Quiksilver Pro New York: Another Hurricane on the Horizon
OK, stop. Now take a breath...
While you're there take another one, because as the circus rolls from Tahiti to New York surf fans are gonna need it. Forward word has returned from the Big Apple and the drama has already begun.
First of all, Hurricane Irene tore up the US East Coast causing death and destruction all the way. Although it had been downgraded to a tropical storm as it passed NY the associated deluge swamped the contest site at Long Beach.
Quiksilver today announced all festival activities – BMX, skate and fashion shows – will be cancelled at the contest site. Lawyers would refer to this weather event as a force majeur – a superior force – and all liability would be waived. While those with an eye on the big fella upstairs – such as US Presidential candidate, Michele Bachman - would explain it as an Act of God.
We're not believers here at Swellnet but if it was He who scrapped the 'lifestyle' activities at the Quiksilver Pro New York then we're ready to start listening.
So with all the extraneous activities washed away we're set to have a stripped down surf contest. However, just as the surf is settling down from Hurricane Irene yet another spinner is winding up in the East Coast storm track.
Tropical Depression 12 is currently deepening south-west of Cape Verde Islands off the West Coast of Africa. The storm is forecast to track west towards the Caribbean during this week, reaching Hurricane status by Thursday. The Hurricane will be called Katia, which is the replacement name for Katrina, which was removed from the US Hurricane naming list after the tragic events of 2005. Read into that whatever you will...
Katia is forecast to be steered north-west and track slowly towards the American mainland, directly through New York's south-eastern swell window, while continuing to strengthen. It's still too far out to tell if Katia will directly impact New York although the swell from the storm is forecast to hit the contest site.
Quiksilver has been heavily criticised for choosing Long Beach - a swell-starved and inconsistent stretch of coast. The irony now is that the Quik Pro NY may get too much swell for the contest.
Beginning Monday the 5th (New York Time) increasing levels of south-east groundswell should start arriving, becoming large into the middle of the week. The big question is whether Long Beach will handle the size of the swell or not. Bearing in mind that the contest site is a beachbreak the answer to that question lies in the quality of the local sandbanks.
//STU NETTLE & CRAIG BROKENSHA