March 29, 2006
ONLY the most intrepid surfers were in the water yesterday as huge waves pounded beaches around Sydney.
Waves reached heights of up to eight metres, according to weather experts - or a mere four metres, according to the less-macho reckoning of surfers.
Several beaches were closed, including Bronte, Maroubra, Newport and Palm Beach, while Bondi lifeguards stopped swimmers from going beyond shallow water. Water police and rescue helicopters were called to Manly about 6.30pm after two men on surf skis were hit by a giant wave.
One of the men washed onto Shelly Beach, south of Manly.
Water police found the other surfer about an hour later a kilometre off Queenscliff to the north.
Former pro-surfer Matt Grainger, who owns Manly Surf School, spent the day surfing off Long Reef and Queenscliff, but warned that only advanced surfers should brave the treacherous conditions. At Bronte, even the baths were closed as huge waves lashed the southern end of the beach.
High winds from the weather system formerly known as Tropical Cyclone Wati started the huge swell 1000 kilometres offshore in the Tasman Sea.
VIEW THE MONSTER WAVE PHOTO GALLERY
Wednesday, March 29, 2006 Skywatch Media