The 2019 mission of the Red Bull Storm Chase has officially started. After 5 years of watching pressure maps, ocean temps, predicted wind speeds and swell forecasts, this storm, which will hit Ireland tomorrow brings finally the right combination of wind and waves and matches the Storm Chase requirements.

We caught up with Dany Bruch, Leon Jamaer, Ricardo Campello, Robby Swift & Jaeger Stone for a short update before the action starts. Unfortunately we were not able to get in contact with Thomas Traversa, Adam Lewis and Philip Köster but they are for sure busy with preparations.

Ricardo Campello

I got the final call in Miami with my ticket all packed and ready to return home! I had to cancel and buy a flight to Ireland. My first thought was, well lets change the chip of warm weather and get this storm! We have been waiting for it for 3 years. My smallest sail is 3.3 and my biggest 4.8. I will bring 2 onshore boards and one more down the line surfing boards from Brunotti by Peter Thommen. My last high wind session was about 3 weeks ago in Cape Town but I think it will be much wilder! I hope it will be wild and to do my best!

Jaeger Stone

When and where did you get the message that the Chase is on? We were actually on hold for several days leading up to the Green Light decision. Everything was looking and sounding quite positive so I drove to Perth a couple of days ago. I knew if/when it was called on I wouldn’t have much time and that saved me a 4.5hr drive. I woke up at 6am and saw that the RBSC Crew had called it on but it wasn’t until about 8hours later it was confirmed and I literally received my flight confirmation about half an hour before leaving for the airport.

What was your first thought? Ha ha I’ve had lots of nerves and excitement throughout the last week really because it was so close to being called on a couple of times. I was due to fly to Maui on the 4th of March but postponed those flights and was about to rebook them again before receiving the message. I guess my first thoughts were that I wanted to stay in the comfort of my bed, avoid the nerves and stay where I’m comfortable. I’ve wanted to be a part of this for a long time though so those thoughts were quickly balanced out with the excitement of a new adventure and windsurfing in some crazy conditions with my friends.

Which gear do you bring to Ireland? Bringing Severne Sails S-1 Pro from 3.0 to 4.8 and my 72 and 76 Starboard Uktrakodes. 5/3 Severne Primo wetsuit, hooded vest, mittens, gloves and booties.

What do you expect? I expect it to be tough, cold, crazy and more than likely scary. I’m expecting the level of windsurfing to be insane and I can’t wait to be a part of that.

When was your last high wind session? My last high wind session would have been at the very end of January in Geraldton, W.A. It was 30-40kn, warm and sunny so quite a bit different to what we’re about to windsurf in! Since then I’ve mostly been down in the South/South West of W.A. wave riding in light winds.

Leon Jamaer

The call to start was made on Wednesday afternoon and I got it on my car while driving home. This storm is going to be a tricky one to track as on every forecast update it has changed its path. The good thing is we are equipped with enough cars to be fully independent and mobile. So we will actually chase the storm and be in position when it reaches Ireland. I will bring my standard winter neoprene; 6/4mm hooded Neilpryde suit, thin boots and half open gloves. I have sails from 3,0 to 5,0 and boards from 75 and 88 –  I should be ready for anything. 
I have big expectations but it will all come down to being in the moment once the heat starts. Conditions might be unstable, hardcore and tricky but who knows… all the preparation is done.

Robby Swift

When and where did you get the message that the chase is on? I was actually in New York with my wife exhibiting at a fashion trade show called Coterie with her handbag line ( I had heard from them right before I left for New York that it could be on, so I packed up my bags for someone else to bring if we left while I was in New York. In the end, I just got back to Maui and had 2 days there before the final green light was given.

What was your first thought? First thought was: Great! What fun to have an event to do in March and not have to wait for the Canaries in June. Then I saw all the reports of snow in Ireland and thought brrrr.. But I have warm wetsuits and gloves etc. from Mystic so I should be OK. I have a 6/4 with a built in hood from Mystic and a 5/4 with a separate hood in case it’s not quite that cold. Wetsuit boots, gloves, neoprene jacket etc. I have 75, 83, 88L boards. And NeilPryde Combats from 3.0 (custom) 3.3-5.3. Ready for anything! I have 2 of each size of mast, 3 340s though as I think that’s the size we will use most!

What do you expect from the competition? I think that this year we will be aiming for the best conditions possible, rather than just the gnarliest which is super cool. Hopefully we can show some insane jumping and riding and have long heats to really concentrate on doing the absolute best moves!

Daniel Bruch

When and where did you get the message that the chase is on? I had literally landed in Bangkok for next board production and got the news that in 8 hours the chance was high to give green light…

What was your first thought? Ohh man, back to Europe??? hahaha

Which equipment do you bring? 5.5 Ion wetsuit, boots gloves…thick jackets..and a fishermans mono I bought when I was at the Faroe Islands… Gaastra Manic from 3.7 to 5.0 and Bruch Boards 2x 85 liter Madness, 1x 90 liter Madness and 1x 90 liter Stoked.

What do you expect? Go big or go home

When was your last high wind session? I had a pretty amazing session 4 weeks ago in Pozo with nuclear wind and big waves, had some strong wind and wavy days in Cape Town a week ago too…

We wish everybody the best of luck in Ireland. It is going to be massive!

©Pics: Red Bull Storm Chase, John Carter