December 1st, 2011
The first day of December dawned to the sight of this winter’s largest NW swell—but unfortunately, a stiff North wind is tattering the ocean, rendering just about every wave, except Sunset Beach, marginally surfable.
Way out in the shifting, unpredictable peaks at Sunset, the waves are far from tame. In fact, it’s about as scary as the place gets—with rogue west peaks and closeout sets steamrolling through the lineup, and at times, the channel as well; sending the O’Neill World Cup competitors, board caddies, and jet-ski’s scratching for the horizon every 10 minutes.
Watching from the safety of the beach, I felt for everyone that entered the lineup. Twice I’ve caddied for Gabe Kling in conditions like these, and both times it was a humbling experience. The first year, in 2007, Gabe broke his leash bailing under a 10-foot closeout (which sent me on a hectic swim to the beach after giving him his backup) and the second time—two years later in 2009, the event was cancelled following Gabe’s heat when Sunset maxed out to the point that even seasoned Sunset vets like Sunny Garcia struggled to get safely to shore in the horrendous, out-of-control surf. After both bouts resulted in a loss for Gabe, I forever surrendered my role as a caddy.
In the 9th heat of the round of 64, Dane Gudauskas battled a series of 10-foot closeout sets and managed to scrap together two scoring rides and take the win—and upon returning to the house (where a crew of us were watching) we unveiled to Dane the brand new February 2012 issue of TransWorld Surf, with an image of him screaming through a drainer in Portugal on the coveted front cover.
“I’m baffled! That’s so f—king sick!” said an extra frothy Dane, when he first laid eyes on the cover. “That was right next to the contest [Rip Curl Pro Portugal], and it was a magical day. It’s funny, this guy paddled out on a boogieboard and it looked like his first day in the ocean. I was paddling for this wave and it was kind of ledgey—and the boogie guy took off in the lip and went fully over me as I pulled into this barrel. I’m speechless! We stayed in Portugal for two swells after this one and it was never that good again—so stoked to get that wave”
On that note, we’ll be back with more tomorrow. Hopefully, the wind and weather settles down a tad. Until then, here’s a few photos from yesterday evenings surf at Rocky Point, when the conditions were actually manageable.
Above: Photos from day 3 of the Vans World Cup Of Surfing
TAGS: ASP World Tour, Billabong Pipeline Masters, Brett Barley, Gabe Kling, hawaii, New Era, North Shore, North Shore Blog, North Shore Daily, O'Neill World Cup of Surfing, oahu, Pipe Masters, Pipeline, Reef McIntosh, Rocky Point, Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing