Surfers from Australia, Ireland, Hawaii, South Africa, having traveled a full day or more to get to Oregan and Nelscott Reef in particular, are sleep deprived, jet lagged and travel weary… but oh so happy…
Chris Bertish, from South Africa, arrived at 1:30 a.m. and drove straight to Nelscott from the airport.
“It is half-way around the world,” he said. “It is an amazing location, an amazing wave. It is a privilege and an honor to be invited to this event.”
John Forse, who is the force (excuse the pun) behind this event, said: “All the big waves come across from Russia, then across the Gulf of Alaska. The best swells for here come straight at Oregon, and veer toward Canada. We get the benefit of the swells without all the storms. That’s what’s happening today.”
“It’s always intimidating,” said Alastair Mennie, a surfer from Belfast, Northern Ireland. “You just have to accept it is intimidating and do it.”
This is the fifth year for this invitation-only event. It’s a last minute affair as the race can only happen when the wave is on a roll – and remember, this is a wave which can easily reach 40 foot. Surfers from around the world drop everything and get to the Oregon coast on 48-hours notice.
Teammates ride on jet skis to the reef and take turns surfing it, scoring points for “radical, controlled maneuvers in the critical section of the wave with speed, power and flow.”
They are vying for the privilege of winning the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In.
We’ll keep you updated…