Rising swell alert in the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic and Big Wave Paddle In

October 17, 2009 | Surfing

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.

The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is now in its fifth year. It operates on a three-month holding period, October 1 through December 31st, and unofficially marks the opening of the North Pacific big wave season. The contest has amazingly been held each year it has operated, boasting a better record than any big wave event in history.

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