Gallery and Recap:: Sydney - Early July, 2013
Words by Ben Horvath.
Gallery by Mitch Clark, Ben Horvath and wozthatyou.com
After a below par autumn that in all honesty only really delivered a handful of genuinely memorable days in Sydney and surrounds, the last month or so has been a blast. In particular the last two weeks have been the best so far this year.
Torrential Rain and consistent SE/E swell in June.
We enjoyed 15 consecutive overhead days at the back end of June conjuring up flashbacks to the best month in Sydney surfing history – June 2007. Ok, it didn’t quite match June 07 for size, consistency or friendly wind regimes (Eight swell producing ECL’s in a row as per back in June 07 will probably never be surpassed.)
Last Tuesday June 25 and Wednesday the 26th were pretty unique in their own right anyways. Six to eight feet of ESE swell, morning offshores and mellow crowd numbers everywhere.
It was quite a surreal, trippy episode. After a fortnight of consistent 4-6ft swell and predominantly south winds, there was no one around on Monday morning June 24 when the wind regime shifted westerly somewhat unexpectedly as the ECL dipped slightly further south than forecast.
Sydney surfers were treated to a relatively brief window of offshore winds between rain squalls and eerie fog outbreaks on three consecutive mornings. One hundred and fifty clicks either side of Sydney the wind was howling onshore SE, and towns were flooding - especially on the south coast.
Cronulla Point, Cape Solander, Fairy Bower, Nth Steyne, Queenscliff, The Gardens and Nth Av were firing.
Most of the June rain fell during three main events. The passage of surface troughs drew moist tropical air into NSW, with widespread rain on June 1 and 2, followed by a second trough with associated thunderstorm activity, and more widespread rain on the June 12 and 13.
The final and above mentioned event emerged from June 24, as an East Coast Low developed in a coastal surface trough, producing widespread heavy rain in southeast NSW. Totals for the three days up until the 26th reached 330 mm plus on the south coast. This was followed by persistent coastal rainfall during the remainder of the month, including heavy falls on the 29th and 30th, with two-day totals reaching 156.2 mm at Collaroy on the northern beaches.
Sunshine and swell in the first week of July
Then just as the incessant rain was threatening to completely do everyone’s head in - kaboom, another weather shift, back to some sort of quasi early autumn style ENE swell, complete with warm NW winds and 4-6ft pits just in time for the school holidays
A slow, but steady rise in ENE swell began showing in Sydney and surrounds on Tuesday July 2, pushing up to an inconsistent three feet by nightfall.
Wednesday morning July 3 dawned a solid 3-5ft from the ENE, with chunky 4-6ft plus sets by lunchtime. Ollie at Aloha - Manly summed up the swell perfectly, he said, “The wind was light NW, so everywhere was on, even the beachies here at Nth Steyne and Queensie. It was weird, it was school holidays, but it wasn’t as crowded as you would think. It seemed to pulse on the turn of the tide mid morning on both Wed and Thursday. There were some glassy, 4-6ft solid pits on Wed, bit smaller on Thursday.”
The Taplin brothers Jay and Tim spent a lot of time under the curtain at The Gardens both days. The Gardens and Nth Steyne were the standout spots on the northern beaches, whilst Tama and Maroubra were the pick in the Eastern Suburbs. At Cronulla, The Reefs, Point and Island were best, with plenty of fast, hollow lefts on the beaches too.
Owen Wright was back pulling into pits at Thirroul on the Coal Coast, as NE staple Woonona drew in the most swell and crowds.
In summation I will leave it to your own subjectivity to decide which week was better Wednesday and Thursday this week, with all the Sunshine, warm NW winds and 4-6ft ENE swell, versus 6-8ft of ESE swell, morning offshores and rain on the Tuesday and Wednesday the week before.
Both weeks were memorable in surfing terms, and both highlight the contrasting nature of winter 2013 so far on the weather front.
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