East Coast Cops Another Soaking, Another Swell
Words by Ben Horvath
The first four months of 2012 have been extremely wet right up and down the east coast of Australia.
It seems every time a surface trough develops off the coast of NSW, the by now familiar pattern of onshore winds and heavy rainfall is followed by a mid size swell event that coincides with favourable winds as the trough/surface low pushes offshore.
That very script was played out yet again late last week and across the weekend up and down the NSW coast.
As I punch this report out mid morning on Monday April 23, much of the NSW coastline remains sodden despite the brief three-day reprieve from rain that coincided with a four to five foot ENE swell and light, mostly favourable winds.
The rain is back again this morning in Sydney after it poured down Monday through Thursday last week, but board riders aren’t complaining as we have enjoyed three consecutive days of solid surf.
The ENE swell first showed in Sydney and surrounds at a bumpy three to four feet plus on Thursday morning April 19. It increased a tad during the afternoon, but the persistent onshore ENE winds severely restricted genuinely surf able options.
Friday morning April 20 was a different story. Friday dawned sunny, warm and offshore with solid four to six foot sets across most exposed set ups. After days of rain and on shores, the wind was way more favourable, light WNW, ensuring the best surfing conditions since the week before Easter right up and down the NSW coast.
Friday morning was four to six foot and the wind was offshore, but was it fully pumping? Not quite. Truth is told it was a bit raw, rippy and pushy. Whilst there was no shortage of size, there was lot of water moving around and there wasn’t enough angle on the swell, it was very easterly. Whilst there were plenty of corners and even some barrels, there were way too many closeouts in the mix as well. The morning high tide was the pick on the beachies, but most point and reef breaks were a touch too full and too bumpy to be epic.
Queenscliff, North Narrabeen and Bungan were the pick of the Northern Beaches and Tamarama and Cronulla Point the stand outs on the Southside.
It seemed the further south you travelled the cleaner the swell. Owen Wright has been hanging out with Coastalwatch’s Wollongong surf reporter and sponsor Phil Byrne for the past week or so – tuning his quiver and surfing up and down the Coal Coast. So it was no surprise to hear Owen was quick to snuff out an epic session at a southern NSW river mouth not too far from his former abode on Friday. Mark Mathews, Richie Vass and Jay Quinn were all over it too.
Matty Grainger and The Psilakis brothers bolted further south, scoring numerous hollow reef break sessions south of Jervis Bay on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Matty said, “We scored a nice, quiet session at a secluded left reef somewhere between J-Bay and Bendy on Friday that was out of the nth wind, whilst on Sat when the wind shifted south we lucked into some slabbing rights south of Ulladulla. Shellharbour evergreen Chris Homer was impressive as ever in the tube, as was local boy Timmy Wrench and Bondi’s Perth Standlick.” Matty added, “Sunday was beach break day. It kicked again and was so clean and empty on the beachies down south.”
Similarly in Sydney and surrounds, Sunday was the cleanest day. Friday was the biggest at a solid four to six foot, but Sunday was clean as with longer – period ENE lines fanned by light offshore WNW winds all morning.
Where did you get in the water?
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