Paddle Bombs and Tow-Ins as East Coast Low Lights up Sydney Yet Again

29 Jul 2020 0 Share

Northern Beaches, Sydney. Monday July 27, 2020. Photo: Matt Dunbar

Northern Beaches, Sydney. Monday July 27, 2020. Photo: Matt Dunbar

COASTALWATCH | SWELL DIARIES

There had been barely a moment for everyone to collect their breath from the last swell that rocked Sydney – the biggest in five years with its viral Deadman’s session, Narrabeen bombs and Ours slabs that had people asking, is Sydney the best city in the world for a surfer? – before the maps lit up again with yet another East Coast Low. This one hitting best on Monday, July 27 2020.

The photo of the swell (that we've seen so far) went to 15 year old Kobi Clements from Narrabeen who paddled out on his 6’10” Chili, while jet-skis buzzed the line-up up and down the beach whipping surfers into big tubing walls, and found a decent sized tube of his own.

Pipeline, Cloudbreak, or a Sydney beachie? Narrabeen 15-year-old Kobi Clements gets a shot for a lifetime not far from his home. Photo: Fabio Silvestre

Pipeline, Cloudbreak, or a Sydney beachie? Narrabeen 15-year-old Kobi Clements gets a shot for a lifetime not far from his home. Photo: Fabio Silvestre

But it wasn't the easiest cone to come by for Kobi.

“I surfed earlier in the morning, I got one wave, and I got pretty pumped, so I decided to go in and have a go in the arvo,” Kobi told Coastalwatch. “I feel like it was harder to get out there. And the arvo was more manageable.”

The water angle of the wave from Fabio Silvestre, which lit up socials this morning, was partly in thanks to Tom Carroll. He gave the swimming photog a lift out the back on the ski.

Ollie Dousset, who was also paddling that day (and got some bombs!), too shared Kobi’s difficulty of the tough paddle in the morning.

“I paddled out earlier on my 9’2”, took me about 45 minutes and then I snapped my board on the first wave,” he told Tim Bonython on Instagram, filming an impromptu interview from the sand while Olllie was waiting for a jet ski to pick up. “I paddled out twice today, and I’m not paddling out again…Once you’re out there it’s great surfing, it’s just this inside section it’s really hard to get out.”


Another angle of Kobi Clements: "I just paddle, I don't really have a ski...  It was pretty good and it was even more special cause it was at home." Photo: Philip Morris

Another angle of Kobi Clements: "I just paddle, I don't really have a ski... It was pretty good and it was even more special cause it was at home." Photo: Philip Morris

So Kobi tried again around 4.30 that afternoon.

“There was just waves pulsing, dumping pretty hard,” he says. “There was a lot of water moving out there, and there was a lot of skis and a couple of guys paddling and as soon as I got out, this wave just popped out of nowhere and I decided to go, felt pretty good. I’m stoked that Fabio got the shot from the water which looks amazing, I'm just super stoked."

Wait, how long had he been out there?


Darcy Crump, whipped in by the great Tom Carroll, sets up for a tube a small car could drive through. Photo: Matt Dunbar

Darcy Crump, whipped in by the great Tom Carroll, sets up for a tube a small car could drive through. Photo: Matt Dunbar

“The first ten minutes maybe. I kind of turned last minute, I didn't really think about it, I just turned. And then I thought I was gonna go over because it was a pretty late drop, but then once I got in it was incredible. It opened right up, and then I was like, ‘Oh I'm gonna make this!’ Then it clamped me towards the end.”

In comparison to the last swell, which Kobi also paddled, he reckons this one was a little better:

“I felt like there was more water moving before, but this swell was more heaving, I feel like the barrels were way wider this swell than the last swell... but yeah, I'm just so stoked.”

Out in the same line-up were the likes of Matt Dunsmore, also paddling, as well as two-time World Champ Tom Carroll, Summa Longbottom, Matt Granger, Davey Cathels, Chris Enever and Darcy Crump amongst others.


Ollie Dousset. “One of the most inspirational dudes I’ve ever met. Here he is dropping in late at his local on his 8ft something, prosthetic leg, and his big kahunas. Pretty much inspires everyone I know in the surf world.” The photographer behind this shot, Guy Williment, talking about the surfer in it, Ollie Dousset.

Ollie Dousset. “One of the most inspirational dudes I’ve ever met. Here he is dropping in late at his local on his 8ft something, prosthetic leg, and his big kahunas. Pretty much inspires everyone I know in the surf world.” The photographer behind this shot, Guy Williment, talking about the surfer in it, Ollie Dousset.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bridge, Kipp Caddy was pulling into slabs like the one below at Cape Solander.

“These swells have been a long time coming!! Yesterday (Monday) was the biggest Cape’s been in 4 years,” he wrote on Instagram. “I managed to jag this in between the wind and rain squalls. Coming into the wave it looked amazing, I acid dropped into it only to find out the tide was a little to low for how big it was…”

Kipp Caddy is a mad man. Cape Solander, June 27 2020. Photo: Jye Zap

Kipp Caddy is a mad man. Cape Solander, June 27 2020. Photo: Jye Zap

We asked Coastalwatch Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney to help break down for us what happened Monday:

"Monday’s powerful round of ENE groundswell followed the rapid development of an East Coast Low (ECL) last weekend. The system initially developed off the southern Queensland coast late on Saturday; forming along a broad low-pressure trough extending north to south along the Eastern Seaboard. The deepening low moved swiftly south, parallel to the NSW coast on Sunday, setting up a broad, close-range 30-35 knot ENE fetch in conjunction with a 1031 hPa high over New Zealand."

Two-time World Champ, Mr. Tom Carroll. Photo: Matt Dunbar

Two-time World Champ, Mr. Tom Carroll. Photo: Matt Dunbar

"As the bulk of the subsequent ENE groundswell arrived on Monday morning the ECL ground to a virtual halt within 200 nautical miles of the Newcastle/ Sydney region. The low’s close proximity to the coast resulted in widely varying, but mostly offshore winds extending across its upper western flank; ranging from WNW across Newcastle, to W/SW across Sydney’s northern beaches, while aligning more south to SW/SSW across the Shire and Wollongong."


Empty as a footy field under Covid-19. Photo: Matt Dunbar

Empty as a footy field under Covid-19. Photo: Matt Dunbar

"As the ECL continued to drift ever so slowly south, within close proximity of Wollongong and Jervis Bay on Monday and Tuesday, the second phase in wave-generation set in; featuring a robust S/SE fetch setting up within close range of the southern NSW coast. That culminated in a new spike in SSE swell that peaked on Tuesday. This wasn’t as big, nor as well organised as Monday’s ENE groundswell. Further, it was still crossing over with trailing east and SE swell, emanating from the east and south-eastern sectors of the ECL, with fresh SSW winds adding plenty of windchop into the mix."


The low parked itself just off Sydney on Monday, facilitating favourable offshore winds north of The Heads, with a stronger southerly bias in force from the Shire south.

The low parked itself just off Sydney on Monday, facilitating favourable offshore winds north of The Heads, with a stronger southerly bias in force from the Shire south.

And, somewhat unbelievably, there’s more swell to come.

“Over the last 24 hours the low rapidly dissipated, leaving us with more accessible leftover SSE swell in the 3 to 4ft+ range on Wednesday morning. However, July’s consistent run of large surf isn’t over yet. We’re now seeing model guidance firming up surrounding the imminent development of yet another intense Tasman Low; this time setting up a unique combination of ENE/SE and SSE swells; arriving in virtual synch across the NSW coast in the days to come."


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