Massive Swells As '50 Year Storm' Smashes Rip Curl Pro At Bells Beach
So the famous prediction was right, after all.
In the original (1991) version of the surf/action movie 'Point Break', Patrick Swayze's character warns of a one-in-50-year storm set to strike Bells Beach in Victoria, which will deliver "the biggest surf the planet has ever seen".
Competitors at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach are not surfing the world's biggest surf this Friday. But Kelly Slater and the gang are definitely negotiating some monster swells -- courtesy of a huge low pressure system which has whipped the Southern Ocean into a frenzy.
The official Bureau of Meteorology forecast is for a swell of five-to-seven metres on Victoria's Surf Coast. But as the World Surf League tweeted, much bigger waves have been recorded in this system already.
"Super difficult conditions," 47-year-old Slater said after exiting the water having won through to yet another quarter final.
Yep, it was big out there. And scarily, it's going to get bigger before it drops off slightly later this weekend.
This event started a week ago with multiple delays due to tiny swells. This image was taken last week when the ocean was more like a pond.
But everyone could see the weather charts, and they all knew something was brewing.
This was the satellite view on Friday as the storm arrived. The mass of speckled cloud is a sign of a huge field of cold air which has surged northwards with a cold front, straight towards Bells.
So in addition to the huge waves, it's now super cold across Victoria. The multi-layered clothes worn by fans on the beach are a bit of a giveaway.
But the action sure is hot, even if Aussie Owen Wright got a faceful of Southern Ocean spray on this ride.
You can keep up with all the live action here.