We already were wondering what’s going on with the Red Bull Storm Chase this winter 2018. There were a few storms in Europe, but there was never an alert as these storms didn’t meet the requirements of the event. On March 17, 2018 the waiting period ended. We received the press release about the closing of the waiting period. 

“Once again unfortunately, Mother Nature did not provide the conditions that we were looking for to run Red Bull Storm Chase this season. Undoubtedly, there were storms during our waiting period and even some that came close to the conditions needed, but ultimately nothing suitable to run the world’s toughest windsurfing contest. So we will have to be patient once more and see what the ocean has in store for us in the future…” (Red Bull Storm Chase team)

March 17th: Red Bull Storm Chase competitors and crew have watched weather maps, ocean temps, windspeed and swell forecasts since January. With last winter failing to produce a suitable storm, anticipation in the entire windsurfing community was high. Unfortunately, high pressure systems kept all serious storms away from the most viable coasts for a contest. In fact, during the waiting period, only one weather system had the team on close watch – as opposed to multiple instances the previous year. This storm system, headed to the north of Ireland in mid-February, pushed the crew to the last possible minute before making the call that wind would be insufficient.

Sports Director Klaas Voget weighs in. “This was the second year in a row we didn’t get the right storm for Red Bull Storm Chase. We all can’t wait to see it happen, but we can’t force nature, so we have to be patient until it comes up. Waiting for the right conditions is part of the deal if you want a windsurf contest on the highest level. For that we need sick conditions, and we don’t want to opt for second best. Let’s hope for next season!”

Red Bull Storm Chase will return during the next storm season – exact dates TBD.

About the Red Bull Storm Chase 2018

The Red Bull Storm Chase was back for 2018, January 5 till March 17. Last winter none of the winter storms met the requirements of the contest, so the contest got shifted to this year’s winter.

Klaas Voget: “We’re not looking for just windy days, we’re looking for a big storm system (force 10 storm, 89-102kph) creating truly radical conditions that match the challenging requirements of the contest. The storm has to tick many boxes – stable forecasts and wind directions, size and duration of the system, temperatures, daylight, infrastructure.”

Let’s see if this winter will bring one of the desired storms. Defending champion Thomas Traversa is ready for the chase and had already two good warm-up sessions in Ireland and Portugal. > Video: Thomas Travers in Ireland

The four finalists from the last Red Bull Storm Chase Leon Jamaer (13), Dany Bruch (10), Marcilio Browne (3) and winner Thomas Traversa (6) are automatically entered. Four open spots remain. All riders have had the chance to apply for 2017 and submitted a video and rider profile to be considered. 57 riders signed up. PWA rider Klaas Voget, PWA head judge Duncan Coombs and PWA photographer John Carter – the expert panel – nominated 10 riders.

Following 10 riders are already chosen. All riders are PWA riders (ranked between 1- 19),  except Kai Lenny, who doesn’t compete on the PWA world tour.

The nominees (4 riders will be selected for the contest)

Adam Lewis, United Kingdom (PWA rank: 5)
Antoine Martin, France (PWA rank: 19)
Camille Juban, France (PWA rank: 13)
Jaeger Stone, Australia (PWA rank: 7)
Kai Lenny, United States (no PWA ranking)
Jules Denel, France (PWA rank: 17)
Philip Köster, Germany (PWA rank: 1)
Ricardo Campello, Venezuela (PWA rank: 8)
Robby Swift, United Kingdom (PWA rank: 16)
Victor Fernández López, Spain (PWA rank: 2)

Key Facts:

  • Goal: the world’s toughest windsurfing contest
  • Contest window begins January 5, 2018 and runs until March 17, 2018
  • Riders judged on jumps, wave riding and execution of tricks
  • Four riders are qualified from the last event in 2014; four more selected from a pool of ten in the days leading up to the event
  • Fans (and riders) can propose locations
  • Event is confirmed only 72 hours before the start of competition

Red Bull Storm Chase 2017 – Teaser