Forecast: The inaugural Newcastle Cup

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

Luckily for the Woz, the coastline of Newcastle juts far into the Tasman Sea, allowing it to pick up any sniff of south swell. Curiously, Newy can also rake in more nor’east swell than its southerly alignment would suggest.

When the Newcastle Cup begins this Thursday, the organisers will be strongly relying on these two attributes to sound the competition hooter.

Late Tuesday a southerly swell will push up the East Coast. It’ll be a low quality swell, peaking on Wednesday, the day before the waiting period begins. The wind will be moderate from the south making a mess of conditions.

By Thursday, Day One, we’ll see sets easing from 3-4ft in the morning with lumpy conditions under a light, early W/NW land breeze, that’ll shift back to the S/SE into the afternoon.

By Friday morning the southerly regime that began on Tuesday will be coming to an end. Swell size will be down to about 2-3ft out of the south-southeast. There’ll be an offshore nor’west wind in the morning, keeping conditions clean, which will give way to an afternoon seabreeze from the nor’east

By Saturday the southerly swell cycle will be over and the aforementioned coastal alignment will come into play. Merewether should still be picking up around 2ft of background southerly signal as the rest of the East Coast goes flat. Offshore north-west winds in the mornings will give way to afternoon nor’east seabreezes.

While not amazing, next week holds potential for fun surf with a tropical low forming in the Coral Sea, off the Queensland coast, forecast to drift south, squeezing a high in the Tasman Sea through the weekend. This will produce small levels of east-northeast trade swell for most of next week.

There’s also the potential for more size if the low drifts south into Newcastle's swell window - something we’ll be watching very closely.

Regardless of the low’s movements, we'll see the trade wind setup persisting all week, providing surf around the peaky 3ft range - unless the mentioned low moves south -  favouring the beach break at Dixon Park.

At the same time, the next round of south swell will push up the Tasman following while a strong frontal progression that’ll push under Tasmania on Sunday. While not overly strong, this system will deliver pulses of 3-4ft southerly groundswell, likely biggest on the Tuesday - Day Six of the waiting period. 

The wind through the first half of next week looks generally favourable with light offshores every morning ahead of afternoon sea breezes.

So all in all, the outlook is active but not epic. It’s highly likely we’ll see a slew of half days as the organisers pick and choose from the waiting period.

  • Thursday: Slowly easing S/SE swell from 3-4ft. Light W/SW tending S/SE winds.
  • Friday: Easing SE swell from 2-3ft. Light W/NW tending SE winds.
  • Saturday: Small, background swells to 2ft. Light NW tending fresh E/NE winds.
  • Sunday: Small, background swells to 2ft. Light N tending E/NE winds.
  • Monday: Mix of new E/NE and S groundswells to 3-4ft. Early W/SW tending fresh S winds.
  • Tuesday: Mix of  E/NE and S groundswells to 3-4ft. Early W/SW tending fresh S/SE winds.
  • Wednesday: Mix of  E/NE and S groundswells to 3-4ft. Light NW tending E winds.
  • Thursday onwards: Mix of E/NE and S groundswells to 3ft. Light morning offshore winds and sea breezes.

Click for Swellnet's Newcastle Forecast Page

Comments

sunhil's picture
sunhil's picture
sunhil Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 3:07pm

What will Bells be doing during this period?

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 3:15pm

Looks very average for Bells. Nothing that would be worth watching a heat for.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 3:26pm

Yeah average for Vicco, but the Goldy looks great! Lennox not so much so with that wind, though improving..

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 4:57pm

they would have got skunked big time at Lennox.
small and weak at the Point and the back-up venue Sharpes had the banks knocked out by the last storm surf.

onshore brown water shore break close-outs would have been the venue.

Will likely be QS style surf at Newy for most of it.

theinsider's picture
theinsider's picture
theinsider Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 9:25pm

Would've been shut down at Lenny for sure. You were doing them a favour by protesting.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 4:17pm

Looking good east of Melbourne though.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 4:45pm

It's been a fair while since they moved it from Bells (Winki aside). This year they might've had to shift it.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 6:41pm

Good Friday the ladies might be ok

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 7:01pm

This is a pretty optimistic forecast. For a world tour event, it's going to be shit. Think Brazil.

Alberto Cubeddu's picture
Alberto Cubeddu's picture
Alberto Cubeddu Monday, 29 Mar 2021 at 7:27pm

Agree with you! Very optimistic!
Hopefully, the forecast is wrong, and we get some decent size!

jetson.rover's picture
jetson.rover's picture
jetson.rover Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 1:52pm

Think a Brazilian winner too.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 8:18am

With lots of days to chose from next week, I'm guessing they'll call a lay day Thursday and even likely Friday owing to the flukey winds going onshore by the time they get any competition under way. There'll be swell though so it'll be interesting to see unfold.

