More Than 2,000 Spectators Turned Out On Saturday 19th September To See The World’s First Ever Stadium-Style Surfing Event, Red Bull Unleashed.
The final eight riders went head-to-head at Surf Snowdonia’s artificial wave pool, a revolutionary lagoon which opened in August 2015 in North Wales. Crowd favourite Albee Layer (HAW) became the first ever Red Bull Unleashed champion, after a string of spectacular displays carried him to victory over the plucky Billy Stairmand (NZL).
Athletes and spectators revelled in the unique man-on-man duel concept, which saw pairs of surfers go head to head, wave for wave, in a best of five format. The unique stadium environment meant that the audience was less than ten feet away from the action, paving the way for a new era in competitive surfing.
As opposed to traditional half hour heats, there are no second chances at Red Bull Unleashed. who was amongst the spectators said, “You both have an equal opportunity, and there’s no two ways about it, the best surfer always wins. You can’t afford to fall so you really have to walk the fine line between pushing it to the limit and pushing it too far.
Layer, who notoriously does not compete, couldn’t help but beam with pride. “I didn’t know what to expect coming here,” said the Maui local, “but it’s been incredible. Surfing so close to so many people, music playing, heaps of energy in the air, to get the win is crazy!”