Wipe out! Surfers' hopes of riding the big one are dashed

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The Independent Online

A dozen of the world's top surfers went home disappointed yesterday after the Cribber, a Cornish wave higher than a double-decker bus, failed to turn up for an event billed as Big Wednesday.

A dozen of the world's top surfers went home disappointed yesterday after the Cribber, a Cornish wave higher than a double-decker bus, failed to turn up for an event billed as Big Wednesday.

Organisers of Cornwall's inaugural Cribber contest had predicted on Tuesday that conditions would be perfect by the next morning for the 30ft wave to arrive off Newquay. The competitors, hand-picked from the world's professional surfers for their ability to ride terrifying waves, were told to gather on Fistral beach in anticipation of some serious surf. But unexpectedly strong south-easterly winds overnight dashed organisers' hopes.

Paul Eden, spokesman for Gul International, the event organiser, said: "We will just have to go back and wait. That is part of the mystique of the Cribber – you have to be patient for the moment. But we are hopeful it will arrive some time soon."

The wave, which takes its name from a reef off the Cornish coast, is created by a combination of low pressure, spring tides and wind speed at certain times of the year. It entered surfing legend in 1966 when it was ridden by three Australians.

Competitors stand to win £1,000 for the best Cribber performance – when it arrives.

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