The Cave Rock Gladiator Pit 2006

posted by Alistair Taylor on 23rd January 2006

OK here is the deal with the contest for Cave Rock ... the details MAY be tweaked slightly before the event happens, but here is the basic info and structure of the event- any changes will be updated immediately on sixty40, but at least for now there is something for those of you interested in competing to make some plans around your being here for it.

The event will have a 7 day window, starting April 20 and running right up to the day before the Wimpy/Rossi (April 26). The day with the biggest/best waves will see the event run, though there will have to be a minimum of 6ft sets for the event to go. The tendency for cave rock to be negatively affected by the wind will necessitate that the first heat goes out around 6:45am, latest 7am. The contest will more than likely be called on the day before it runs, and for those across the country who can't sit around in Durban and wait, there is a more than 50% chance I could call the event on with a 3 day notice.

The contest will be run in one day, unless we have the exceptionally fortunate circumstances of a strong chance of 2 really good days within that week. A 2 day event would allow us to run longer heats, and/or call off heats if the wind picks up too much.

Ideally I would like to get 32 competitors in the event, or less, but not more as then it becomes hard to run in a day and still have a quality event with long enough heat times. The event will not be invitational, however there are going to be some limiting factors to who will enter, namely:

The waves- for those not familiar with cave rock, on a solid swell it is one of the heaviest waves in the country. Anything over 6ft is pretty intense, and at around 10ft it is really heavy for anyone, as well as an incredibly tough paddle out (there is no channel whatsoever). So anyone that is not comfortable with going out in heavy 6ft+ and possibly 8-10ft surf breaking hard on a shallow reef, and probably having a few sets land on your head at some point, should probably not enter.

Entrants will also have to sign a disclaimer releasing the event and its organisers from any responsibility in case of injury and so on.

If we do not have a sponsor for the event (will have an answer on that by 1st week of Feb.), the riders will be the sponsors, and the entry fees collectively will pay the event expenses (judging etc) and form the prize pool. If there is no sponsor, the entry fee will be R500, which will be refunded in the event that the swell fails to reach acceptable levels and the contest isn't run. If we do have a sponsor, the entry fee will be reduced accordingly, but to a minimum of R250.
As for the cost of entry, as much as possible, try to get your sponsors to pay for you to enter- in that way, it’s really more a case of the event being sponsored by the sponsors of the riders, not just the riders. If we get good waves, they will get their money's worth out of the media that the event will generate. If we don't get good waves, we don't run the event, so no money lost.
Also bear in mind the Tahiti Skins contest in 2000 had a $2000USD entry fee, and guys were climbing over each other to get in to the event ... it had epic waves and will go down as one of the most dramatic and radical events in bodyboarding history ... so if we're lucky we can do something similar, but for a lot less expense.

For the format, every heat, though elimination will be a little contest within itself. The rider of each heat will win a cash prize (R200 for arguments' sake, but will depend on size of prize pool), and also every heat will see one cash prize awarded to the most radical thing that happened in that heat, whether it be an air or a barrel or whatever. Riders will be scored on their best 2 waves to advance. The specialty prizes will apply to every single heat, so every time you make it through (or especially win your heat), you can make money. The top 3 places in the final will win the most prize money, but no prize money for 4th place, just to make sure that everyone tries extra hard not to come 4th. There will however still be a cash prize in the final for best move or barrel or whatever, so everyone has a shot at some money, plus the final specialty prize will be double that of previous heats. This format is designed to push the level of riding in every heat to the limit, so that in every heat contestants have good reason to go for broke.

So there you have it- as it stands now, entry fee is R500, but may be reduced (hopefully will be reduced). And entry will be limited to the first 32 entrants, though we'll also have a stand-by list at the beach in case it's 12ft and crazy and someone decides to pull out. If the waves are huge, it will go to a vote of the riders as to whether or not we run or abstain, as obviously safety is an issue and I don't want to send people to their doom. Anything over 50% will carry the vote.

An entry form will go up soon, but for the time being you can mull it over and think about whether or not you want to be in the event or not. If we get good waves, the event should get some really good media coverage, at least within bodyboarding circles. A good enough day could potentially see an entire DVD produced on the comp, and it would be sick.

Any inquiries for the time being, or if you are sure you want to enter, can contact either me ([email protected] / 082 863 6665) or Wayne Du Preez ([email protected] / 083 797 1697)

Alistair Taylor



KellyKelly Footit
24th January 2006 19:41
Good stuff! Spread the word amongst the top riders - win your heat and/or pull off the best move in the heat and you could start winning back your money in your first heat.

With the right conditions this will be a classic event ... I was fortunate to ride the event back in the days when they had the Cave Rock Tubemasters and it used to be televised and this was one of the best contests I've ridden in, in terms of conditions and the guys pushing the limits. We all want to see bodyboarding competed in waves like this so let's try make it happen!
jbsJared Schafer
24th January 2006 13:30
WAaaaaaahhhhh that looks sick! Nice one Alistair

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