Now here's an eclectic cast. A crew of chargers headed out on a strike mission, somewhere in Australia, to swing under this thick-lipped monster. This session had been on the radar for some time – but kept incredibly low key by those with the stomach for it.
But perhaps the stand out from this session was former CT competitor Laura Enever. We all know Laura's made the jump in to heavier water, adding some gnarly names to her big wave repertoire. Here, she hooks, holds rail and breezes like a silk wind in summer before getting clamped coming down the face. That was wave one, and Miss Enever was back at the end of the rope whipping into just about anything that presented itself.
Also in the mix was Ollie Dousset. As lensman Luke Surplice (aka Glass House Photography) attests: “This bloke blew me away. He hit me up on IG asking if I had any pictures of him. I looked on his page to see that he was an amputee and just living life to the fullest. I thought to myself 'Damn, I'm fairly sure I don't have any pics of this guy but I really hope I do'.
“Sure enough I found a few, and I'm so in awe of what he's capable of. He's got such an incredible attitude, and he actually made a comment to me that he was so stoked about Friday's session that "it's made him want to start surfing again". What a weapon and an inspiring guy.”
Of the session in general though, Luke says: “There'd been talk for a few days that this place was going to light-up given the favourable forecast, and when it's on you know you're going to be in for quite a show.
“We dropped the skis in at first light. Even though the air temp was chilly, the ocean temps have been excellent lately for this time of year.
“This area has bred some big names in surfing so it's no surprise all the locals down here absolutely rip and they have this place dialled. Seeing Russ pull into a perfect hollow one early really set the tone of the morning.”
And of Laura's pitch'n'swing? “Things seemed to step up a notch when Laura jumped off her ski and took hold of the tow-rope for a little trip out the back. It wasn't long before she was being whipped into monsters and showing no fear.
She must have got crunched, but she was back out there ready to go again to cheers of the crowd
“The first one was so big and wide that it closed-out over her head whilst she was still coming down the face. She must have got crunched, but she was back out there ready to go again to cheers of the crowd. Each time she'd let go of the top and pull in, everyone in the line-up and in the channel was going mental.
“It was so incredible to watch and I think everyone that was there to witness it, their respect for her just went through the roof if it wasn't soaring already.”
And, who else was in the mix? “A few of the guys from Cronulla were on fire also with Kirk Flintoff, Kipp Caddy and 15-year-old Harry Fisher was absolutely charging. Anywhere these gents go they just make it look so easy.
“Regardless of the conditions and the quality of the surfing going down, I have to say the atmosphere in the water was epic. Everyone was proper frothing and urging everyone on, and super stoked when someone caught an awesome one. It's days like these that you remember for a very long time.”