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Coastalwatch breaks down big Shipsterns, epic Oz swell


James Hollmer biggest day of the year at Shippies on August 2 : photo Gibson/

Swell Updates

Coastalwatch breaks down biggest Shippies, epic Oz surf

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 August, 2009 : - - Saturday and Sunday August 1 and 2 delivered some incredible waves simultaneously in six of seven states in Australia.

Coastalwatch editor Ben Horvath said, “It is not very often you can say there have been quality waves simultaneously all over this vast surf drenched continent. In five of six mainland states there were some incredible waves ridden last weekend, and Shippies in Tasmania was bombarded by the biggest swell of the year.”

We alerted our readers to the incredible potential in a special weekend forecast feature on Friday July 31, and this week we have made it our number one priority to post all the highlights. The three features of highlights we have posted containing dozens of epic line ups and 5 separate videos.

East Coast July 29 – August 3, 2009. Perfect offshore and sunny. Winter rules!

Thursday July 30 dawned cool, sunny and offshore. At first light there were some clean 3ft sets from the south and by late morning it was 4-5ft and pumping. The wind remained offshore all day, so some nice tubes were ridden on the beachbreaks, reefs and points. Friday morning July 31 was a similar size, and once again the wind remained offshore all day, so there were options aplenty both up and down the coast. 

Saturday August 1 was the biggest and best day. At beaches, reefs and points exposed to the south there were some solid 6ft sets at times during the morning. Weather and surf wise it was picture perfect. Winds were straight offshore westerly all day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and top temps reached a mild 19 degrees.

Sunday August 2 was still a fun 2-4ft and there were clean beachbreaks still lingering at exposed beachbreaks right through until Wednesday morning August 5. The weather was mild, crowds were down and everyone’s been smiling. – Ben Horvath.

Victoria July 29 – August 2, 2009. The Surf coast has been as good as it gets!

Friday July 31.The swell started off at around 3-4ft, but built rapidly during the morning. The swell peaked around 4pm at a solid 8ft at Bells and Winki. The wind stayed offshore and there were some epic large waves to be had with relatively no crowd. Bells had some big faces and Winki had some great walls.

Saturday August 1. The swell eased by Saturday morning, it was in the 3-4ft range. The car park at the reefs rapidly filled up after 7am, even though it was nowhere near as good as the previous two days. The sets were a little more inconsistent and the swell was a little wonkier.

Sunday August 2. The waves were absolutely firing all day, from first light till after dark. It doesn’t really get any better than today. The Surfcoast reefs were 3-5ft with perfect offshore NNW winds, although it did tend a little west at times. It was a barrel fest with Bells and Winki the pick of it. Cahill Bell-Warren surfed from 9.30am till after dark, a true marathon session. Mick Ray apparently scored the wave of the day at Winki at around 2pm. Adam Lynch won a longboard contest at classic Imposso’s. There were also some good waves at various spots along the Great Ocean Road.

The forecast for the next week looks promising too. There should be another couple of days in the mix. - Carlo Lowdon.

Tasmania. Sunday August 2, 2009. Biggest Shippies all year.

The rumble from down south could be heard on Saturday night August 1 as solid sets came crashing into the South Arm beaches.  We all hoped for an epic day when we boarded Polly's boat for the quick 40 minute trip to Stern and wow was our hope was fulfilled.

Upon first inspection of the line up, it was quite obviously the biggest day of the year so far.  Bomb sets could be seen way out the back as dark scary lines swung in from the west.  Triple sucking on the take off, the only option was to tow the donk barrels.

All the Tassie crew were instantly all over it. The Hollmers, Brennan and Paradisis all nailed mega pits.  Even unheralded surfers such as James McKeen, Danny Griffth, Brook Phillips and Zac Gray scored some solid barrels.  Wave heights at times were in the 15 foot range. Perfect offshore winds made for some amazing waves.  The sun never really came out, and the air temp was pretty much freezing.

NW winds persisted for most of the day. The swell slowly died late in the arvo, but everyone was spent by thgen anyway. Crew were nursing head aches and sore backs after some brutal bashings.  Eventually a Westerly change came through and ended the session for good.  We left the break totally frothing out amped for more, so until next time. - Andrew Chisholm

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Ben Horvath

Sessions - Surfersvillage

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