Cape Fear: not 'Ours', but theirs

When Captain James Cook first landed at Botany Bay in 1770, he didn't imagine that the deadly break that hides inside it took almost 200 years to discover.

Cook first landed at Kurnell, on the southern banks of Botany Bay, on April 29, 1770, when navigating his way around Australia on his HMS Endeavour.

The explorer's landing marked the beginning of Britain's interest in Australia.

The interest in surfing would only emerge in December 1914, when the legendary Hawaiian Olympic champion, Duke Kahanamoku, introduced the sport in the country.

Bodysurfers were the first watermen to taste the punishing 10-foot slabs on offer during the 1960s, as surfers - including Mark Occhilupo - watched on in awe and thought the wave, then known as "Pikers Hole," impossible to surf.

Cape Fear: it's definitely safer with a pair of binoculars

A Test of Courage

During the 1990s, with no record and only rumors of the wave being surfed, bodyboarders claimed the break as their own.

Layer, a ragtag bunch of kids from Sydney's Maroubra Beach, uncovered the best-kept secret in Australian surfing and dared surf it.

Initially, they attempted it at six feet by paddle-in before calling in for jet-ski support to attempt the 10-foot monsters.

Then, the true test of courage came in the form of a paddle-in challenge on giant waves that were previously only attempted by tow-in.

Paddling in at max height has gone on to define the location and those who've survived it.

The spot has had many names, including "Pikers Hole," "South Sydney Reef," and "Ours."

The local surf tribe made the break popular courtesy of their 2007 cinematic documentary "Bra Boys."

Cape Fear: heavy wave, severe injuries

A Rite of Passage

The place is magical.

In a matter of seconds, a 10-foot slab is formed and races towards a cliff face just meters ahead before imploding on itself and anyone who dares to attempt to ride it.

The one name that details the brutal break to perfection is "Cape Fear."

A seemingly purpose-built arena for those devoid of any sense of self-preservation, "Cape Fear" only comes to life a few days of the year, typically between April and August.

Even into the new millennium, bodyboarders tried to hide the break from surfers, but now "Cape Fear" is a rite of passage for surfers the world over.

It was featured in the 2011 cinematic documentary "Fighting Fear," in which Mark Mathews surfed the break at night under floodlights with best friend Richie Vas.

If you do not know the place well, are not an experienced surfer, and fear deadly slabs, "Ours" is definitely not your dream wave.

Get a good pair of binoculars and watch those who dare to defy death.

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