Rip Curl WSL Finals - Forecast Update
We're a couple of days out from the opening of the Rip Curl WSL Finals waiting period, that being Thursday the 9th of September. Only one day is needed to run the whole shebang before the window closes next Friday the 17th.
With the large travel distance between possible swell sources and Trestles, any swell that's due through the waiting period from the South Pacific Ocean will be in the water right now or generated over the next couple of days.
Fortunately, the event has been blessed with a very active Southern Ocean storm track firing up to the south-east of New Zealand over the past week. While some 10,000kms away and with travel times of seven to ten days, an initial swell is slated for the opening day of the waiting period, generated by a strong low that formed south-east of the Land of the Long White Cloud at the start of last week.
This will provide fun waves in the head-high range, however it's likely the Woz will hold off for better swells due at the start of next week.
As discussed in last week's Early Forecast a flurry of strong though less than favourably aligned severe-gale W/NW winds traversing south-east of New Zealand will see a good, long-period S/SW groundswell spreading out radially north towards the North Pacific Ocean. This swell's consistency won't be helped by the off-axis nature of the fetch, but we should see very infrequent 3-4ft sets when it peaks on Sunday the 12th (arriving through the afternoon on Saturday).
A better and more consistent swell is expected to build Monday the 13th and peak Tuesday morning the 14th, produced by a strong polar low firing up on the back of the aforementioned W/NW fetch. This low includes a fetch of storm-force W/SW winds - better aligned for Trestles - but again generated through its far swell window. This will produce the largest, most consistent, and best swell for the waiting period.
Sets to 3-5ft are due Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, but the main issue will be which day the Woz chose to run? Light morning offshore winds are due both mornings ahead of afternoon W/NW sea breezes, with Monday seeing plenty of size in the morning following Sunday's pulse, bigger into the afternoon with the new swell. Tuesday is expected to see a very slow drop in size through the day as the swell starts to ease. For the most size into the final heats Monday would be the pick.
Now, to throw one more curve-ball into the mix, there is one final swell due next Wednesday the 15th - the third last day of the waiting period - but the polar low linked to this swell will be a touch smaller than the one seen this past weekend and forming a little further east, late in the swell window. Size wise it looks to be a touch smaller than Monday/Tuesday's and a little more south.
Personally I feel the Woz will run on the Monday with the building S/SW groundswell, though either way, there are plenty of days to choose from.