Here we go again there is another swell – I just wish it would stop but I suppose it’s that time of year where the seasons are changing, so its hard against soft,
winter against summer and in the middle there is these huge reactions in which creates some of the bigger swells of the year.
The swell maps read of a huge Hawaiian type swell building in the Indian Ocean moving at 65 kilometers an hour with 21 second periods with the possibilities of 50 foot surf at one of our favorite big wave spots in the south west of WA.
So as usual my phone calls start flying around with Mark Mathews, Hippo, Mark Visser, then a back up call to Paul ‘Ant Man’ Paterson who had just picked up Sth African wave legend Twiggy Baker – then I hear Laurie Towner is on his way as this being the night before the big day.
That’s enough for me. I am going.
It was a hard decision as my Australian Surf Movie Festival is starting in 5 weeks and there are heaps to do. But then again there is the possibility that I could be shooting the biggest waves ever surfed tomorrow.
What a perfect finale for ASMF – 8. IF IT Happens!
So there I am for two days prior saying I am not going & now I am going. Typical..
It's 6 pm & luckily there is 8.40 pm Qantas flight which arrives in Perth at 11.30 pm.
I have organized to meet up with Laurie Towner who is on a delayed flight from the Goldie, that arrives at 2 am. At least we can share a car together through the night for the 3-hour drive south to Grace Town/Margaret River.
Our objective for all involved except me is to surf huge onshore Cow Bombie in what ever conditions as the place is supposably going to peak the following morning at 35 feet ocean swell with 20 second plus periods. That could be 50-foot faces!
At 6 am we drive into the Grace Town boat ramp & guess who’s there and ready to hit it.
Ross Clarke Jones & New Zealand big wave expert Doug Young are padded up & ready to bat. Yep, battle 25 to 35-knot onshore winds & possibly the biggest waves ever surfed.
I suppose we are out there.
Then Mark Mathews, Visser, Hippo turns up, then there is Paul Morgan all following RCJ’s lead, jumping into wetties in 12 degrees air with a wind chill way less at 7 am in the morning & we race out there.
I am sharing as papillion on the back of great WA surf photographer Russell Ord's ski as he negotiates through the closeouts in the bay.
The bombie is about 4 ks out to sea & the winds are HOWLING!!
Once out there we are thrown around like rag dolls in the toilet on a poo flush.
The 25 to 35 knot winds was whipping up the spray & making it almost impossible to shoot as it was covering my lens with a coating that was making my shots fuzzy & soft.
That was really pissing me off.
Sitting on a ocean that was wild as I have experienced it was frustrating to see a couple of big waves surfed but to document the way I want is not happening. So Russell too not happy with what he is getting we decide to head back to the boat ramp.
After an early lunch we have the only option & that’s to try again. The boys were back out there & we aren’t. We get suit up & head back but once again we are beaten by the elements. The winds still had not backed off.
So we look towards day 2 & Friday is looking like a guaranteed Nth Point day.
Yadin Nichol had flow in from Bali for barrel time at his favorite right.
Me, Marky & Hippo heading without a hurry back to Grace Town to the best barrel in WA. The boys knew that its going to be a busy session as the wave hasn’t seen a good clean swell with off shore winds for months.
Kind of made me feel better knowing that I was gone to be shooting this session & not have to surf it.
As we drove down the hill our suspicions were correct it, was packed!
Every man & his dog was out there including former World Champion Bodyboarders Mitch Rawlins & Ryan Hardy literally getting pitted off their heads.
It was hard work for the boys with so many frothers in the line up all wanting their own piece gold.
Although Yadin was simply the better gold digger with other hot local Dino Adrian running a hot second.
Mitch Rawlins was showing us how to get the longest barrels at the famous point. Disappearing for the most part of each wave and surfing literally most of the day.
Hippo once coming in threatened that if he went back out again that day that he would throttle someone if he came off second best. Marky & Laurie both came in with broken boards also unimpressed. So hence that’s was the end of the day for my fav surfers.
That’s was a bummer for me as wave just got better and better with really only body boarders out there.
After the day ended & it was back to Perth to return on the most expensive fare back to Sydney ever. Almost $700 one-way. Leaving at a very convenient 6 am. (I just love sleeping on a airport floor for 5 hours) BUT $700 was better than Hippo’s quoted fare of $900 to the Goldie.
But that’s what happens when the school holidays kick in.
Special Thanks to Russell Ord & Laurie Towner for there assistance.
Check the all the gold in this years Jim Beam Australian Surf Movie Festival touring late OCT/NOV 09