Despite what officials thought were sufficient precautions taken, the contest site at the Rip Curl Pro Search at Supertubes in Peniche, Portugal was wiped out last night in ten-to-twelve foot storm surf. According to contest director Damien Hardman, the show will go on despite the death by drowning of computers, cameras, and audio equipment. "We really wanted to run today, but the site structure at Supertubos is too badly damaged today and the conditions at Lagido never materialized," he said. "We're still seeing plenty of swell on the forecast and better weather so we'll be back at Supertubos tomorrow at 8am tomorrow."
Hopefully the "30 Year Storm," as local Portuguese TV news called it, will bring the yet-to-begin Rip Curl Pro Search some good surf...and didn't take out all of the Web cast equipment!
While the contest site was being swallowed by North Atlantic storm surf, Rip Curl's own Mick Fanning and Taylor Knox got a hold of a few jet skis and used them to whip each other into some bombs. Check the exclusive photos of the storm damage and tow-in session below...
Taylor Knox having flashbacks of his K2 Big Wave Challenge win years ago. Photo: jackenglish.com
Most people hail taxis, not these guys. Photo: jackenglish.com
It’s never a good sign when waves are hitting the contest site. But hey, at least we know there will be some surf! Photo courtesy Rip Curl.
Opting to go with straps in the bumpy conditions, Mick Fanning carves up a Portuguese macker. Photo: jackenglish.com
You know what they say Mick, “If you can’t tie a knot, tie a lot.”
The Rip Curl Pro Search contest site after what local news called “The 30 Year Storm.” Photo courtesy Rip Curl.
Taylor Knox and Mick Fanning frothing for a tow session on an off day at the Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal. Photo: jackenglish.com
Taylor Knox avoids some PWC wake on a day deemed too stormy to run the Rip Curl Pro Search in Peniche, Portugal. Photo: jackenglish.com
We’d like to say that the storm damage won’t affect the Web cast but that’s probably not going to be the case here in Peniche, Portugal for the Rip Curl Pro Search. Photo courtesy Rip Curl.
Step 1 when surfing big waves: Make sure your leash string is tied on! Photo: jackenglish.com
Taylor Knox shows off his big wave chops. Photo: jackenglish.com
Mick and Taylor gawk over a ten-foot set. The fact that they were the only ones on it was icing on the cake. Photo: jackenglish.com
Mick Fanning on what looks like an oversized Snapper Rocks cyclone wave. Photo: jackenglish.com
Mick Fanning gets swallowed by a mountain of Portuguese white water. Photo: jackenglish.com
Mick Fanning spots a bomb while Taylor Knox waxes up his 6’8″ pintail; signature T. Knox bamboo fins and all. Photo: jackenglish.com
Taylor Knox on an off day at the Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal. Photo: jackenglish.com
Mick “White Lightning” Fanning going even faster than he normally does. Photo: jackenglish.com
Mick Fanning backdoors it in Portugal. Photo: jackenglish.com
Taylor Knox shows 43 of his peers why they should have surfed this day. Photo: jackenglish.com
Right about now, Mick’s pretty stoked he has a ski coming after him. Photo: jackenglish.com