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False prediction of unimaginable swell shows you cannot rely on technology

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 15, 2012

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The sun is shining, the water is warm, the crowds have disappeared and there are waves! Don't you just love September?

Although it has been a little onshore all week, there has been plenty of swell around and this weekend should see lighter winds promising a clean little wave at the main beaches in the South West.

There was a lot of excitement during the week, when surf forecast website magicseaweed.com predicted a 28-second period swell heading for the UK.

The longer the period of swell, the more time the waves have between each other to really clean up, but we are lucky if we get as much as a 12-second period swell hitting our shores, and usually, to get anything like a 20-second period, you have to go to places like Tahiti or Hawaii which are surrounded by much more ocean than we are. And so in the end, as many of expected, the forecast of this unimaginable swell was declared a mistake caused by a technical glitch in the website. Shame!

Any kind of clean swell will be most welcome next weekend when the Nike Night Surf returns to Fistral Beach, Newquay on September 21 and 22. The event is set to deliver two days of fierce competition under the bright lights as well as a chance for the public to experience floodlit surfing.

The surf competition is held throughout the day, but continues into the evening after dark thanks to giant floodlights which illuminate the contest area in the water. Surfers in six categories – Men's Open, Women's Open, Pro Junior, under-16 boys, under-16 girls and under-12 – will compete in a bid to win a share of the largest prize purse on the UK Pro Tour, with all divisions holding qualifying points for the GB Squad. Out of the water, spectators will be able to watch a premiere of Kai Neville's Dear Suburbia, featuring Kolohe Andino and Julian Wilson.

Also next weekend, one of the most interesting events in the alternative surfboard design calendar, the annual Fish Fry, returns to Crackington Haven in North Cornwall for its sixth year. The event is open to every surfer and shaper, and is a great chance to share knowledge, designs and interpretations of the "Fish" surfboard.

The Fish Fry started in California in 2006. The idea was to spread the design and to avoid it getting lost in time. For 30 years, the "Fish" design has fascinated surfers and artisans.

Until then, enjoy the sunshine, waves and quieter line-ups. This is just the beginning of the surfer's favourite season, so get some water time in to get yourself fit again! And remember, don't always believe what the surf forecast says – the best way to check the surf is by going to the beach.

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