Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic - Forecast
Southern NSW is currently in the middle of a prolonged southerly swell episode with large pulses of groundswell gracing the coast since Saturday morning.
While the energy and activity is expected to slowly ease towards the end of the week, many trailing pulses of southerly swell are due through the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic.
The primary site is at North Narrabeen, with a back up location at Dee Why Point. With a stable rivermouth sandbank, Northy pumps under east-northeast to north-east swells, when long lefts run down the bank. However, when the swell comes from the south, Northy shows its versatility as attention turns to the Alley Rights and, at times, Car Park Rights.
What isn't as well known, is that the left can still work, though coming in wider, running off faster, and not quite as long. So with the coming forecast, expect competitors to mix it up between both the left and rights at North Narrabeen.
The first day of the waiting period is this Friday, the 16th April, running till the 26th. What we're looking at through most of the forecast period is a very active Southern Ocean storm track, which will initially be strongest and most favourably aligned Thursday and Friday before relying on diffracted energy bending up and around Tasmania.
On Friday, the opening day of the waiting period, a mid-latitude low will produce a burst of strong west-southwest winds exiting eastern Bass Strait and building mid-period southerly swell. Size-wise the morning looks to be 2ft to possibly 3ft, though building more to 3-4ft through the day. However, conditions will deteriorate with a fresh morning west-southwest breeze giving way to a stronger southerly change mid-late morning.
Friday will most likely be a lay day, especially with more swell forecast.
One point of interest is that the swell due from Friday afternoon through the weekend will be linked to the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Seroja which tore through Western Australia on the weekend. Currently the remnants are moving into the Great Australian Bight, helping feed a seperate mid-latitude low that formed south of the Margaret River region.
Not only will this this additional energy be the catalyst for the strong mid-latitude low (which will create Friday's swell) but it'll also help draw up a strengthening and significant polar front south-west of Tasmania, on the backside of the low.
The polar front will generate a great fetch of gale to severe-gale SW-S/SW winds east of Tasmania (see image below), producing a moderate, long-period southerly groundswell. The groundswell will arrive overnight Friday but peak Saturday with strong 4-5ft sets due across Narrabeen, easing back from the 3ft range Sunday morning.
Saturday's swell unfortunately looks to be spoilt by lingering, moderate south-southeast winds [Editors note - conditions look much better now with a light-moderate W/SW offshore ahead of variable sea breezes], though they could possibly run the contest to make the most of the size. With rain forecast through day it won't be the prettiest either.
Sunday will become cleaner with a light morning offshore from the west-southwest ahead of northeast sea breezes as the swell eases in size.
A low point in swell is expected on Monday morning as we fall in between swell-generating systems, however in the afternoon a stronger mix of mid-period swell and southerly groundswell will move up the coast. The source will be a cold front pushing through the Southern Ocean, across Tasmania. Sets late in the afternoon and on Tuesday will be in the 3-4ft range under an offshore north-west breeze, though we'll keen an eye on this and any changes.
Longer term both models are pointing at a stronger cold-outbreak and larger swell next weekend. We'll provide updates on the timing of swell pulses and local winds over the coming fortnight.
WSL seem to have Tin Arsed their way to another Good Comp. Brave decisions. Brave Results.
Was the last comp good?
Newcastle was rubbish, OK there were moments of decent waves but nothing approaching real quality. Great comp if it was local board riders but for a world tour, it was hilarious.
Good call Billy. Without the hyperbole colored glasses it was underwhelming at best.
Can only imagine how it would have gone down in Queensland with Kirra on fire, shame they were refused permission
Sounds like a Saturday (maybe late friday) start at DY.
I'm confused, will they run at Narrabeen on the south swells or move to DeeWhy?
Might depend more on wind direction than swell (if the banks at northy are happy with S swells)?
I'd say Dee Why is a last resort if lots of large south swells and south winds. No way they'll swap and change between venues re infrastructure.
Fair point. Thought I remembered them running the margies comp at the Box for just a day a few years ago though?
Yeh, but they don’t have to move everything when running at the box.
The Box is just across the bay north of Margs mainbreak.
You might be thinking of North Point.
They've gone there for a day at least twice that i know of.
Unless North Narra is maxed out, surely watching one or two big turns and a close-out air at Narra would be more fun to watch than Dee Why Point. I reckon the pros would make the first barrel section look to easy (even though it's awesome for the average punter) then it would fatten out too quickly.
