23 June 2009 – Cape Town, South Africa – The much anticipated storm has finally hit the shores of Cape Town with howling winds and wild seas forcing a lay day on the fourth day of competition at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa.
Most of the competitors have hidden away in the warmth of their houses as the seas deteriorate and the wind and rain relentlessly pound the shores. However big wave surfer and O’Neill South Africa brand ambassador, Chris Bertish is getting excited about the swell being generated out to sea right now.
“There should be some pretty exciting waves,” he said. “The competition will hopefully have its last day in some epic conditions at Kalk Bay, then they are calling 25 to 30 foot swell on Thursday and Friday, which would equate to 60 to 70 foot faces.”
“I would like to say that’s an average big wave day but actually that would be pretty exciting,” said Chris. “It gives you a few nerves - you hope that you’ve prepared yourself well and hope that from all the experience you’ve got from the past everyone is ready to take what the ocean is going to throw at you… and you hope for the best.”
Before the serious big wave surfing begins, there is still one day of competition to finish off – starting with the round of 16.
It was an easy call for contest director Matt Wilson this morning; “We knew pretty much as soon as we stepped out of the door what the score was,” he said. “We did a loop around the reefs which were pretty wild, and went down to see Misty Cliffs for a comparison – which was just complete white water.”
Now as the forecast plays out, all hope and attention is focused on Kalk Bay for Wednesday morning and the surfers are getting ready.
“I can’t wait,” said Jarrad Howse. “We are in about 80km winds and huge seas. It’s not that often you get to see 40ft waves. I’m glad that they are not going to be putting us out in that kind of stuff today.”
“It sounds like Kalk bay is a really good left hander – barreling where you can do turns after,” said Jarrad. “I was so hungry to make it to that wave. Hopefully we get it tomorrow.”
According to local surf forecaster, Spike, the surfers won’t be disappointed.
“The sea is giant on Wednesday,” he said. “There is serious energy in the swell with an underlying 15 second interval. Kalk Bay should be the go.”
The next call is tomorrow, June 23, at 7:30am