The surfers are coming! Next Tuesday, the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search “Somewhere in San Francisco” event will kick off, featuring some of the sport’s top surfers as they battle the elements of cold, foggy and turbulent Ocean Beach.
The Rip Curl Pro Search is the only event on the ASP World Tour with a floating license, allowing it to move to a new location each year. While the Search events typically take place in warmer climates, organizers were looking for a tougher challenge this year.
“We chose San Francisco to reflect a completely different side of the Search,” said Rip Curl Marketing Manager Dylan Slater. “We also wanted to show the grittier side of the Search. It’s not all about tropical elements and Indonesia. This event is about the world’s best surfers versus the elements. The potential for Ocean Beach is big, perfect A-frames. And we wanted to see the Search interpreted in this completely new, different and lively environment.”
The contest will feature 36 of the world’s top surfers, vying for a piece of the $425,000 purse for the event. The event is comprised of a 12 day “contest window” during which organizers hope to have four full days of competition (27.5 hours total, based on 30 minute heats); ideally, days with the biggest waves and best conditions.
Among the field of competitors will be Kelly Slater, a household name thanks to his adventures out of the water with a bevy of celebrity romances. Slater is favored to win the San Francisco event, which would be his 11th World Title.
Despite its reputation for unruly winds, fog banks, and an arduous paddle out, two-time Search winner Mick Fanning is looking forward to the challenge, telling Surfer Magazine, “I haven’t spent any time in San Francisco so I’ll be scoping it for the first time. From what I hear they get plenty of swell and there’s some quality waves in the area. I can’t wait.”
To add to the grittiness of the event, personal water craft, aka jet skis, have been banned from the competition by the GGNRA. They’re typically used to tow competitors out to the big waves, and provide quick aid in the event of a mishap.
The event will also feature the nation’s top 16 junior surfers, competing in the Rip Curl Gromsearch National Final.
Every morning by 7:30am, organizers will decide to either run for an approximate 8am start or go on standby for a possible later start or call the event off for the day. As soon as the final call has been made, they will notify all parties, post message boards and update the event website. The latest contest call information can be found in the status bar of the live.ripcurl.com homepage.
The location of the competition will be Stairway 18-20 at Ocean Beach, across from the Beach Chalet restaurant. The site could shift further north up the beach to Kelly’s Cove at Stairway 1 if “conditions and or sand bars (which makes the wave take better shape) are much better than the main site.” More event info
If you can’t make it out to the beach or want to leave the chilly winds to the surfers, you can still catch all the action via the live stream from the Rip Curl website.
Surf’s up! Are you going to head out to Ocean Beach or tune in for the action?