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"THE CRIBBER" IS ABOUT TO STRIKE!

11:50 17th October 2001 by
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size=5>Surfers await 20ft Cornish waves

size=1>BY SIMON DE BRUXELLES

color=#000000 size=3>SURFERS from across Britain were heading for Cornwall
last night as forecasters predicted perfect conditions for waves more than
20ft high, a type known as the Cribber.

A dozen surfers have been invited to compete in the first tournament to
ride the Cribber, including Russell Winter, from Newquay, the only
European on professional surfing’s world tour.

Yesterday organisers of the tournament at Fistral Beach in Newquay told
competitors, on standby since early September, that mid-Atlantic weather
conditions were right to create waves higher than a double-decker bus.

Sue Jewell, of Gul International, the wetsuit manufacturer that
organised the event, said a final decision would be taken this morning.
“Conditions look good and we do not want to miss it,” she said.

The Cribber takes its name from a reef that stretches half a mile out
to sea. An area of low pressure in mid-Atlantic creates the 20ft swell
needed to form the waves when they reach the north Cornish shore. The
speed and direction of the wind are also vital, as are low spring tides.

The Cribber became part of surfing legend in September 1966, when three
Australians, Jack Lydgate, Johnny McIlroy and Pete Russell, rode 30ft
waves off Towan Head at Newquay. Since then conditions to create the big
wave have happened several times, but only a few people are said to have
ridden it.

A large safety team for the Gul Cribber Challenge will include Cornwall
Air Ambulance, coastguards and lifeguards on jet skis. Surfers will
compete for a £1,000 prize.

Paul Eden, of Gul, said: “It is not about the prize-money, though. They
are doing it so they can say: ‘I am Cribber King.’

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