Spectators can get up close at Dee Why. You could almost stroke your favorite pro. Love Narra, excellent wave.
Thought Jordy Lawler might have got a WC. Anyway, at least Reef can do an air. If Italo and Gabs were unstoppable at Newy, then I'm not holding much hope for any great change at Narra.
East coast beachie style waves it'll likely be a carbon copy script as in Newcastle.
Just had a looksy at Nara and it right now it’s solid, a bit wind effected and unruly but...plenty of pros out tearing it apart right now. Lots of infrastructure up as well. It would be very hard to imagine it happening anywhere but Nara. Agree DY point would make great viewing but they would probably rope it off anyway. Half of the great vantage points at Nara are already roped off ( from car park to surf club.
I’m away but I’m guessing if the comp started Monday they would have had it at DY?
48hrs of pumping SE well and SW/W, would have almost had it finished, while Narra would have been wind affected pretty early.
Only if that occurs again will they shift it, otherwise they’ll just tough it out at Narra
Northy has been pretty decent on this South Swell (Sun arvo, Mon and Tues) Winds have been good in the morning and then not too strong in the arvo. Bank has been holding the south swell much better than it usually does. If the comp was on now 100% it would have been held at Northy.
I reckon it was a SE swell eel. I can’t say for sure about Sydney but the last few days here on the central coast have appeared to be SE. Haven’t got any bouy data to back that up just that it’s been getting into south corners at a decent size which usually means it’s got some east in it. Happy to be proven wrong, never too old to learn
Nah swells have been S/SW-S, not S/SE at all. Long period stuff is helping it get into southern corners. Tomorrow arvo will be S/SE.
There you go. When I lived at Avoca I never saw a south swell even touch the point (even the long period winter ones) yet it was breaking quite nicely on Sat, Sun although not so much Monday or Tuesday. Would have sworn the swell was SE! Happy to live and learn
There was some left over E swell from Friday across the coast Saturday morning, but the pulse of new S swell was much stronger.
That's a curious statement. It's not the best direction but Avoca Pt regularly breaks on south swells. It's not unusual at all.
Go up there next big straight long period south swell and let me know
I agree it doesn't always break but with enough period and size it seems to, even if small. I had a mate surf that stretch both Sat AM and Sun PM, two very similar direction swells on paper from similar aligned fetches but the way it was coming in was totally different. Periods were different though so probably played a factor.
It's great to see the ocean do what it does regardless of how good a handle we think we have on predicting it.
It's also good that Northy is a swell magnet. Rakes in everything from NE to S.
Weird in a straight south swell though, sometimes barely breaks
Only in a small south swell is it ever like that. Its a South swell magnet through & through. Some of my best ever beachy sessions were carpark rights on a south swell (if banks are on...).
I'm surprised to hear it being so good in a S swell.
Like a lot of places, big difference between SE swell and straight S swell. I’m not a N Narra local but I’ve had a look up there a few times on a decent size straight S swell and it is weirdly flat, apart from a massive shore dump.
Once there’s a bit of east in the swell it will be fine.
The wave of the day shot looks good in what would have been a south swell... although one photo doesn’t make a comp.
Swell was SE when that photo was taken
No, swell has been dead south.
If we get a few days of this it will be sick
give that a 10?
Would be close for sure!
Newy finished on a high note with the best of a bad bunch happening on finals day. Medina's huge punt was also the biggest air of the show & actually made the final a bit disappointing due to nothing even coming close from 2 of the best in the air. Narra can be awesome if it turns on so fingers crossed we'll get to see some awesome surfing from the worlds best contest surfers. Go Morgs the GIANT killer( straight out of Jack n The Beanstalk stuff @ Newy)!
it blew my mind away at how many people on the newy contest site were waiting for South swell after the first day. the swell was East except for the last day, was clear as day on the weather map
Tuesday's pulse was a long-period S groundswell. After that though yes building east energy ahead of the new south swell Saturday.
certainly changed my mind about using Newy as a S swell proxy for here.
no correlation whatsoever.
Yeah there's a lot of south energy that Newy will capture that won't be seen further north of Seal Rocks.
and then the next lot came through at equal size.
obviously very different parameters apply.
V. interesting, the mystery of the south swell continues.
Direction, period, storm cycle distance.
