May Day Madness

8 May 2012 0 Share

Words by Ben Horvath.

Labour Day is a public holiday in all states and territories in Australia. It is observed in Western Australia on the first Monday in March and on the second Monday in March in Victoria and Tasmania. It is celebrated in the Northern Territory and Queensland on the first Monday in May and is often dubbed May Day. It is held on the first Monday of October in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia.

The history of Labour Day in Australia spans over a century. It is an important annual event that remembers those who struggled and succeeded to ensure decent and fair working conditions in Australia

Coastalwatch’s chief surf reporter John Charlton said, “On Monday the public holiday crowds enjoyed a morning of excellent waves with very light SSW winds early, the swell maintaining in the 4-5ft range. TOS, D'bah and the southern beachies were the pick with excellent waves on the points before they filled up towards the mid morning high tide. A northeasterly sea breeze kicked in around lunch.”

You could have easily mistaken it for a (May Day) public holiday in New South Wales judging by the number of cars checking the surf right up and down the coast pre-dawn on Monday morning May 7. You couldn’t blame crew for chucking a sickie. I was one of thousands up in the dark anticipating more of what the previous day delivered.


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Sunday May 6 in Sydney and surrounds was one of the best days of the year so far. A four to five foot mid-period east-northeasterly swell combined with a secondary component of south swell, and all day offshore west-northwesterly winds to produce a memorable day of waves. The sun shone, and the combo of swells ensured most beach breaks were peaky – spreading the weekend crowds.

Long Reef’s Matty Grainger reported some beautifully clean 4-5ft plus cylinders at South Narrabeen during both the Sunday and Monday morning high tide session. Matt said, “I surfed Southey in the morning, then LA later on. Both were super hollow and pretty clean. Jarrod Howse and Cooper Chapman were the standouts, making it out of some nice tubes at Southey”.

In the Eastern Suburbs Maroubra was the pick. The south end turned on some very intense pits. Further south Cronulla’s beach breaks were firing. Everywhere you looked solid four to five foot plus kegs were unloading left and right. The Point, The Island and Solander were pretty good too – though a little inconsistent.

Sunday was super crowded, but Monday was manageable. Whilst the early session was crowded, by gentleman’s hour mid-morning on Monday you could take your pick. There were empty slabs going unridden on the Cronulla beachies everywhere you looked.

Several spots on the Coal Coast were firing too according to Coastalwatch contributor Clarrie Bouma. Clarrie said, ”The Point was pretty good on Sunday, and not that busy considering, whereas further south on the leisure coast Mystics was hideously crowded.”

Dee Why photographer Ian Bird made consecutive day trips down south, scoring some mental beachies just south of The Gong on Sunday and returned on Monday with Ozzie Wright, Luke Stedman and Otis Carey in tow.

Mid-morning on Monday May 7 the east swell kicked to a solid four to six foot solid and maintained through the middle of the day, whilst the wind puffed steady offshore westerly all day.

As I finalize this report at first light on Tuesday morning May 8 I can see some three to four foot lines being groomed by light offshores, so expect another day or two of blissfully clean autumn conditions.

- Ben Horvath



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Tags: Australia , QLD , NSW , VIC , SA , WA , Horvath (create Alert from these tags)

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