Angourie local keeps cool head in Cape Fear surf
THE contest may be called Cape Fear, but big wave surfer Laurie Towner managed to keep a cool head as he charged heavy waves at the weekend.
The Angourie local charged out in 1.2-1.8m swell at the notoriously dangerous Cape Solander in Sydney's south on Sunday morning to take on New Zealand-born Dave Rastovich in a one-on-one surf battle for the inaugural Red Bull Cape Fear contest.
While there were only a few decent waves in the 40-minute heat, Towner managed to pick one of the best on offer.
"I was a bit nervous because there weren't many waves out there," he said.
"If I was free-surfing (that wave) I would have gotten deeper in the barrel, but because I knew it was my only chance to get an okay score I rode it pretty safe."
The wave was enough for Towner to take out the battle, and he walked away from the event with $10,000 in his pocket.
"It's pretty crazy considering it's just one heat and to go get a couple of barrels with friends was cool," he said.
Yamba-born surfer and Stab magazine editor Sam McIntosh also got called up to compete at the last minute, but was defeated by Jesse Polock.
Towner said while the break was nowhere near as good as it could get, he was happy the inaugural competition - two years in the making - was up and running.
"The afternoon before it would have been hard to run the competition but it would have been so exciting," he said.
"It was big and out of control and stormy and windy... there were some good wipe-outs for sure."
"The whole idea of this contest is more for the public to watch exciting surfing, it was just a little bit unlucky with the swell but I think it's a really cool contest."
"From here on it's only going to be bigger and better."
When The Daily Examiner spoke to Towner yesterday, he was at Sydney Airport waiting for a flight to Tahiti, where he will play a surfing stunt double in the 2015 remake of Point Break.
After Tahiti, Towner said he would head home to the Clarence coast.