Nelscott Reef Classic

The event status has been changed from Yellow to Green for the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In.  Organizers made the call tonight for the event to be held on Thursday October 22, 2009.

“After watching the swell forecast for the past couple of days, I am confident that we will have contestable conditions this Thursday”, said John Forse, event organizer.

Conditions look like they will be perfect on Thursday for the event.  Swell is forecast to be 17’ at 15 seconds, which could equate to some of the largest waves seen during a Nelscott event.  Combine the swell with offshore winds and you have an epic day lined up. 

The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is now in its fifth year.  This is the earliest in the holding period that the event has been called, with 3 out of 4 previous years being held in December, and one in January, after an extension of the holding period was granted. 

The early date will give organizers an extra 2 hours of daylight to work with as compared to previous years.  The extra time will be much appreciated, as it needs to accommodate more than just the Tow in contest.  For a second year in a row, there will be a paddle in exhibition, presented by Liquid Militia.  The Liquid Militia Paddle Exhibition is a single heat, winner takes all, opportunity for the locals to earn a spot in the 2010 Tow In Classic.

In addition to the Liquid Militia Paddle In Exhibition, contest organizers are introducing a Kingfish Title, to be given to the best all around big wave rider.  The individuals with the top scores from the tow in heats will be given an opportunity to paddle in a single heat prior to the finals.  The top scores from this paddle in heat will be combined with those from the tow in heat to determine the winner.

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Tiago Pires and Mick Fanning

After assessing conditions throughout the morning, event organizers have opted to call a lay day for the Rip Curl Pro Search with only inconsistent two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf on offer at Supertubos.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search has yet to decide whether to run the traditional or new competition format, and will gauge conditions on offer before making a decision.

“We’ve watched conditions most of the morning and it’s not at the level we want it to be to call it on,” Damien Hardman, Rip Curl Pro Search Contest Director, said. “We’re expecting plenty of swell this week and don’t want to send the guys out in less-than-ideal conditions. We’ll be back tomorrow morning at 8am for a possible 8:30am start.

Surfline, official foreers for the 2009 Rip Curl Pro Search, are calling for the shoulder-high surf to dissipate throughout the day before a major Northwest swell s filling in tomorrow afternoon and into Wednesday and Thursday.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8am for a possible 8:30am start.

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Nelscott Reef

The event status has been changed from Red to Yellow for the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In.  This marks the first status change during the current holding period.  The status change is brought on by a large swell forecast to develop off the coast of Oregon and Washington early next week.

“It is way early, but we are definitely watching this storm”, said John Forse, event organizer.  “Things can change quickly with such a long range forecast, but so far it looks like it has potential.  The swell looks good, but the winds are a little iffy right now, but we will watch it hope for the best”.

It is that potential that has everyone’s eyes on the North Pacific.  The current predictions are calling for swell size of 18-20’ at 15-16 second duration.  The winds are iffy at this point and it is too early to call, but that can change at any moment.  A combination of large swell and no wind, or offshore winds, are what produce the best waves for the competition.

Organizers operate on a traffic light system.  Red means there is no swell forecast in the near future.  Yellow means that there is a forecast swell that looks contestable and organizers are monitoring.  Green means the contest has been called, and everyone has 48 hours to get to Oregon. 

If the swell pattern and wind forecast continue to hold, organizers would look to make the call by Monday, as to whether or not to hold the event on Wednesday October 21.  They will update their web page with the latest information (  They can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

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