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March 08, 2018
Cyclone GITA whips up surf on the Gold Coast – Kirra and Snapper Rocks Photography
Well, it was deemed to be the swell of the decade and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen Kirra break like this for about 8 years, maybe even more.
Tropical cyclone Gita was formed in the South Pacific Ocean wreaking havoc across Tonga which brought widespread damage to the Kingdom and generated damaging winds for Fiji and Samoa before heading further West close to Australia and then SSE towards New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Australia was blessed with amazing surf conditions and hazardous waves which generated a considerable amount of swell across most of the Eastern Seaboard and in particular QLD and Northern NSW.
With the swell forecast ranging between 4-6ft at 14seconds on Saturday and increasing to 6-8ft+ on Sunday afternoon mixed with light SSW winds early, it’s no wonder many of the local Surfers and photographers were pumped! Although, when it get’s this size the crowd tends to thin out as the notorious sweep from Snapper Rocks to Kirra makes it difficult to get that epic wave you will talk about for years!
Further north on Sunday there were 53 surf lifesaving rescues on the Sunshine Coast, most of which were swimmers and the odd surfer. The biggest rescue took place at Jumpinpin Bar where a jetski rider lost control of his ski and was lucky to have the Westpac Chopper come to his aid and winch him to safety.
All of this showcasing just how powerful Cyclone Gita is!
By Monday I was fortunate enough to head down to Kirra where there was no lack of photographers and news crews documenting some of the most beautiful waves we have seen all summer. Waking early, I was one of the first photographers on Kirra Hill, waiting for the sun to rise. It soon became packed with over 30 photographers on Kirra Hill clicking away and photographing beautiful swell lines hitting Greenmount and Kirra.
I then decided to head down to Kirra groyne where there were an additional 40+ photographers lurking about enjoying the surf and the wipe-outs. I wonder how many gigabytes of photos were filled over the entire swell event?