Tidal bores are incredible things, and there is, perhaps, no more incredible tidal bore that the one on China’s Qiantang River. It’s the home of Red Bull’s Battle at the Silver Dragon surfing event–which just went down–and the spot where thousands gather to watch one of Mother Nature’s strangest phenomenons.
Tidal bores aren’t all that rare. Nearly 100 rivers around the world have them, but the one on the Qiantang has most of them beat. It’s caused when the tide shift is abnormally large–such as it is during a full moon–and when the river mouth is narrow and shallow. The incoming tide meets the outgoing river, and a tidal bore is formed.
The Silver Dragon, as it’s known locally, is one of the most well-documented bores on earth. Records of it go back nearly 3,000 years. Five years ago, the first annual bore surfing event took place, and this year, Team Spain, consisting of Eneko Acero and Natxo Gonzales, took home the win.
Here’s the semi-final, since we can’t find a highlight reel.