Let's continue with Jaws with a wipeout shot that makes me think how bad of a beating these guys can take. Photo from Jimmie Hepp from this gallery.
Talking about beatings, "near death experience" might be slightly exaggerated, but for sure this was a scared to death experience (it gets worse as it goes).
Two days ago a guy at Hi-Tech inquired about renting a softop for a friend who wanted to ride Jaws on it. I told him we wouldn't rent him the board for such a thing and recommended him to get a wave storm at Costco instead. This must be his friend and I believe I did the right thing.
In between sessions and before work, I found the time to go to Honolua and take some shots of the Legends of the Bay contest. I only stuck around for an hour (the sun was ferocious) and these photos are from round two.
Coming out of the barrel with style.
Beautiful bottom turn from this surfer (looks like Granger, but I'm not sure) on a wave that stayed very open.
Here's the next bottom turn on the same wave.
Matty Schweitzer on a sizey one. I had a quick chat with his brother Zane who updated me on Dusty Paine's conditions. They had to put him to sleep for a couple of days to let the "inflammation of the brain" subside. Now he's awake, walking and talking. He's gonna have surgery as he fractured his skull in the back and in the front. A very serious accident, but with a good prospective of full recovery. Best wishes to him.
Here's the best wave I saw. Imai DeVault took off way behind the peak on the this one. He was in third with a few minutes left in the heat, so he had to go. To me it seemed impossible from the very start.
He set his rail immediately and perfectly and got under the peak with speed.
So I kept shooting the sequence, but 12 shots later I gave up thinking he was down.
Instead not only he came out, but he also threw a beautiful round house cut back (which the camera failed to focus, I started the return process) and flew like an eagle into the final closeout barrel. An obvious 10.
In the next heat, it was Tanner Hendrickson's turn to get a big barrel.
Here's the exit.
Both Imai's and Tanner's waves were correctly judged as 10's. But Imai's wave was way more difficult. Which made me think about an idea for a minor change in the WSL judging rules, the introduction of the "conditional unlimited point ride". The normal scale would still be set to 0 to 10, and 99.9% of the times, that would be all that is necessary. But the judges would be allowed to possibly use a higher score if someone has already scored a 10, and in the same heat someone rides an even better wave. The whole scale would reset to normal in the next heat.
In this way, if they were in the same heat and Tanner scored his 10 first, Imai's score could go up higher to maintain the overall fairness. 11.7 in this case, if you ask me.
5am significant buoy readings
No indication of southerly energy at the buoys, the Surfline forecast calls for 1.3f 14s. While the Lahaina area had waist to occasional shoulder high sets of the wrap of big NW swell coming down the coast all the way from Honolua, I believe that 14s energy is what was in the water at Thousand Peaks where I stopped by to catch three knee high waves on the way to work. On one of them, I was hanging five and glided right over a turtle. Considering how rare my successful nose rides are, that might easily never happen again. It was pretty magic.
The giant swell is trending down, as the graph of the three reported buoys shows below. Today the waves are going to be smaller than yesterday, but 7f 17s is still a big couple of numbers. Hookipa still too big (at least for me!), Kahului's breaks will be the call, even though the wind is unfortunately blowing 8mph at 6am.
Wind map at noon shows light trades.
North Pacific shows a not too impressive NW fetch.
South Pacific temporarily waking up from lethargy and showing a couple of fetches.
Morning sky and the sunshine continues.