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Powermoon: A way to save waves?

Red Bull Moon SessionsAs if to tease surfers, sometimes the Atlantic Ocean’s best surf conditions materialize in the darkness of night.

Come sunrise, winds swing onshore, periods shorten and wave organization is ruined, leading to added frustration and withdrawals among East Coast surfers.

Of course, it is possible to surf under a full moon, but the odds of a full moon lining up with ideal surf conditions are long, especially in the frigid waters around Nova Scotia.

Enter the Powermoon, a man-made device that could someday save all those wasted nighttime waves.

Manufactured in Germany, the Powermoon is a giant helium-filled light-balloon which can, when suspended in the air, illuminate a large area.

The company that makes the balloon is marketing them as something that can be used for nighttime lighting at construction sites, on-scene emergencies, fairs and sporting events.

Red Bull Canada has acquired a Powermoon and is experimenting to see if it can be used to score one of those allusive nighttime surf sessions.

The company has invited 12 East Coast surfers and four photographers to a unique Powermoon-lit surf contest at Lawrencetown Beach from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, October 3.

“This is first time ever doing this for Red Bull,” said Josée Laperrière, a spokesperson with Red Bull Canada. “The surfers are really excited.”

In an event that’s being dubbed the “Red Bull Moon Sessions”, surfers will join with photographers in teams of four in an effort to capture the best shots using the Powermoon as their only light source. Teams will be given two 30-minute sessions to get their shots.

Once the surf sessions are over, photographers have until next morning to select and submit their best shots in three categories: lifestyle, action and creativity.

On Sunday, the photos will be on display during an event open to the public at the Paragon Theatre (2037 Gottingen Street, Halifax). Those in attendance will vote to determine the winners in the three categories.

Doors for the event open at 6 p.m. with an entrance fee of $7 per person. Voting goes until 8 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 9 p.m.

The total prize purse for the contest is $4,000 and will be split as follows: $1,600 to the team with the best action shot, $800 for the most creative photo, and $800 for the best lifestyle photo. An additional $800 will be awarded to the team having the best surf session as voted by all the surfers who participated.

The surfers invited to the event include: Jenner Cormier, Keegan Day, Neal Durling, Roman Husiak, Justin Huston, Marty King, Nico Manos, Lance Moore, JD Paterson, Dean Petty, Steve Smith and Janine Strickland.

Joining them with their cameras will be Zachary Bush, Aaron Jackson, Yassine Ouhilal and Scotty Sherin.

The exact location of the contest will be confirmed 24 hours prior to the event depending on surfing conditions.

“We are pretty confident we will have waves,” said Laperrière.

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