Russell Bierke showed no fear as he surfed against his childhood idols and claimed the title at Red Bull’s Cape Fear big wave surfing competition last week.
The 18-year-old from Bawley Point won the event after scoring a perfect 10 on a wave described by STAB surfing magazine as one of “the tallest, widest waves ever ridden at the Cape.”
“I thought my 10 might break off the reef and collapse on me,” Bierke said.
“I was actually close to pulling off it but I knew if it did hold up it was going to be a perfect one.”
The invitation only big wave event featured some of Bierke’s childhood surfing idols and while the first day of the competition was described on the Red Bull website as “verging on insanity,” he says he had a great time surfing with his heros.
“It was so amazing when the final buzzer went and I was announced the winner,” Bierke said.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”
The three other finalists were Ryan Hipwood (2014 winner), Koby Abberton and James Adams, all seasoned world class surfers.
Since the event, he has been caught in a whirlwind of media action, including an appearance on the Today Show, however he says he is making the most of the media attention and exposure to the wider surfing world.
While the past few days have been busy with media appearances, Bierke has kept one eye on the swell.
“At the moment I'm on standby for chasing swells, so if I see there's going to be big waves headed somewhere I'll be on the next flight over,” he said.
He hopes to get on the big wave world tour and have more opportunities to surf in events such as Cape Fear in the future.
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