From Shippies to Cloudbreak

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

An intense polar low is currently positioned south-west of Tassie, and one look at the satellite image gives you a good idea on how impressive and substantial it is.

This storm and a following increase in polar frontal activity under Tasmania and into the Tasman Sea over the coming week are all linked to a strengthening node of the Long Wave Trough across New Zealand, covered in more detail here.

We've currently got a broad and drawn out node stretching below the country, and this has helped spawn the polar low that's currently in motion.

This low developed yesterday and satellite observations have already picked up an excellent storm-force fetch traversing eastwards, through Tasmania's prime swell window.

The low will continue east with strength today, breaking down under New Zealand.

This low is set to deliver a large long-period SW groundswell to Tasmania tomorrow, and then onwards to Fiji early next week, peaking through Tuesday.

While the South Arm will offer quality options under offshore winds as the swell starts building from mid-morning, Shipsterns Bluff looks to max out into the afternoon with sets to 12-15ft, quickly rising from paddle to tow range.

We're currently in the middle of the Red Bull Cape Fear waiting period, and given the first seven weeks of the waiting period have been unusually quiet, it'll be interesting to see whether the event is given the green light. 

The long-period nature is a bit of an issue and conditions will become bumpy into the mid-late afternoon but with such a strong powerful long-period swell there should still be some crazy waves going down.

This swell isn't perfectly aimed towards Cloudbreak though should still provide large infrequent sets as it fills in proper on Tuesday, reaching 8ft on the bomb sets under E/SE- SE trades.

The Long Wave Trough will stall and strengthen significantly over New Zealand through early next week and this will see an initial polar front strengthen right under Tasmania, producing a fetch of elongated SW gales for an embedded fetch stronger severe-gale SW winds to move over, projecting towards New Zealand.

The position of the LWT is just a touch too east to be ideal for Cloudbreak, with the peak wind strengths being more aimed towards and dissected by New Zealand.

If the fetch was positioned just a touch further west, we would have been looking at easy 10-12ft Cloudbreak, now it's more likely to renew 8ft surf again next Saturday. However, the models have been shifting around (yesterday had much larger surf on the cards) so this outlook will be reassessed over the coming days.

The Australian East Coast will see side-band energy but winds are looking favourable for those south swell magnets when it arrives later in the week, though keep an eye on the local Forecaster Notes for your region for more detail.

Comments

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 4:42pm

If it were your decision would you call the comp on Craig ?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 4:46pm

This swell will be hard to paddle with it stepping out nuts with the long-period, but with the tow coming into it, for viewers it would be crazy to see.

So yeah I would have pressed the button with the swell kicking from about mid-morning.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 4:57pm

Such a significant swell with favourable winds this time of year, it has to be pounced on.

Fozza's picture
Fozza's picture
Fozza commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 5:14pm

The comp will not be held. Wasn't even considered as an option.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 6:38pm

Why?

Fazesurf's picture
Fazesurf's picture
Fazesurf commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 9:42pm

I think they are only going to tow. So that it doesn't take a paddle day off the local crew.

Fozza's picture
Fozza's picture
Fozza commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 7:34am

I'm not privy as to the why - dead flat at dawn and the swell hasn't kicked much as of 7.30am....may not be breaking until after noon ......you'd want conditions to allow for an early start and a full day so it was never going to be conducive to media based imperatives for mine. Some crew heading down later, some have gone to work.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 8:33am

Swell was never due at dawn, but should kick strong mid-late morning. Seeing the J-curve spike on Cape Sorell, it looks like it's not far off!

Fozza's picture
Fozza's picture
Fozza commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 9:36am

"Swell was never due at dawn, but should kick strong mid-late morning...._ which is why the competition in question wasn't conducted....

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 9:38am

Yeah fair enough, but only missing the early-mid morning session to then have a whole rest of the day in nuts waves for watching, I just don't think you're gonna get many chances at a large clean swell hanging in all day..

nicko74's picture
nicko74's picture
nicko74 commented Thursday, 20 Sep 2018 at 9:57pm

Craig I’m looking at the diagram am I seeing a node of LWT West of WA?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 8:35am

Yep, a weaker node but creating that intense mid-latitude low and first W/SW swell for next week.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 5:16am

just too the right of the L in the picture, the cloud goes North/South in a very straight line? Just a glitch in the satellite imagery?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 5:31am

Two images stitched together at slightly different times (so the cloud configuration in the second image - the one on the left - had moved forward a little).

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 6:35am

The swell has just hit Cape Sorell..

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 21 Sep 2018 at 11:31am

Should have run earlier tow rounds today in the afternoon . Then run the rest
(paddle option)at a later date.
When running a surf comp you just have to be more flexible with the times and wait periods .

They are all at the farm I guess ;)

Ensea's picture
Ensea's picture
Ensea commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 10:23am

Stop talking about cloudbreak

Ensea's picture
Ensea's picture
Ensea commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 10:27am

Seriously why the f ck do you have to mention cloudy swells at all? Ever? Been a blessing wsl ditching the contest so stop reminding everybody how good it is.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 11:01am

Eh?

HORACE's picture
HORACE's picture
HORACE commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 2:42pm

Wow. Friday's swell was large thick and powerful with perfect clean conditions and arrived locally at 9am. I reckon I would have called it on. Most large swells that are present at first light don't hold their size throughout the whole day anyway

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 6:48am

They blew it....?

Fozza's picture
Fozza's picture
Fozza commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 8:42am

I watched it from the cliff with binos.....swell didn't really hit there until around midday, so the time factor would have been an issue.....a few good bombs but significant lulls with the long period swell......from what I witnessed don't think they blew it at all.....

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 10:47am

Let's see if they actually run it then shall we. Can't be too picky....

HORACE's picture
HORACE's picture
HORACE commented Sunday, 23 Sep 2018 at 8:15pm

Yeah right. That's interesting to know. Thanks

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 5:25pm

I'm off to crowd break with a group of friends and some old mates and some tag along groupies.

Victory!

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Saturday, 22 Sep 2018 at 8:24pm

Cue to blowin whats the difference between Shippies and NW WA Ry Craike, Brown Bros/ Shippies crew? Red Bull/WSL Mark Matthews?

It's just a contest but Tas has its own pristine environment to conserve.

Latest News

Gabriel Medina can win the world title in Portugal

Stu Nettle

But these three things have to happen first.

What would happen if a tsunami hit Sydney?

Nancy Notzon

"We'd expect land to be inundated across Manly Corso, and waves to come from both the ocean and harbour side, eventually isolating North Head."

Watch: La Graviere last week

Stu Nettle

Pumping at the gravel pit.

Watch: Whomp Off 2018 highlights

Stu Nettle

Drain the whomp!

Richo book launch - new dates!

Stu Nettle

Heading to NSW north coast and Queensland.

Julian Wilson and Courtney Conlogue Win Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France

Julian’s victory is his second of the season. The Women's World Title race now heads to Maui.

Watch: Reality at the Surf Ranch

Craig Brokensha

The World Surf League may paint a glowing picture of high performance surfing and scorching athleticism, but the humdrum reality of daily life at the Surf Ranch is a different story.

New fused carbon tape made here in Oz

Sanded Australia introduce new 'fused carbon tape' to stengthen boards.