Perfect storm for Red Bull Storm Chasers competing at Gwithian
The best windsurfers in the world are competing in some of the most extreme weather conditions they have ever seen.
The Red Bull Storm Chase has arrived in west Cornwall where waves of up to 45 ft (14 metres) are expected to pound the coastline throughout today
Huge crowds have descended on Gwithian, where the competition is taking place, to watch the challenge.
The event sees competitors go on a global hunt for three storms beyond wind force 10.
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Mission 3 to Cornwall was made official two days ago with a team starting preparation to compete in the heart of the storm, where winds over 70 mph are currently battering communities.
The four final wave riders have been waiting a year and a half for the perfect storm.
Klaas Voget, sports director, said although the purpose of the competition was for the individuals to compete in the toughest conditions the weather currently battering he county was “rare” –even on a global scale.
He said: “It has been pretty extreme out there this morning and was pretty hard to handle for the guys even though they are some of the best windsufers in the world – you just don’t see conditions like this every day.”
The four finalists have been competing in towering waves up to 29 ft high (9 metres)
“It’s a bit of a spectacle”, he said.
He said “we can’t chase any storm” and when Cornwall’s conditions showed a stable weather forecast a week ago they made their move to hold the competition’s final leg.
But police officers have been advising wave watchers to stay away from the coastline and have stopped people going to the Bluff at Gwithian because of the wind and rain.
Graham Thomas, for Devon and Cornwall Police, said the message remains that people should stay away from the coast, especially during high tide.
“We understand people want to go down and see the sight because it’s very dramatic. However, we don’t want people to put themselves at risk.”