Big­gest cy­clone surf to hit since Win­ston

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - NI­CHOLAS MCEL­ROY ni­cholas.mcel­ See our live sur­f­cam at­coast­bul­

THE MAS­SIVE surf ex­pected to hit the Gold Coast this week­end could be the best cy­clone swell to hit the city in more than two years ac­cord­ing to fore­cast­ers.

Pow­er­ful long-pe­riod swells whipped up by Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Gita, which dev­as­tated Tonga on Mon­day and was track­ing west past Fiji last night, are ex­pected to roll into the Gold Coast from Fri­day and peak on Sun­day.

The fore­cast could have life­guards and coastal en­gi­neers on edge as the wild surf is ex­pected to close beaches and rip sand from coast­lines.

But ex­pe­ri­enced surfers are gear­ing up for epic con­di­tions and some board­rid­ers could al­ready be fu­elling up their jet skis for tow in surf­ing ac­cord­ing to Coastal­watch chief fore­caster Ben Macart­ney.

“It’s go­ing to be big,” he said. “The surf could be up to 10 feet (3m) on some of the outer banks on the Gold Coast.

“The dy­nam­ics and the wind speed off the cy­clone at the mo­ment looks in­cred­i­ble.”

Mr Macart­ney said the waves could shape up to be­ing bet­ter than mem­o­rable swells whipped up by Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston two years ago.

Larger pe­ri­ods be­tween waves are ex­pected to be pro­duced by TC Gita which means more pow­er­ful surf.

“The swell pe­ri­ods from TC Win­ston were about 12 to 14 sec­onds, whereas with this swell the pe­ri­ods look big­ger, about 15 to 16 se­cond,” Mr Macart­ney said.

“That usu­ally trans­lates to hol­lower surf on the Gold Coast which means round, square, wide open tubes.”

He said con­di­tions could be ideal a point­breaks off Burleigh, Cur­rumbin, Kirra and Snap­per Rocks at the week­end.

“It looks like the points will just be fir­ing.”

By the ex­pected peak of the swell on Sun­day he said the swell could be too dan­ger­ous even for ex­tremely fit surfers on the open beaches and out of the ques­tion for beach­go­ers.

“There should be plenty of beach ero­sion, it’s re­ally dan­ger­ous surf and not for beach­go­ers,” he said.

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