Cape Town – Red Bull Nightshift, the tow-at night surfing event, saw huge crowds flocking down to Camps Bay last night to enjoy the surfing display. The event – a demonstration of surfers getting towed into waves by a jetski and flung into the sky to perform progressive surfing moves – saw thousands of surfers, spectators and celebrities arrive to watch as the sun was starting to set.
At first there was a bit of uncertainty as to the waves being suitable. They were breaking fast and very close to the shoreline, but such fears were allayed as the invited surfers arrived, assessed the conditions, and started changing into their wetsuits.
“The conditions are fine,” said one of the seven invited surfers, Rudy Palmboom from the Bluff in Durban. “Plenty of little ramp sections and enough water to land safely. Just what we need.”
The first surfer in the water was South Africa-born Australian surfer Craig Anderson. The sun was still in the sky as Craig took to the water and grabbed the tow-rope. Being a goofy-foot surfer (riding with his right-foot forward) Craig was looking for the left-breaking waves. He was whipped into a good set wave almost immediately for the first big ramp of the evening, setting the stage to the applause of the early crowd.
As the sun went down and the floodlights came on, so the people continued to arrive, eventually cramming the Camps Bay shoreline from end to end. Others climbed onto rocks at Glen Beach to get a good vantage spot, while other lucky spectators watched from their balconies and decks as the spectacle unfolded.
The host of Red Bull Nightshift, world number two ASP surfer Jordy Smith was the star of the show, boosting into an incredibly high forehand air reverse on his first wave that he landed but didn’t manage to stick. The crowd roared their appreciation as he flew through the air and reconnected onto the wave on the way down, but there was much more to come.
Surfers who joined Jordy Smith in the event were Ricky Basnett (DBN), Travis Logie (DBN), Rudy Palmboom (Bluff), Craig Anderson (AU), Warwick Wright (CTN), Royden Bryson (CTN) and Damien Fahrenfort (CTN). They all took their share of waves during their allocated slots, and all going for big airs with varying degrees of success.
As the night set in and a slight chill hit the spectators, Jordy went out for his last run. Some big hits and some great hang time saw the crowds egging him on and cheering for more. Jordy didn’t let them down. On the last wave of the evening and arguably one of the bigger waves of the event, Jordy ramped off the wave, disconnected his feet from his board for a perfect ‘Superman’ move before reconnecting with board and wave and sticking the move perfectly to the roars from the 10,000 – odd people watching.
“I’d just like to thank all of you guys who came down to watch and support,” said Jordy after the event. “It’s been a great evening and we’ve all had loads of fun. Red Bull always do things properly and I’m just stoked that we had such a sick event.”
Jordy will be rejoining the World Tour for the first event of the year, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Australia, on 26 February.