*Scroll down to The Heats to see the live updates*
The Chase has arrived at the beach of Dumps in Brandon Bay on Ireland's battered west coast. The conditions are as gnarly as expected, vertical faces of a mast and a half high out back and early reports are suggesting that the wind is perhaps pushing just over the 60 knot mark already. With forecasts predicting the wind and waves to pick up be sure to stay tuned for all the latest throughout the day right here on boardseeker.com.
With 10 minute man on man heats the action should be thick and fast. If you notice any problems with the Red Bull Storm Chase website then stay tuned here as we keep bringing you the action as it happens, be aware that the RBSC website could be down due to over-usage, no doubt they are on the case and it should be back up soon - www.redbullstormchase.com/mission-1
The Heats LIVE
After changing spot, the afternoon saw the 10 riders face each other one last time. The conditions required the jet-skis to tow them out through the wind shadows that were created by the cliffs at the top of Hell's Gate. Once at the waves, the winds gusted between 40 and 60 knots with mast to mast and a half high waves. Moves of round 3 were perfect 360's, huge backies and rocket airs that saw the guys pushing 50ft+. Today windsurfing saw new boundaries as Swift stomped the most perfect pushloop forward ever witnessed by PWA Head judge Duncan Coombs, at the same time the competitors were reaching new heights as they tried to out step each other on the altimeter scale! In the end only six can advance to mission number two.
The Heli is in the house. We can't work out what is more incredible, the shots that these guys will get or being able to fly this in a force 10!
Decision has been made already to move to Hell's Gate, first possible start will between 14.30-14.45. Stay tuned for further updates in the meantime.
Whilst a short break is taken for the judges to decide whether to move to Hells Gate or not, the GoPro Expression Session is on. Allowing the team to capture some epic footage for the crew to present in the video round up later.
Heat 5 - Kenneth vs Boujmaa
The wind has built throughout the last couple of heats and is back up to 60 knots or so. Bouj shows his usual flare and guts with super tweaked table tops on the way out and the way in! Meanwhile Kenneth sticks a pushloop and Bouj tries to answer with a wet pushloop forward. Super high one handed backloop from Kenneth.
Heat 4 - Danny vs Julien
The two open with backies, Julien sticks his, Bruch going down. Bruch shows quite a bit of repetition by stomping one backie after another. Julien will be coming in with a red back after crashing a huge stalled forward, pulling the sail shut insanely late. A reported 7 second rocket air from Bruch!! Fairly quiet from Julien during the last minutes of the heat whilst Bruch pushes hard for a backside 360.
Heat 3 - Robby vs Victor
Big moves in this heat. Victor opens with a huge forward only to be answered by Robby's perfect pushloop forward! We have a feeling that is the first one on Irish shores... Head Judge Coombs states: "I think that's the highest, most perfect, controlled push-forward I've ever seen". That'll be a 10 then, if not a 12! It's not over yet as Victor pulls a Felix Baumgartner on us with a backie that should really require a parachute for landing - enormous! RBSC - 'Swift changing boards, I think that push-forward landing punished the first one...'.
Heat 2 - Leon vs Thomas
Thomas Traversa is on fire. Landing incredible backside 360's on the wave face as well as a couple backies. The conditions are a little lighter adn smaller in this one showing how squally it is in Ireland today. Traversa goes on to get a full house from the judges, RBSC state that "to put that into perspective, Brawzinho landed a perfect goiter but received only 8.5". Leon seems to be struggling on his hunt for waves in this heat but has stucka few moves.
Heat 1 - Josh vs Brawzinho
Josh Angulo keeping it fairly tame during the start of the heat, whilst Brawzinho goes out with only one goal - to win. Big backies by Braw in the slightly lighter winds (around 40 knots) but his custom 3.4 makes his 75l board look huge. Braw continues with backies but as the sun shows its face briefly he sticks a nice tweaked pushloop. Angulo charging around for ramps and not getting too lucky. The heat comes to an end as we move on into the next.
The draw for round 2
Quotes from the riders - twitter.com/rbstormchase
These words just coming in from the riders.
Angulo: 'It was scarier than the scariest we could've imagined'
Robby Swift: 'It's either more than 60-knots, or the wind is so much denser it feels much stronger. It was scariest walking down the beach!'
Between the rounds
A few minutes break now for the competitors to warm up and the judges to tabulate what just happened! Check out the boys in the bus grinning like children, Victor, Leon and Bouj (at the back, supporting a brilliant hood over all that hair of his).
Heat 5 - Kenneth vs Dany
Again rocket airs are order of the day as Bruch boosts an enormous one, only to be answered by Kenneth's very own. The waves are attracting some pretty cool moves on the way in. Kenneth trying a taka. Backies and big airs are still on the cards and Bruch tries to go even higher. The water state out there is extreme to another level, the wind is mixing the rain and the sea into one smoky mist the whips the competitors bare skin completely raw. Survival begins to play a part yet still these guys push themselves to the absolute limits.
Heat 4 - Boujmaa vs Julien
Julien and Bouj fight hard with a lot of ballsy moves. Julien pulling table-top forwards, backies, one handed backies, whilst Bouj clocks up one of the highest moves of the day with a table-top forward combo, pretty insane! Both are out there with full guns blazing, a tough call as the heat draws to an end. Julien shows a lot of variation and skill even in these ferocious conditions, perhaps it is something to do with the lucky shorts he is wearing over his wetsuit...
Heat 3 - Robby vs Brawzinho
Quote from RBSC - Brawzinho has custom Goya 3.2 and Swift a borrowed NeilPryde 2.9 from local Rob Jones.
More moves in this heat as both sailors push for backies and push loops. Braw launches into a HUGE rocket air and they both make the most of the waves all the way to the inside. Swift just slightly over rotating a pushie but sails away.
Heat 2 - Thomas vs Victor
Traversa before heat: "I'm nervous, I don't know what to expect, we'll see. I didn't watch the first heat".
Traversa at just 60 kilos launched into a huge rocket air straight off the beach pretty much. Victor replies with his own then Traversa bails from one over 40ft! Some riding going on, with a few backside smacks from Traversa, he is such a featherweight but with so much control!
Heat over, just in time as a hail storm tears through the competition area. RBSC is waiting for riders to return to the beach before allowing the next heat.
Heat 1 - Leon vs Josh
Leon opted for a 3.3 whilst Josh took a 3.6. Backies are order of the day for Leon as he launches into one after the other, pushing 40ft but mixing up the landings a little. Josh sticks some good moves too and some very clean riding. The conditions are crazy out there and it seems like just pulling a move is worth points!
At First Light
Huge waves out back and a pushing tide to pick things up later in the day.
An impressive journey by many but no more so than Brawzinho and Robby Swift. Robby totalled an impressive 39 hours of back to back flights to get from Chile to Ireland, whilst Brawzinho flew all the way from the Marshall Islands to be here for this one day of action. No doubt many of the guys will be staying for a few extra days as the storm fronts will lash the west coast for the next week.