Big Wednesday in the Bay

BIG WEDNESDAY IN THE BAY 2/4/08

The forecast was for gale force NW winds up to 120km/h. By lunch time the text messages were going thick and fast 3-5ft at Mornington and 6 boats on the beach. The power went off so I decided I try and get a few shots. All the way over there were branches coming down, the road luckily had nothing that actually blocked it completely. By 3.30 it was almost impossible to get a car park, the crowd was huge anywhere between 3 and 5 thousand every vantage point was taken and when I finally saw nature at it’s most violent it was amazing.

The wind had been blowing at 40-60 knots from the NW for over 6 hours, massive wind swells were smashing into the wharf and absolutely trashing the outside boats, by the time the swells reached the inside they were proper 3-5ft swells which were creating carnage amongst the boats that were moored in the normally protected areas of the harbor. There were 20 surfers in this area and by 5pm there would have been 40, the wind had swung to the SW and the swell was dropping.

When I got there the boat count was 12 and as boat after boat either dragged their moorings towards the beach or broke catching waves side ways and then darting diagonally along the white water, when I left the number would have been up to 20.

Two of the Peninsula’s hardcore sail boarders John Jacobs and Scott Gibbons went out at Saftey Beach, John said it was pretty windy with almost mast high peaks. He said it was challenging but they survived. You can see from the pictures how it settled down once the wind changed.

I met Tony Reid who had moved his boat from an outside mooring to Mt Martha Cove 3 days earlier, just lucky or what? Both his sons Joel and Tom were out surfing along with Lachy, Alex and lots of our other sponsored crew. I had my board but I decided it would be better at Pines the next day and it was 3-5ft breaking from way inside and less guys out. Later I decided I should have done both, sometimes it’s just the challenge of catching a wave in a difficult spot that makes it exciting.

UPDATE: We received this story from Ryan Trickey after he saw the above article.

During last weeks (big wends) as it’s been called on your site; I snapped my nearly new board on a mooring chain attached to one of the Yachts in Mornington Harbor. It was pretty exciting having 3-5ft waves (some breaking clean) breaking in the bay, myself and some friends were some of the first ones out at the Mornington Yacht Club (where 3 boats sank and another 12 broke/pulled moorings were washed ashore) and were getting some great waves in front of at least 1000 people who had come down to see the action. In between the cabin doors, tooth brushes, plastic wine glasses I got a great left hander and thought I would do a turn right next to one of the Yachts the had been washed towards shore for all those watching; mistake.. after dismounting from the wave and jumping back on my board the swell I was on hit that Yacht. The mooring chain, which was submerged and couldn’t see while I was on the wave snapped tight as the Yacht went over the swell. It came up from under me and snapped my board, threw me 2 meters in the air and gave me 2 very bruised ribs! I didn’t know what had happened, is it a reef, whale, sunken boat I am in the Port Phillip Bay…WTF!!

Not bad for a surf in the bay at Mornington. I think I will steer away from the next 25ft Yacht I see, no more shows for the crowd.

Ryan Trickey