Newcastle was battered by cyclonic winds over night and after competition went on hold Friday afternoon due to Merewether beach being unsurfable, people were talking, where would they run with two days left with no sign of the swell dying? Well where else but the Newcastle boat harbour of course!
The Newcastle Boat Harbour, a rare chocolate delicacy. Photo: ASP / Will H-S
This novelty wave breaks only a couple times a year. As herds of people made their way out onto the headland, mutters of disappointment from local body boarders could be heard, but shortly after, the same faces were seen watching in joy. It wasn't pretty down on that headland, a consistent howling south easterly mixed with rain and sand blasted spectators perpetually. But they were rewarded, and the competitors too.
Number one seed and reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson survived a tight heat by advancing in second place behind an impressive Marc Lacomare from France who won the heat with powerful surfing. "I like the waves here" said Lacomare. "It's good for tube-rides and then there's big sections of the wave which allow powerful turns and that suits my style.
Don't get us wrong though, Parko didn't surf bad, scoring a 9.67 (two judges scored it a 10.) for sneaking into two barrels on one wave but sadly couldn't manage to find a solid back up. He also had something to say about the weather, "This is some of the worst weather I've experienced at a surf event but great waves brought the spectators here and I'm stoked to be in the event on the final day " "Two seconds in the last couple of heats is ok - I've advanced and that's what counts at this stage - Hopefully I can save my winning form for the final heat tomorrow."
Final heat of the day saw the biggest upset of the event so far when second seed Adriano De Souza of Brazil was eliminated by Australian pair Jay Thompson and Nick Squires who both charged the barrels to advance to tomorrow's final day.
The swell is due a tiny bit tomorrow and but as the event organisers have shown today, they are dedicated to running the event in the best conditions possible. A call will be made at 7.30am and you can find out everything else on the event site here: http://surfest.prosurfinglive.com/index.php