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 11:32am

I dunno Craig. They'll be pretty keen to get some heats run. Not sure what the banks are like at Merewether ATM. But with highish tides through the day, off the rocks can be pretty good fun, read "contestable". But yeah, later in the waiting period looks interesting, but there is definitely no surety about how it's going to unfold. Access has got a giant boner for that system next week!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 11:34am

Ha, when does ACCESS not have a giant boner into the long-range ;p

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 11:51am

Exactly! My take on the forecast models is,
EC: the grumpy naysayer
GFS: the optimistic, with slightly rose coloured glasses.
ACCESS: on crack!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 12:01pm

Pretty much spot on.

Bustard's picture
Bustard's picture
Bustard Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 2:36pm

banks are average at Merewether but wont take much to come back on a bit of a southerly- the bank up at dicko that you saw footage off from last wednesday is still holding up on the lower tide..

ps - now the Surfline Dicko / merewether cam is conveniently down...those wozl folk have very long tentacles...or am I being paranoid

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 7:07pm

on the wsl site, if you click on the event and click on forecast there is a live camera at mereweather..pretty good view

steve.bull's picture
steve.bull's picture
steve.bull Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 3:23pm

It was windy as down there today but there was a good wave off rocks (at least they made it look good). I reckon they'll run there on Thursday, try to knock round 1 over and give themselves time towards the back end of the window.

gm14's picture
gm14's picture
gm14 Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 10:51am

looking very likely for their standard QS conditions. who's the best in pump-pump-air conditions?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 11:58am

gunna be a big test of how much of a S swell magnet Newy is.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 12:00pm

And north-east magnet, rakes it all in! Quite amazing as per another location further up the coast.

adam12's picture
adam12's picture
adam12 Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 1:20pm

"Offshore north-west winds in the mornings will give way to afternoon nor’east seabreezes."
That sentence, as a Victorian, gives me the shits.

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 3:26pm

I could be reading it wrong on wams but bells looks as if its going to get a lot of swell.
I dont know how it all works down there though.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 3:29pm

Mid-period swell, generally average winds and not overly sizey. I think WSL have lucked out with Newy.

In saying that, a much better outlook for the Surf Coast than they've been having. Just with the increase in swell activity.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 7:48am

Last day of March and it's hardly been over 3ft the whole month. Or been a proper offshore. Would have been a challenge sitting back watching pumping reefs and unable to surf it.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 8:48am

Too true.

nick_french's picture
nick_french's picture
nick_french Tuesday, 30 Mar 2021 at 4:00pm

If only it was at snapper, there is a nice window from Friday to Monday where they could of completed the comp with best and biggest of the swell for finals day, what a bummer !

jetson.rover's picture
jetson.rover's picture
jetson.rover Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 2:03pm

And then they'd be getting shafted with all that covid restriction crap yet again that's flaring up in Qld right now.
Hindesight has shown the WSL were right to give up on Snapper this year.
Almost to the same date the comp would have run,it's happened again.
I can't imagine the pro's so soon after their arrival quarantine would have handled doing it again so soon just to go interstate for the next comp.
If it spreads more from Byron further into NSW,than WA might slap the hard border back on NSW again,like they've just done with QLD.
Still risky times to try run the tour for sure.

dr-surf's picture
dr-surf's picture
dr-surf Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 2:27pm

Nightmare to be running the WSL right now. But So Far the Surf Gods are smiling. The Choice of Newcastle with Forecast Waves seems Inspired and restricting Travel to NSW and WA the Right Call. Bells would have been Disappointing. I think Newcastle will Embrace the Contest and CROWDS will be Better than Bells could hope for. Big Tick to the WSL. I’ll be watching from Torquay glad it being Held in the Best Surf possible.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 5:38pm

Vic government will be stoked they just saved the sponsorship money which NSW has to spend. Newcastle looks awful today and Bells can always relocate down around the other side of Cape Otway where there is always swell. I would have to argue with your call of Newcastle as 'inspired' I would call it 'desperate'.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 31 Mar 2021 at 7:18pm

anyone get eyes on it this afternoon?

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie Thursday, 1 Apr 2021 at 5:59am

It is what it is! These guys are talented enough to make anything look good(think Fatsrita WSL show). Should be an advantage for the local pros who surf here in these types of conditions as well as the Brazil nuts who will feel right @ home the forecast conditions!

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Thursday, 1 Apr 2021 at 7:06am

Luckily the pros can turn shit into strawberry jam absolute air fest.. either way just looking forward to seeing some heats again..