SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 6, 2009 – After spending yesterday on hold, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star PRIME O'Neill Cold Water Classic California is back in the water today. Conditions have improved considerably and forecaster Mark Sponsler from stormsurf.com is predicting increasing swell with solid contestable conditions throughout the remainder of the contest window this Sunday, Nov. 8.
Finishing the final heats of the Round of 96 of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic this morning, followed by the Quarterfinals of the Oakley Pro Junior and then up to eight heats of the Round of 48 of the main event. All heats will be 25 minutes.
Forecast Overview: A strong local storm has been tracking through the Northern Gulf of Alaska starting Wednesday (11/4) generating 50 kts winds and peak seas confirmed in the 40 ft range and expected to bump up to 42 ft this Friday AM. And even as this system starts to wind down, still up to 2000 nmiles of 35 kt fetch is to be aimed right at Central CA. Swell from this system has already hit the outer buoy at 5 PM Thursday with seas at 25-29 ft @ 17 secs and pure swell 21-24 ft @ 16.8 secs and holding dead solid through 8 AM Friday. This is exactly on-track with our expectations and should result in solid swell for the remainder of the contest window. There is a bit of an issue though with the swell direction. This system took a rather northerly track through the Gulf, resulting in most swell energy pushing down no further south than the 304 degree great circle path, with most energy up at 310-315 degrees. This rather extreme northern angle will limit the amount of energy available to the Lane, which in the long run maybe isn’t such a bad thing. If it were real west, the swell would be so large that a reasonable contest would not be possible. So the short story is, solid longer period swell is on the way for the remainder of the event.
On Friday (11/6) preliminary swell from the Gulf of 7.0 ft @ 12 secs is expected from 298-302 degrees resulting in waves at the Lane in the head high to 1 ft overhead range on the sets. Southeast winds at 3-5 kts expected early adding a light texture then turning calm to light west 3 kts in the afternoon with glassy conditions setting up. A 3.5 ft tide is expected at sunrise pushing up to 5.5 ft at 1 PM, helping to push in the sets early, then swamping things at high tide, then but dropping hard to 0.0 ft late. with some improvement then.
On Saturday (11/7) things to get quite interesting with the arrival of the new Gulf swell. At the buoy swell of 12-14 ft @ 17 secs is expected with seas 17 ft @ 17 secs. But much less swell will make the wrap into the Lane with surf 4-6 ft overhead on the sets with maybe a few larger ones sneaking in. Wind to be light north at 5 kts early and holding till about 10 AM with glassy conditions though a distinct lump will be running through the swell. Then winds to start coming up from the northwest at 12-15 kts in the afternoon and sideshore modest chop expected outside of the point. Again a 3.5 ft tide early to actually favor the more sizeable swell coming up to 5.5 ft at 1 PM, swamping it a little but not nearly as bad as previous days, then dropping after that to 1.5 ft near sunset.
On Sunday (11/8) still solid swell from the Gulf gale is expected at 9-10 ft @ 15-16 secs early and seas to 13 ft @ 15 secs. This should result in surf of double overhead and maybe a few bigger ones with the lesser period allowing for a more effective wrap into the Lane. Winds again north at 5 kts early with a lurp running through the swell due to being generated relatively locally. Wind turning northwest near noon but not as strong as the day before, at only 10-12 kts or so adding a bit of texture and maybe light chop outside the point. Same basic tide set-up is expected with a 3.5 ft tide at sunrise slowly working up to a 5.1 ft high at 2 PM, then fading from there.
For all of the LIVE action log on to www.oneill.com/cwc/california. For additional Oakley Pro Junior action check out www.oakleyprojunior.com.