It began with a message from Craig, depicting an image (from Swellnet’s Instagram) of a big purple blog on the storm track somewhere deep southwest of Indonesia and Australia.
This surf travel feature is Meanwhile, in Vicco. Surfing Bells Beach, Winkipop (cameo by Owen Wright) through the largest swell to hit Australia in a while.
Researching the ominous blob further, it became clear that this yet-to-be storm was the makings of an über swell event, not to be missed.
The thought of going to Bali last minute – during high season AND school holidays – sounded like my own personal version of hell and, much to my chagrin, my lovely, far-too-understanding wife wasn’t keen to head to my first pick, a ridiculously long left hand point break somewhere cold…
As the reports were streaming in fast and furious of epic, huge surf across the Indonesian Archipelago and Western Australia, I hoped to slip under the radar and find the place that every one had left to chase the swell. Given the storms location and movement, most of Australia’s western and southern coasts were going to be hammered by the blob and, hoping to zig while others zagged, I thought:
“How about Victoria?”
It looked like conditions would be epic through the event with solid swell under good winds and, having never scored Bells Beach or Winkipop, it seemed like high time for a surgical strike to the heartland of Australian surfing…
We arrived at Bells Beach Saturday morning, just as the swell began to build. Greeted by long, clean lines under blue skies. It wasn’t huge but tasty.
Winkipop Sunday morning. The swell hadn’t kicked yet and the long, clean lines looked very inviting. It was a decent size, not huge but not playful. I was having a good session at Winki until I got a lip in the back while trying to make it around a section. I did a super spread eagle underwater and haven’t been able to walk properly since!
By the afternoon, the swell started to fire on all cylinders. Huge, thick lines of water poured into Bells Beach while Winkipop was starting to do some really interesting things. I know my limits and this afternoon the waves started to push well past it…that’s an understatement, I was downright intimidated! I got a few smaller ones and retreated to the camera…
I didn’t realise it at the time but Owen Wright – hot off the back of his epic win at Cloudbreak in Fiji – was out and ripping! There were some really talented surfers out at Bells and Winki but Owen was a standout (surprise, surprise).
All in all, an amazing few days of watching, filming and surfing the much hyped swell around Torquay – a spectacle to behold!