The Wavelength Surf Film Festival rolls into Bristol for an evening of critically acclaimed surf cinema and good times in the heart of the city this Wednesday 13 October. Get tickets here.
We’re excited to announce that we’ll be kicking off the WL Surf Film Festival at 1900 on Wednesday the 13th with a live panel featuring two pioneers of European big wave surfing; Andrew Cotton and Gabe Davies, who’ll be sharing anecdotes and observations on the evolution of the sport at Mullaghmore, Nazaré and beyond.
Gabe and Richie prepping the ski for an early attempt at Mullaghmore in 2002. Photo Courtesy of Richie Fitzgerald
After cutting his teeth in the North Sea and winning multiple British titles, Gabe Davies became one half of the first-ever tow team to tackle giant waves at Mullaghmore, alongside local boy Richie Fitzgerald, in the early 2000s. Together, their escapades helped unveil the wave’s potential to the world and lay the foundations for the thriving scene that exists there to this day. Gabe will be sharing stories from his and Richie’s earliest forays and insider insights from the boom that eventually followed.
Cotty backdooring a Nazaré wedge in 2017. Photo: Hugo Silva // Red Bull
North Devon’s Andrew Cotton, known worldwide as the British plumber who takes on the biggest waves on earth, also got his start in the frigid waters of Ireland’s West Coast, alongside tow partner Al Mennie in the late-naughts. In 2010, Garrett McNamara saw a video of the pair online and invited them over to Portugal to join his early attempts to surf a then-little know big wave spot called Nazarè. It turned out Garrett had been trying to recruit big names from the big wave world for almost a year, but none had so far taken up the offer to join him whipping into huge, cold, terrifying wedges in a country completely unknown for its big wave potential. But of course, Cotty did, initially heading over in the winter of 2010 and then again in 2011, when he towed Garrett into the record-breaking 78-foot wave which catapulted Praia do Norte into the global spotlight.
In the decade since, Cotty has made history at the spot many times, while Gabe has retained a commanding role in the world of European surfing through his work with Patagonia. Join us at the event for what is sure to be an enlightening and entertaining discussion from two of European surfing’s most storied protagonists.
Tickets are free when you subscribe to Wavelength. Click here to redeem.
This event is taking place as part of the Blue Earth Summit, which welcomes an array of adventurers and business leaders for a series of talks and workshops tackling the question of how we can all live more sustainably. Find out more about the event here.]
Cover photos: Owen Tozer & Richie Hopson // Red Bull