Sport: Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions - PressFrom - US
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SportWindsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions

22:35  14 march  2019
22:35  14 march  2019 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

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Storm Gareth, described as a 1,000-mile wide "weather bomb," prompted severe weather warnings this week for the U.K. and brought out the bravest-or craziest-windsurfers in the world to compete in the Red Bull Storm Chase.

Eight world-class windsurfers dared to challenge the harsh conditions that saw 80 mph wind gusts and 30-foot waves on the northwest coast of Ireland. It's no wonder it is billed as the world's toughest windsurfing contest.

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"It was absolutely insane to compete in these conditions," Australian Jaeger Stone, who won the competition Tuesday, said in a statement sent to FTW Outdoors. "It was ballistic, massive, and freezing. Winning the contest feels unreal, and it still hasn't sunk in yet-I'm still just trying to warm up my hands."

Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions© File Photo File Photo

Ricardo Campello of Venezuela. Photo: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions© File Photo File Photo

Philip Köster of Germany (left) and Ricardo Campello of Venezuela. Photo: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions© File Photo File Photo

Thomas Traversa of France. Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions© File Photo File Photo

Jaeger Stone of Australia. Photo: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions© File Photo File Photo

Thomas Traversa of France. Photo: Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool

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Windsurfers dare to compete in insane conditions© File Photo File Photo

Ricardo Campello of Venezuela. Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull Storm Chase officials work with professional meteorologists and forecasters to "pin down the when and where of the perfect storm," which they call a code-red level storm.

Once a location with those conditions is located, windsurfers go on watch 120 hours before the potential contest occurs. At 72 hours, the rider list of 10 is finalized and they begin traveling to the location.

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Once they arrive, they have 24 hours to prepare for the storm. Riders are judged on the difficulty and amplitude of their jumps and tricks, and on style.

Competitors descended on Magheroarty Beach in Donegal, Ireland, Saturday to warm up. They began competing Sunday and capped it off with "Big Tuesday," when the wind and waves peaked.

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"Over all the Storm Chases we've done, this was the hardest - the conditions were radical, and it was just so cold," sports director Klaas Voget said. "Temps were just 5o C - I didn't think we'd see such high performance sailing in these temperatures. That was impressive. And finally, today was the windiest day that many of these guys have ever sailed in."

Photos courtesy of Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool and Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool.

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