RAIN, WIND AND SURF

Full weather cov­er­age and what to ex­pect over the week­end

Daily Mercury - - FRONT PAGE - EMMA MUR­RAY emma.mur­[email protected]­ly­mer­cury.com.au

Af­ter a hot and dry Novem­ber, the rain started this week and Mackay has al­ready recorded more than 100mm in the past three days. Keen surfers took ad­van­tage of the change in weather and were in ac­tion at sev­eral Mackay beaches yes­ter­day in­clud­ing North Wall, Sarina and Lam­berts Beach. The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy has now is­sued a se­vere weather warn­ing.

WHILE the wild weather has kept most of us hid­ing in­doors, the cur­rent stormy con­di­tions are ex­actly what Ash Gall has been wait­ing for.

When the 18-year-old surfer saw the weather fore­cast this week he knew it was an op­por­tu­nity to start wax­ing his board in prepa­ra­tion for his lo­cal break at Sarina Beach.

“Storms are what make the surf here so I couldn’t wait to get out there,” he said.

“I love it so much, it’s an amaz­ing feel­ing out there on the wave.”

Af­ter keep­ing a close eye on the Wil­lyWeather app, Mr Gall started get­ting ex­cited when he saw size­able waves pre­dicted.

“If I see that there’s go­ing to be swell over about .7 of a me­tre, then I know I’m go­ing to get a surf,” he said.

“(On Thurs­day) there was some mas­sive waves up­wards of a me­tre.

“We have a bit of weather like this for the next week so I’ll be out there ev­ery­day.”

While he rel­ishes the chance to carve up the swell, Mr Gall said the waves at Sarina Beach are “mushy” and “hard to surf”. “There are no clean breaks like you see at Noosa and the Gold Coast, here there’s no struc­ture and it’s all over the place,” he said.

Mr Gall learned to read the ocean at the Sarina Beach Surf Life Sav­ing Club, where he’s been a mem­ber for 10 years. This ex­pe­ri­ence has given him con­fi­dence in the water and, de­spite only surf­ing in storm con­di­tions, he hasn’t come across any sit­u­a­tions ex­treme enough to de­ter him from get­ting on his board.

“Ex­cept dur­ing Cy­clone Deb­bie, that was in­sane,” he laughed.

Af­ter first try­ing the sport three years ago Mr Gall said he is hooked on the “art” of surf­ing and hopes a move to the Sun­shine Coast next year will take him one step closer to join­ing the pro­fes­sional cir­cuit.

Photo: Emma Mur­ray

SURF’S UP: A surfer en­joys the stormy con­di­tions at North Wall beach.

Photo: Emma Mur­ray

READY: Ash Gall, 18, took ad­van­tage of the stormy con­di­tions on Fri­day with a morn­ing surf in the swell at Sarina Beach.

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