Published on March 9th, 2012 | by Peter Ekström1
Tropical Cyclone ‘IRINA’ – 68.8km/h on a Double Surfski – The Mound – Durban
This story and the video comes from Barry Lewin’s fantastic website
The Story! (written by Barry Lewin)
Its 630am and the 10min drive from home to the beach feels like it’s taking about an hour. The blood rushing through the veins and the smell of sea air are so evident with heightened sense. It is going to be one of those days where you are going to have to take life by the horns.
For days the media had been hyping up the news Tropical Cyclone IRINA was rolling through Durban and would be bringing some BIG swell with it. All the tow in surfing dudes were out the day before practicing in anticipation on what was being named the 20 year storm.
Arriving at Marine in the rain the cyclone had hit with force downing the streets of the city with enough water to stop traffic in only 2 hours. The sea was to be expected, big swell rolling into the Durban bay in lines to the horizon. I had baited my dad, Mark who first took me out onto the mound some 15 plus years ago that it was my turn to show him the mound.
With the rain and hectic weather the conditions were less than ideal. I have surfed this wave on my surfski about 5 or 6 times over the last couple year on the rare occasions it does break in much cleaner conditions with bigger waves but the excitement of doing this my pops was really cool.
We hit the water at about 9 after helping the Marine Boat crew who also planned on heading out there. Getting out was interesting with some big surf. With some patience we got out ok next to limestone to where the edge of the mounds starts.
The wind and rain made visibility really bad and picking the right waves were super difficult. After one or two misses we picked up a beauty that had a really clean wall and ran all the way to backline. The spay off the water was blinding at times but the speed of such a large ocean swell was amazing.
We managed to get up to 68.8km/h measured on my Garmin Forerunner 310xt. This is like double my previous personal best max speed and twice as fun too. Garmin Connect Data from the paddle showing the high speed and max speed: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/155120476
We must have got 7-8 waves before we headed in when the rain got to hectic. I managed to get some great footage on my Hero 2 by GoPro and put together a great clip of the high speed run and one where we got a little closer to where the wave was breaking. Check out the clip put together from the footage.
The weather never really gave up the whole day but got a gap when the rain calmed down to just rain and not a flood for a second session out there. A good friend, Dwayne Powell was brave enough to climb in the back. The conditions were greatly improved and we go some awesome rides with not as much spay. Not as fast as the morning session with a higher tide. Garmin Connect data from the session: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/155120484 .