Heli-Surf and El Viejo

This Saturday was the Redbull Heli-Surf Race, which was previously postponed due to bad weather. Which is funny because it was pretty bad weather for it yesterday as well!

The idea of the heli-surf was the first person to paddle to a buoy out to sea on a surf board would be winched up into a helicopter where they were supposed to go surfing with Mick Fanning (but he didn’t come because the surf was too good in Bali at the time) and Ross Clarke-Jones a big wave surfer.

Nice Right at Manly

Marcus and me went down there to watch the event in the pouring rain. It was quite action packed with all the surfers lined up to start the race and four helicopters whizzing about over our heads –

The race line up

The maximum board size was 6’6″ so there was no 12ft mals out there getting an unfair advantage. Here’s a guy getting a nice wave at the same time as the paddlers are racing towards the second bouy –


Here are the red bull helicopters winching the winners off to a secret surf location for a surf and also to get some custom boards made for them, not a bad win!

Winched Away

You may have noticed that the weather was not looking too glorious in these pictures – and it is the middle of February which is typically a very hot month. Last year there was 4.4 millimetres of rain this month, so far this year there has been 172.4 millimetres! As many people always try to do, something must be to blame for this, and here is the graph to prove it –

Sea Surf Temperature Averages off of 1971-2000 base period weekly means

From Wikipedia “During a period of La Niña, the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean will be lower than normal by 0.5 °C. “

So we are definetly in a ‘La Nina’ season which means lots of rain for East coast Australia, with predictions that we won’t come out of it for at least another two months. Good news for the dams at least.