After a morning of light onshores, rain and inconsistent swell, the mood in the lineup was gloomy.
“No one was surfing,” said Marti. “Danny Griffith was catching a few on his jetski trying to keep us entertained. Then about two o’clock, just after the low tide it started to happen. There were a few little sun patches, and the wind started to back off, then a big set came through and broke really nicely. We all went ‘well, guess it’s time..’ and went out and it started pulsing.”
The rest of the afternoon saw the action unfold., with consistent swell and the odd 15-footer rolling through to keep everyone on their toes. Jack Pollard came unstuck on one, falling on takeoff and getting sucked over the falls. He surfaced with a burst eardrum only to cop another four waves on the head.
“He had blood pouring out of his ear and had to sit the rest of the day out on land,” said Marti.
Danny Griffith also copped a flogging courtesy of an oversized step, and Sam Boon got heavy two-wave hold down.
South Coast grommet Kipp Caddy also made the trip down. At 14 he's the youngest surfer to step up to the plate at Shippies. According to filmer Tim Bonython, the Southern Ocean swell had Kitt feeling a bit seasick before he jumped behind the ski, but as you can see from the footage, he still got out there and had a crack.
“With the onshore wind it was chandeliering all day,” said Marti, who got smoked on one of the waves of the day himself. “It was really hard to make the barrels but it was just a really different session. Special… ”