Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Event Update

22 Jun 2017 0

Shaun Brooks charging at Bells at just 16-years-old, Photo by Steve Ryan

Shaun Brooks charging at Bells at just 16-years-old, Photo by Steve Ryan

BELLS BEACH 50 YEAR SWELL EVENT IN MEMORY OF SHAUN BROOKS | EVENT PARTNER

The Bells Beach 50 Year Swell in memory of Shaun Brooks has been taken off the standby orange alert this evening. The event committee met along with Coastalwatch Chief Forecaster Ben Macartney to discuss the swell potential for the peak on Saturday 24 June. 

The committee that is made up of esteemed locals and big wave surfers announced, "This swell event on the weekend will produce big swell and great waves at Bells Beach and Winki for all surfers, however, it won't be significant enough for the kind of waves that we’re looking for to run our inaugural event in honour of our good mate Shaun Brooks. Bodhi is not turning up for this one.

In the inaugural year, we need to make sure it’s absolutely going to go off. We will continue to monitor the run of swell developing in the Southern Ocean as we continue onwards through the waiting period.

The committee has decided to take the orange alert off for this particular swell. It’s going to be a really good swell for the local surfers but this one is not in the realm of the 50 year storm event swell."

Ben Macartney reported on the latest from the forecast, "The models are, for the most part maintaining the forecast for a peak on Saturday morning, showing a 20 to 25ft deepwater SSW swell @ 17 seconds. The storm is already generating 40 to 50 knot SW winds across polar latitudes, below WA and this fetch is on course to travel northeast towards Bass Strait throughout Thursday, setting up a captured fetch of 40 to 50 knots.

However, consecutive model runs have shown a slight, but incremental downgrading in wave-potential; associated with an earlier than initially forecast weakening of the fetch, setting in from Thursday evening onwards. Note this slight downgrading is reflected in GFS, ACCESS and EC model runs. So it looks like wave-growth will cease around 600 or 700 nautical miles southwest of Bass Strait - and I think the resulting wave-decay is probably enough to cap the peak of the swell at about 8 to 10ft at Bells on Saturday morning. Further, EC runs are consistently forecasting wind-speeds a little below GFS - and this points to a further, albeit minor downgrading of wave-potential."

The event that has a waiting period between June 1st - August 31st designed to give the best chance in capturing rare moments when winter storms from the deep Indian and southern oceans can come to life. If conditions reach 12 feet plus the contestable field of invitees comprising of Surf Coast locals and big wave chargers (including 18 surfers and 18 alternates) will suit up and paddle out.

SEE ALSO: Nick Carroll's Interview With Troy Brooks

Surfers will take to the Bells Beach lineup over a four-hour competition window to battle each other and mother nature in an effort to be the first champion of the event.

Every year the opening ceremony will kick off the waiting period, recognising the Wathaurong people as the traditional custodians of the land, and offering a chance for the wider Surf Coast community to connect over a shared love for the ocean and each other.

All proceeds for the Bells 50 Year Storm Invitational go to raising support for mental health advocate group One In Five.

CHECK THE BELLS BEACH SURF FORECAST HERE

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