When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go … Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast !

  • “It comes down to getting the best waves,” KP said. “That’s what we’re all here for. We’ve gotta figure out how, and all the sponsors are behind that.” Photo: Jeremiah Klein

The surf today is small, like log small.One-foot, clean; the sun is shining hard and that ozone hole coaxing melanomas out of all uncovered flesh. The contest is off for the day, with Snapper being contestable only in outriggers and Duranbah not much better.

Capture d’écran 2015-03-05 à 07.13.04

D’bah is south of Snapper, over the hill and across the border into New South Wales. It isn’t a part of Queensland, and Tourism and Events Queensland is a sponsor of this event and beneficiary of the tourism it might inspire.

This is a problem.

Surfing Queensland, who essentially run the day-to-days of the event, have held an emergency meeting with Commissioner Kieren and have been given the green light to move the event to Duranbah, if that’s what they have to do to finish it. Having two winners, and a start to the 2015 season, takes precedence over sponsor obligations.

Capture d’écran 2015-03-05 à 07.14.06

Kieren Perrow stopped by for a quick chat and honestly didn’t seem overly phased by the situation, displaying that calmness under pressure that’s consecutively made him one of the world’s great slab surfers, and the perfect candidate for commissioner.   “The swell dropped too much today, too weak, and tomorrow looks like it’s going to be the same with some northerly winds added on top. Another layday. Hopefully by Friday a south wind swell that’s on the charts will pop up. Friday, Saturday and Sunday look like they’re going to be pretty good days. And by tomorrow we should have a good idea about the three days next week. We’ve still got plenty of time; it’s just a matter of picking the right windows.“We may need to be over at D’bah, and we’ve been making a contingency plan for that. The southerly wind is OK for there. It’s better than the northerly, and the bank isn’t bad, so it’ll be a little cleaner. But it all depends on the angle of the swell – if it’s going to be easterly it’ll be better at Snapper. I’m just having a look at it each day. We just are making plans now so we can get up and decide every morning what is going to be the best. We’ve still got three and a half days left of surfing and unless we start running some heats somewhere, we’re not going finish. So we need to get heats done, and if Snapper isn’t breaking the only place it’s going to work is D-Bah.

“We may need to be over at D’bah, and we’ve been making a contingency plan for that.”
— Kieren Perrow

“We’ll probably end up running a combination of heats here (at Snapper) and there, and the best case is that we get enough heats done there to be able to come back to Snapper and finish here.

“Really it comes down to getting the best waves. That’s what we’re all here for. We’ve gotta figure out how to (get the best waves) and all the sponsors are behind that. It’s a tough decision though because you don’t really want to have to leave the main site – best wave, the best site, the service areas – the infrastructure is never going to be as good if we move, and that’s anywhere in the world. Anywhere you go it won’t be as nice a site, but at the same time, not finishing an event isn’t good. Everyone’s right behind us in getting what we need to get done.”

D’bah, for its part, is as integral to Gold Coast surfing, and Australia’s historic surfing’s prowess, as any beach north of the Queensland border. It is D’bah, and its tendency to suck in swell, that has allowed Coolangatta surfers to get wet any day of the year; it has always been D’bah that offers a certain respite from summer’s ubiquitous northerly devil winds.

The Queensland government, sponsors of this event, can easily spin the move to D’bah as proof that visiting surfers to the fabled Q’land points can get their wiggle on no matter how little energy there is in the system. As KP told us, most Queenslanders consider Duranbah to be a part of the sunshine state anyway. Tomorrow’s not looking good, but Surfline will be on the beach no matter what, making sure that when this thing does get running, we’re on the front line.

Surfline’s official event forecast
By Mark Willis

Brief Overview: Small easterly swell is expected on Thursday. This mixes with a steep angled southerly swell mix as we move into the weekend. This S-SSE swell will be at least partially shadowed and overall not a great direction for Snapper, so nothing solid. Small easterly trade swell is expected into early next week as the SSE/S swell eases. Long range charts suggest a modest increase in E trade swell by mid next week.

THURSDAY 5th:  Small E swell.
Swell/Surf: Mainly knee-waist high surf expected.
Wind/Weather: A weak trough approaches and generates developing NW shifting N winds 5-15kts through the morning/early afternoon. Winds become variable briefly as the trough moves through later in the afternoon and then increase from the SSE to SE 13-19kts into the evening. A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon and evening.

FRIDAY 6th:  Modest SSE windswell/ESE swell mix
Swell/Surf: Mainly thigh-waist-chest high mix of steep angled SSE windswell wrap and E/ESE swell. A few slightly bigger sets possible towards the top of the point especially in the afternoon.
Wind/Weather: SSE winds 11-17kts in the morning diminish to 7-14kts and trend more SE then E/ENE through the day. Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.

SATURDAY 7th:  Steep S swell wrap and ESE swell mix.
Swell/Surf: Mainly thigh-waist-chest high surf expected. Slightly bigger sets possible at the top of the point in the morning, but most of the S swell will be bypassing the area.
Wind/Weather: ESE/SE winds 5-11kts in the morning becoming E to ENE 7-13kts during the afternoon. Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers.

SUNDAY 8th:  Southerly swell-mix fades and mixes with modest E swell.
Swell/Surf: Knee-waist high surf with inconsistent plus sets.
Wind/Weather: Light ESE/SE winds in the early morning trending E to ENE 5-11kts in the afternoon. Partly cloudy.

MONDAY 9th:  Minor trade swell/S swell mix.
Swell/Surf: Knee-thigh high surf with sets only up to around waist high with better tides.    Wind/Weather: Light morning winds trend E to ENE 5-11kts in the afternoon. Cloudy with a chance of showers.