Each year aligned with the fall equinox, a seemingly endless wave rolls on the murky Qiantang river through the city of Hangzhou, China. This tidal bore is an annual natural phenomenon dubbed the Silver Dragon because of the river’s curving dragon-like shape.
This upstream wave travels against the current and offers selected surfers excessively long rides on a wave that goes for miles at speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour and height that has been recorded at 9 meters tall.
In customary units, my fellow Americans, that’s almost 25 miles per hour and 30 feet tall.
This past weekend closed the second annual Red Bull Qiantang Shootout, a first-of-its-kind contest, with four teams of two surfing this tidal bore for $25,000 in prize money at stake. Rain showers and whipping winds amplified the challenging conditions on the final day, but the teams were able to close out the contest between squalls before the wave died.
In the end team RVCA, Kalani David and Makua Rothman, took home the top prize of $10,000, coming in over last year’s winners from team Ocean & Earth, Phil MacDonald and Trent Munro.
2012 Red Bull Qiantang Shootout Video