Finalists, Picture – James Robinson / Surfing NSW 


Published on 03/03/2021

 Red Bull Cape Fear, the one-of-a-kind invitation-only big wave surfing competition, is returning to Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania’s home of slab surfing. 

A strong cohort of big wave surfers from across Australia will compete in a female category for the first time, including Australian Champion surfer and former World Surfing League competitor, Laura Enever. The determination from the female entrants as they conquer the iconic Shipstern Bluff will showcase the strength required to take on big wave surfing and will be an unmissable moment in Australian big wave surfing history. 

When the window officially opens on March 15th, Red Bull Cape Fear can be called ‘ON’ at any time with the surfers dropping everything and having only 48 hours to make their way to Shipstern Bluff to compete. Red Bull Cape Fear will await the optimal swell in 2021, ensuring the best conditions for competitors and fans. In preparation for the competition, swell conditions will be monitored from today by a dedicated Surfline team. 

Australian surfing champion and invited competitor, Laura Enever says, “Everything that goes into big waves surfing is on a whole new level. From seeing swells, chasing swells, the team involved and mostly the risks involved. I love the challenge and I am looking forward to testing myself in a competitive format for the first time. 

“When I left the World Tour (WSL) to venture into big wave surfing my eyes were opened to what it takes physically and mentally to surf the heaviest waves around – Shipstern Bluff truly embodies that challenge. I’m honoured to be one of the first female surfers to take part in Red Bull Cape Fear and I’m excited and nervous to push myself and compete against some of the best slab surfers in Australia. We need more events locally and internationally, so it’s epic Red Bull are creating these opportunities for the big wave surf community. It’s going to be one crazy event!” 

Aussie surfing legend Mick Fanning is also amongst 24 of Australia’s best thrill-seeking slab surfers who will compete this year, taking on some of the most difficult breaks in the world with triple-overhead waves reaching up to 20-feet in height. 

Mick Fanning says, “My expertise definitely lies in CT surfing so taking on these crazy waves is definitely out of my comfort zone, but an epic challenge post-retirement. There’s going to be a lot of more experienced big-wave shredders from Tassie and other parts of Australia out there with me and I am honoured to surf beside them for my second Red Bull Cape Fear.” 

In 2019, the competition was taken South and is now located on the southeastern coast of Tasmania, Shipstern Bluff which is known for some of the most terrifying big wave surfing in the world, due in part to the natural steps occurring within the waves, often bringing surfers undone. With 27 Olympic pools worth of water breaking over a shallow reef and waves breaking only 10 meters from the rocks, Shipstern Bluff is a real spectacle to watch surfers conquer. 

Competition founder and renowned big wave surfer Mark Mathews says he can’t wait to get out there again, “Red Bull Cape Fear is an event all big wave surfers across the globe keep an eye out for and Shipstern Bluff is known for taking no prisoners.” 

“The 2019 event was epic and this year will be unique again with such strong female competitors involved, and of course an all-Aussie lineup to showcase local talent. I can’t wait to get the green light and test myself against the ocean once again.” 

A full list of invited surfers will be shared by Red Bull in the coming weeks at 

The event site for Red Bull Cape Fear will be strictly closed to spectators, however the entire competition will be broadcast live and free at Red Bull TV. To find out more information, head to 

To be notified when the event is called ‘ON’ keep your eyes and ears on RBTV and our social channels – download RBTV app for iPhone here, android here. Or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

24 Invited Surfers

Mick Fanning, Russ Bierke, Ryan Hipwood, Justen Allport, Joel Parkinson, Kieren Perrow, Mark Mathews, Laurie Towner, Kipp Caddy, Dean Morrison, Mikey Brennan, Danny Giffiths, James Holmer-Cross, Tyler Holmer-Cross, James McKean, Kelly Nordstrom, Marti Paradisis, Ben Richardson, Shaun Wallbank, Alex Zawadzki, Laura Enever, Felicity Palmateer, Laura Macaulay, Lizzie Stokley.

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