The world’s best surfers arrived in Japan today to the forecast of a typhoon swell for the Quiksilver Pro, the sixth event on the ASP World Championship Tour.
Overnight, extreme winds from Typhoon Chaba hit the Quiksilver Pro contest site at Hebara Beach, Chiba, which is one and a half hour’s drive north-east of Tokyo.
While Hebara was not in the direct line of the huge ocean swell generated by the typhoon, another typoon is currently brewing off Guam, and it is aimed straight towards the Quiksilver Pro.
“This new typhoon is called Songda and the swell forecasts show a direct bull’s eye hit here at Hebara this Friday and into the weekend,” Quiksilver Pro contest director Rod Brooks said.
“It could be a case of batten down the hatches and look for a big wave location. Already some of the surfers arriving today are concerned that they don’t have big enough equipment.”
Brooks said the contest location at Hebara was fortunate to have three big wave locations nearby. “One is called Malibu, after its more famous Californian cousin,” he said. “The head judge, Perry Hatchett, and local organizers are checking these spots this afternoon in case we have to move.”
Brooks said the Quiksilver Pro will be the 27th WCT (World Championship Tour) event held in Japan, but this was the first time an event had been scheduled during the typhoon season.
“There have already been 13 or 14 typhoons so far this year, which is a record in Japan,” he said.
Typhoon Chaba is heading north in the Sea of Japan and with winds easing at Hebara today, there is a chance to start the Quiksilver Pro tomorrow morning (Wednesday September 1). The swell at Hebara today was a windblown 1.2 metres (four foot), however winds are due to ease further overnight and turn offshore, cleaning up the wave faces.
Brooks will make a call at 7am tomorrow whether to start the event. The Quiksilver Pro in Japan has a waiting period from September 1-8 and will be held in the best conditions on offer.
The contest is critical to this year’s ASP world title race as a stack of top surfers tries to close the ratings gap established by current world champion Andy Irons.
You can follow the event live on www.quiksilver.com