Bat­ten down the hatches, as we are due for a mas­sive blow on Wed­nes­day

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

makes land­fall it deep­ens to 975mb, and when we are be­ing ham­mered by enor­mous 50ft storm seas and 45 knot gales on Wed­nes­day, the eye sits just south of Agul­has with a read­ing of 972mb.

The storm then grinds up the coast and a huge SW gale blasts across the south­ern ex­trem­ity of Africa, with gi­ant surf off­shore.

The dou­ble- edged sword is that the dam catch­ment ar­eas get heavy rain from early Wed­nes­day to Thurs­day, but it comes with mis­ery, flood­ing and a lot of dam­age.

Un­like all the weak rain episodes we have had this year, this looks like a sus­tained pe­riod of proper rain last­ing be­tween 24 and 36 hours.

Des­per­ate times call for des­per­ate mea­sures. A boat and its pas­sen­gers had a nar­row es­cape off Dun­geons on Tues­day. Surf pho­tog­ra­pher Grant Scholtz was skip­per­ing a ski boat with for­mer press pho­tog­ra­phers Bren­ton Geach and Nic Bothma. While they were shoot­ing a fairly slow surf­ing day at the big wave break, a wide-swing­ing set wave sud­denly reared in front of them. Scholtz gunned the mo­tor for a quick exit, only the wave had al­ready started to break. They pow­ered up the face, and punched un­der the lip through a wall of green wa­ter, pop­ping out the back like a surfer on a duck-dive. Apart from a se­vere drench­ing, and some bruises, ev­ery­one emerged mostly un­hurt, although a R30 000 lens was lost over­board, and Geach thinks he may have lost R75 000 in cam­era gear due to wa­ter dam­age. The World Surf League made his­tory this week­end when it de­layed the women’s fi­nals at the Outer­known Fiji Women’s Pro to the start of the men’s event to­mor­row. The women’s swell win­dow ran out be­fore they got a chance to fin­ish the event. Fi­nal­ists Ta­tiana We­ston-Webb and Court­ney Con­logue, both known for charg­ing in heavy surf, will com­pete in what is pro­jected to be solid, 6-foot Cloud­break be­fore the men’s event gets un­der­way. Big wave surfer Josh Red­man (Dur­ban) and ju­niors Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kom­metjie) and Cal- vin Goor (Salt Rock) have been given wild­cards into the Vans Surf Pro Clas­sic in Lam­berts Bay this week­end. The World Surf League (WSL) Qual­i­fy­ing Se­ries event has 1 000 points on of­fer for men’s and women’s di­vi­sions. Two wild­cards for the women’s event have been al­lo­cated to for­mer South African cham­pion Stacey Guy (Melk­bosstrand) and Crys­tal Hulett (St Fran­cis Bay), cur­rently the sec­ond high­est rated South African woman. To­day we get the first proper lit­tle burst of win­ter as a strong NW blows in a weak 3-4’ swell that grows to 6 foot or more, with some heavy frontal show­ers this evening and overnight be­fore the weather and wind sub­sides rapidly to­mor­row. Muizen­berg looks small 1’ and blown flat by a stiff off­shore but later starts jack­ing to 2’ if not 3’. To­mor­row, the front has passed and you can ex­pect a resid­ual bumpy mod­er­ate on­shore SW breeze and a very west 4-6’ swell run­ning, end­ing light SW. Muizen­berg looks 1-2’ at most but clean in light winds.

ROUGH STUFF: Court­ney Con­logue of the USA won Heat 1 of Round One of the Outer­known Fiji Women’s Pro at Cloud­break.

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