Gallery and Recap:: Sydney and Surrounds – April 21-22, 2013
School Holidays Week Two – South Swell
Recap by Ben Horvath
South Swell Wrap - Sydney and Surrounds. School Holidays Week Two.
Just last week I wrote about a nice mid-size Easterly swell that delivered fun, clean waves right up and down the East Coast during the first week of the NSW school holidays. In the East swell recap I lamented the lack of south swell energy so far this autumn. Then Kaboom, Sydney was thoroughly belted by the first real cold and wet southerly change of the autumn season.
Sydney and surrounds copped an icy blast of winter like conditions, with gale force SSW winds up to 95 km/h battering the beaches on Friday afternoon April 19. The strong winds and cooler temps co-incided with a powerful increase in directional south swell that rapidly rose to a solid six to eight foot plus late on Friday afternoon.
I witnessed some massive ten-to-twelve foot sets unloading off the famed south facing German Bank bombora a good kilometre or two off Long Reef. Dee Why Point was totally maxed out in the eight foot plus range, so I bolted to check Dead Mans and was shocked to see Winki Pop off Fairy Bower was only three feet. Deadmans lay dormant and Manly was lucky to be two foot.
Similar scenes were unfolding on the south side of Sydney. Blake Johnston said, “I surfed Cronulla Point. It was clean, but a bit slow with some six foot plus sets, however south facing Wanda was totally out of control at ten foot plus. Vooey looked huge.”
The first pulse peaked overnight on Friday, but was a disappointing mess by Saturday morning as winds swung gale force onshore SE overnight. The size halved and there was nowhere to hide from the wind. Semi-miraculously the wind shifted west of south late on Saturday afternoon and the swell pulsed back up towards six or seven foot in the afternoon and the rain cleared.
Heavy Friday night/Saturday morning rains caused local flooding in some parts of the state, with Ulladulla scoring three times its April average with 200 mm of rain, whilst Cronulla recorded 56 mm.
Sunday morning dawned sunny and offshore SW. Southern NSW, Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter/mid north coast point and reef breaks cleaned up and turned on. Most beachies were still a tad raw, but as the day progressed the wind eased and the beachies started showing signs of what was to come the next day.
Monday April 21, 2013 was one of those special days when it is a total buzz to be a surfer. The swell eased to more accessible levels; but was still a good, clean four to six foot on the sets early. The wind blew offshore westerly all day, opening up so many options. There were literally waves everywhere. Absolutely everyone who went surfing scored, whether it was on your local beachie, point or outer reef bombie. Greg Keegan said, “Merewether was 4 to 6ft and pretty good. It wasn’t all time, because the sand was a bit straight, but it was definitely one of the better days so far this year. Luke Egan, Ryan Callinan and Jesse Adams were the standouts during my mid morning shift.”
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