man to make the call on when to pull the trig­ger dur­ing the wait­ing pe­riod for the Red Bull Cape Fear event. At the time of writ­ing that wait­ing pe­riod had just ex­pired with­out a green light.

Dur­ing the first half of the win­dow a com­plete lack of swell meant the call had been easy for Mark, but the start of the win­ter had been so loaded with epic swells no-one was wor­ried … surely there was some­thing just around that blind, week long surf fore­cast cor­ner. The weeks ticked by while the event’s hype train rolled on. How­ever, Huey was now look­ing less and less likely to come to the party, and it must’ve been around this time the first beads of per­spi­ra­tion formed on Mark’s brow.

Then roughly two weeks out from the end of the win­dow, like a dodgy old lawn­mower, the ocean be­gan sput­ter­ing to life. The charts show­ing that Ours would be good but would it be good enough to run the event? It was about this time that the beads of per­spi­ra­tion on Mark’s brow must’ve grown into large drops. Mak­ing the right call on a lineball swell that was gonna be one thing but push­ing the green but­ton meant send­ing many of the world’s best big wave surfers scur­ry­ing to make flights from all cor­ners of the globe. It had to be wor­thy.

Mark even­tu­ally de­cided it would not run. And de­spite scor­ing this slab on the day re­mains adamant it was the right de­ci­sion.

"It was just a touch on the small side and su­per in­con­sis­tent," Mathews told Red Bull re­cently, ex­plain­ing the call. "We are look­ing for big­ger and cra­zier!”

Red Bull were happy to trust Mark’s judg­ment as they should be, and at the time of writ­ing had just granted the event a one month ex­ten­sion which ends on Au­gust 31. Af­ter that if the required swell still re­fuses to even­tu­ate, Red Bull will spread its in­fa­mous wings and flap its way out of Syd­ney for the year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.