All these things I have to factor in for the region I live.
Interesting that the models don't predict anything too big from the ex-cyclone. Models only calling 2-3 at SF. James calling 4-6. Surely the old girl still has a few 8's in her at magnets? Looking fwd to seeing how the next mystery plays out.
That's the first time i've ever read or heard anything that a cyclone in WA has any bearing whatsoever on swell conditions on the east coast.
It's all about the lesser circle path
Apparently some of the more robust locals are taking sweet joy in burning some of the pros haha.
Easily the most localised, capital city beach in AU I reckon. Many consistently angry (if not violent) tradies.
Reckon if it was pumping they'd have a bit of trouble clearing the lineup?
Proud board riders history though. So probably not.
Can't see it getting that good per the FC. Needs to be more East for Alley to fire.
Was down there yesterday and there seemed to be good vibes all around. Most of the tradies where actually standing around watching the show out there. Heaps of groms chasing autographs and photos. Pros in the water making it look better than it was.
Positive responses about a WSL event on swellnet --- what's going on???
They're just treating the pros the same way that they treat anyone else out there who isn't a "local". At least they're consistent ha ha
GFS been liking a mini ECL the last few model runs. Chance of E swell depending on how it resolves.
That's a weak Tasman Low if that and not a swell producer. No ridge to generate any decent swell producing winds.
yeah, not much in it.
maybe some weak local swell if it forms close to coast.
Small variations on where and how it evolves can make a lot of difference. I'm just a glass half full guy hoping for the best!
GFS looks a little more interested on the 00Z run.
A snap shot just by itself like that is very misleading. If you watch the evolution of that low, the infeed of E/NE winds on the eastern flank are dropping south-east away from us, while those SE winds, short-lived and over a slim, small area. A poor swell producer.
Also EC's not on board. Will continue to watch how it evolves but even if it went best case GFS we'd be looking at 2ft of SE swell.
There are bigger swell generating systems as play.
I had to choose one frame. The 06Z GFS run does have the low sitting nicely for a while - cradled by a ridge - producing E/SE swell.
Agree that it's not a going to produce NE swell to speak of, but it looks like there'll definitely be E/SE in the mix.
Yeah for sure, just saying it'd be better to put up the whole evolution of the low in steps to get a greater idea.
12z is similar and more promising, but yes EC doesn't want a bar of it, though still has a small E swell on the cards but a day or two later. Will continue to monitor.
I agree Craig, still worth keeping an eye on.
Btw, EC still doesn't really want a bar of it, though.
Just wondering if the Narrabeen surfcam will be working soon? Been down for quite some time now.
Anyone placing any Round 1 bets?
Do you mean Tiger v Craig?
Ha! I'd be long odds in that one!
No brainer just put your money on the Brazzos.
Still thinking tomorrow’s a lay day?
Today yep, looks like they'll run tomorrow though. Winds are better.
For those reading this for the first time, tomorrow looks a goer with an improvement in the winds. We should see a light-moderate W/SW wind in the morning and variable afternoon sea breezes.
Meh. Just give it to the Brazzos again, best chest beating poo stance one flick wonders. The clip of Italo at Narra was butt ugly. Pump, poo stance pump, poo stance... ad infinitum. I'll just settle in to watch Asher Pacey at Kirra last week.
Persnally i reckon Italo is an insane surfer Surfalot67. A happy seeming chap, rips in big and smalll surf (not forgetting he took on Nazare on one of the biggest days in history) and seems to spread the good vibes. Surely the fact he's Brazillian is secondary to this...and could actually serve to shine Brazzo's in a more positive light. I actually believe him and Gabs are generational surfers, and we may never see surfers like them again in a long time. They do happen to be from Brazil. And don't worry, i was staunch anti brazzo for a long time as they ripped our oz surfing dominance out from underneath us. I like Italo though. He's a legend! Put him in any waves and he'll probably win...or go close. Feel free to throw up an argument against that.
I've surfed with italo once, he was a legend and way nicer than all the other pros I saw in the water. He gave me a little "yew" as I pulled into one and he seemed generally stoked.
Sure, he lacks a little bit of style with the poo man pump stance to air. but he's throwing down the best airs in the game and his rail game is still super strong.
BOM Warnings for Saturday 17 April
Hazardous Surf Warning for the following areas:
Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast