Thread: Sports Illustrated article
09-15-2010, 08:40 AM #1
Sports Illustrated article
The link below is an interesting article about big wave tow-in surfing. Greenhulk's Shawn Alladio had a couple of paragraphs written about her on page 3.
09-15-2010, 09:10 PM #2
I remember reading about that in Readers Digest a few years back. Unreal! First time I had ever heard of Shawn. She's been a goddess to me ever since.
"McNamara and Mamala recounted the story of their friend Shawn Alladio, a water-safety expert who had encountered a series of surreal waves outside Mavericks on Nov. 21, 2001, a day that became known as 100-Foot Wednesday. Patrolling on Jet Skis, Alladio and her colleague Jonathan Cahill had spent that morning gathering lost boards, helping stranded surfers and performing rescues as a series of storms moved in. By early afternoon the conditions had become too nuts for anyone to be out, and even the tow surfers went back to shore. About 400 yards beyond where Mavericks usually broke, Alladio and Cahill noticed an odd gray bank on the horizon, like a wall of low-lying clouds. It was only when the horizon started feathering at the top that they realized: This was a wave. And whatever size it was, it dwarfed the 60- and 70-footers they'd been dodging all day.
After a split second of terror and confusion, Alladio motioned desperately to Cahill: They couldn't outrun the wave, so their only hope was to race straight at it and make it over the top before it broke. They managed that, barely, and were rewarded with a 50-foot free fall on the backside, dropping into the steep trough. Plunging that far on a half-ton machine was as bone-jarring as jumping out a third-story window. But worse, in front of them, bearing down like hell's freight train, was another colossal wave. This one was even bigger.
Again they gunned for the peak, squeaking over the top before the crest started its avalanche, and once again they air-dropped into the trough. But they had to keep going; Alladio could see at least three more waves in the set. By the time they had faced down the last one they were miles offshore.
"Each time we went up [the faces of the waves] I could see all these fissures or ravines in the surface, and there was some kind of crazy light energy vibrating inside the wave," Alladio told the San Francisco Chronicle afterward. Veteran Mavericks surfer and documentarian Grant Washburn was filming from a nearby cliff when the set broke. Washburn knew these waters inside and out, and he had never seen anything like those waves. He believed they had easily topped 100 feet."
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