I was watching the forecast for Wednesday for almost a week. It never changed. Windy as hell all day long! High tide was right in the middle of the day, which means outgoing tide for the better part of the afternoon. My hopes were very high for the big winds, huge ramps, and great waves at West Meadow. My wife works as a nurse overnight, so I was letting her sleep in. Every gust that howled through the trees out the back window of our house was killing me. Forget about how much the constant stream of phone calls were. "Where are you?", "Don't you know it's windy?" Then the worst call came in from Rob Biaggi around 1:00pm, "I just got out of the water overpowered on my 4.2. The waves are HUGE! There are about 20 guys at the beach right now." All right already, I'll get there as soon as I can guys!!
As soon as I heard Chrissy crack the bedroom door, I was already on the road. 15 of the longest minutes I've ever experienced later I pulled into the parking lot at West Meadow. There's no freakin parking!!!!! After 2 circles through the parking lot and a good peak of the conditions I deemed the spot next to Pete doable. The first time around I didn't think I could squeeze in with my Expedition with trailer in tow since he was taking up 1/3 of what would be my spot as well. Brewster was parked on the other side of me. I slowly pulled in being careful not to scrape my mirror on Pete's van and Brewster's sexy little Audi. (Sorry Brew for only leaving you about 3 inches to open your door)
A quick walk down to the beach and it was obvious what sail I would be rigging. 3.7 all the way! I heard multiple stories of people getting denied in the dead onshore wind with constant shorebreak. It wasn't that the break was incredibly huge, it was that you can't touch bottom (at least I can't touch bottom) unless I'm in the impact zone. That means you've got to wait for the perfect opportunity, then run your gear past that next wave and give it an extra push past the breakers to water I can't stand in. Then get your ass in gear because there's only about a 3 or 4 second duration between waves. I ended up getting the board knocked out from under me, but quickly waterstarted up and I was off. I was powered up to say the least. I really wanted to go back in and give it some more outhaul, but more than I wanted less wind in the sail, I wanted to not have to go in through that shorebreak.
After a run to get my harness lines set on my brand new 2010 Northsails Ice, I was good to go for some big airs. I hadn't jumped that high since that 3.7 Easterly we had at Heckscher a while back. The waves were incredible! A little overhead in the NE corner and I was really able to work the waves. West meadow doesn't get you're typical North shore roller style wave. these things actually stand straight up and break. That was sooooo much fun. George Marr was ripping it up as usual even though he was overpowered on his 4.2. (Hey Jill, get George a 3.7 for x-mas) George Pav was getting some huge airs and ripping up the waves way better than anyone else I saw. Nice George! I can tell you've been training at Ponquogue. I saw Pete hit the jump of the day when I was walking my board down to the water. He went all out off the 8 footer that jacked up right in front of him. He went up 15 feet easy. I had one forward that I can still picture dong in my head. I went way up, tilted the sail forward , looked down at the guys headcap that sailed past the other way, then sheeted in to go and bam. Stomped it! Big forwards are big fun!
Here are some shots from later in the day after the tide and waves went down. Thanks to Bill Doutney for the great shots!