Rip Curl WSL Finals - Forecast Update

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)
Swellnet Analysis

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.

Comments

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 2:57pm

Such a long distance. What kinds of periods are these swells once they reach trestles?

Must be a really ‘setty’ spot with these south swells

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 3:00pm

The forerunners are of the order of 21-22s for Sunday's swell, more so 19-20s for Monday/Tuesday's.

If the storms were stronger it'd be up around 23-24s.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 3:09pm

Long periods but the wide and shallow Californian continental shelf takes off a lot of the energy with period drag.

When will they make a call?

They'll have to do so pretty early to start pump priming the hype machine.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Thursday, 9 Sep 2021 at 8:32am

Fr is it shallower than bass strait?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 9 Sep 2021 at 8:41am

Actually Steve it's very deep within 10km offshore, goes to 7-800m! There's a 1km deep trench focussing south swells right up to Trestles as well. Guess helping it make it the magnet it is.

Shaunp's picture
Shaunp's picture
Shaunp Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 1:22pm

FR, does a similar thing happen on the sunshine coast?

yodai's picture
yodai's picture
yodai Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 4:55pm

So onshore sea breezes in afternoon will be a shit air show!
Medina and Italo will catch 15 waves ,try and do one air and hope one sticks
How boring
Does wsl need to make the call which day they want to run it on first day due to council permits ,recreational surfers time etc as they have had to do in trestles comps in the past
Or can they just rock up each morning and call a lay day

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 2:42am

more like they will catch 15 waves, do 15 airs and make 13 or 14 of those airs. like it or obviously loathe it as you do, these guys have a clutch air game that no Aussie can even come close to matching in free surfing let alone in the pressure of big heats. until they up their game, world title will live in Brasil.

Dan87's picture
Dan87's picture
Dan87 Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 10:41pm

Loathe it...
Or they stop scoring airs so high..

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 7:06pm

Is the idea that they run the men and women on the same day?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 7:17pm

Fairly sure. Would be great if they split it..

Troppo's picture
Troppo's picture
Troppo Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 8:05pm

I'm looking forward to seeing how this whole thing pans out.

Should be a good day of surfing, but as someone above said, it would feel wrong if Gabs didn't get the chocolates on the day. By far the dominant surfer this year.

Ladies race looks interesting! They are all bloody good. Will come down to who gets the waves. Would be awesome to see Sally claim a maiden world Champion title.

Bring it on!!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Tuesday, 7 Sep 2021 at 8:06pm

going to be a long day with long period sets ...i was hoping the heats would be 40 mins....probably not.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 6:12am

Splitting the mens and womens and making 40 min heats makes so much sense on a swell f/cast like this.

unfortunately that won't suit the Woz trying to get the big broadcast numbers.

mpeachy's picture
mpeachy's picture
mpeachy Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 10:01am

So does it all run on one day?

mpeachy's picture
mpeachy's picture
mpeachy Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 10:06am

To sort of answer my own question, the format appears to be:
5 v 4
3 v Winner of Above
2 v Winner of Above
1 v Winner of Above (Best of 3)
So only five heats total, and Morgan will have to beat all of the top four (including Medina in best of 3) to win it.

mpeachy's picture
mpeachy's picture
mpeachy Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 10:12am

Five or six heats actually

Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 12:51pm

blessed with swell at a shit location is hardly a silver lining.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 3:04pm

Did Kelly just win trestles ?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 3:30pm

Wait…so there’s only a finale at Trestles and not a normal comp as well?

How come all the pros have been surfing there? Why is Fanning, Ewing and Wade there?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 3:31pm

Not sure, just a big junket eh.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 11:32pm

You could argue that the Trestles finals have more interest than if it was a normal Trestles tour event with the season champ already decided.
This is a very low bar, of course.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Thursday, 9 Sep 2021 at 8:27am

Cause they are the chosen ones and we are the unwashed masses or colloquially known as shit kickers.

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 9 Sep 2021 at 12:27pm

Get all the greats in to announce the entire shit show is ending for good... ahhh one can dream.

kimbo1's picture
kimbo1's picture
kimbo1 Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 8:38am

They never returned from the Mexico Comp. long Visa still allowed .

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak Wednesday, 8 Sep 2021 at 3:38pm

Freedom ? Heading to Hawaii ? Most visas leaving Australia were granted if you were going for long period of time ?

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Thursday, 9 Sep 2021 at 8:01am

Quite the circus.

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope Thursday, 9 Sep 2021 at 1:19pm

What's the best guess at viewer numbers in australia? Gonna require some serious commitment and caffeine to get through the night. (assuming I have the time zone thing right)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 8:10am

WSL press release:

"Finals Forecast: BIG Swell Building Sunday Through Early Next Week at Lower Trestles"

"For next week, a long period SSW swell is expected to build on Monday into a Tuesday peak with surf holding on Wednesday, September 15 as reinforcing energy fills in. Waves will likely run in the overhead to a few feet overhead range Monday through Wednesday, with big sets up to 10’ faces."

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 9:12am

BIG ha. Least they're getting swell and as I forecast about two weeks ago.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 10:56am

So going by my limited forecasting skills and model viewing, it looks like Tuesday (US time) is going to have the best/lightest local winds (and most probability of running)? How's it looking for you Craig?

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 9:33am

All aboard the transnational Seppo Hype Express.

What’s next?

‘The worlds best prepare to battle with it out in triple over waist height waves’

‘Words best prepare to battle it out in 20 foot waves*’

*when measured from the bottom cobblestones at take off to the top off the offshore spray plume

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 11:29am

Just to clarify.

Mon US is Tues morning here?

right?

Somehow this always confuses me.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 at 11:48am

Correct. 7am Monday will be 12.00am (midnight early tues) here.
Either add 17 hours or minus 7 then add a day.

Or obviously the other way around working out LA time from here.
-17hr or +7hr -1d

kaybeegee's picture
kaybeegee's picture
kaybeegee Monday, 13 Sep 2021 at 11:22am

One of the good things about hawaii was that the time zone was good for America and Australia to watch.
I do not care one iota about a surf contest that starts at midnight.