Everyone along the North Atlantic coastline had been keeping an eye on Hurricane Lorenzo over the past few days, weeks, it's all rolled into one. The former category 5 storm ripped through the ocean, generating swell for both sides of the pond, from Nova Scotia to the western tips of Europe and beyond.
Lorenzo also broke records as it moved towards the UK and Ireland, making it the easternmost Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane on record. Lorenzo took a somewhat unusual track, heading towards the US before tracking back on a north easterly path, skirting past Ireland.
There's more on the way for the UK. See here.
On Wednesday, Lorenzo was just north of Flores Island in the western Azores, which caused some extreme conditions on Flores and Corvo, with wave heights exceeding 49ft (15 metres). Lorenzo was Category 2 by the time it shot into the Azores, but was strong enough to wash away a pier as it pounded the Portuguese islands.
Meanwhile, slab hunter and barrel afficiando Nic Von Rupp was on the hunt for wherever Lorenzo was due to show its head in Portugal. Nic ended up surfing the inside of Nazare, which can still produce a hell of a lot of grunt, as evidenced in the cover shot of this article.
"It was a rare swell for here," Nic told MSW. "Nazare isn't great in a west swell, it can be a little small." Well, for the mere mortals, that bomb looks thick-lipped and heavy, set under the gaze of Nazare's iconic fort.
By the time swell from Lorenzo reached the UK on Friday, it had wound down considerably but still strong enough to produce one of the biggest charts of the season so far. It set off some of the more remote spots in Cornwall, with east facing beaches privy to a strong offshore breeze and swell filling in to those otherwise semi-dormant locales.
Somewhere in Ireland, Grace Doyle was on the search. "Friday was due to be a good day for surfers in Tramore, with Storm Lorenzo passing by Ireland, due to bring a large south west swell with strong north westerly winds," she tells MSW. "This is a rare occurrence down here.”
"Tramore, was due to be far too big, but luckily we have some sheltered spots that can handle the north westerlies, some more known than others. We had our eyes on a more favourited spot closer to home for an evening session, with the winds due to switch more westerly and become a little lighter, it was sure to light up – and Lorenzo delivered.
“It was light cross/offshore, glassy, punchy, fun waves, and even a few hollow ones too. There were some solid 3-4ft sets with some smaller fun 2-3ft fun walls in between. A few memorable barrels were had by some. There were plenty of happy heads going home for the weekend after that session. Cheers Lorenzo!"
MSW forecaster Tony Butt said: “Lorenzo became an extra-tropical cyclone as it approached Ireland on Thursday, but it continued to be a very powerful system.
“As it shifted northeast it quickly encountered colder waters, along with increased wind shear in the atmosphere. However, the large size of the system and its very fast forward speed offset that weakening. But it did start to weaken by late Thursday, before it crossed to Ireland and then southeast over England.”
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Soooo many shots from this swell. #lorenzoswell #hurricanelorenzo #obxsurf #mindsurf #mindsurfmonday #eastwwaves @kookfreegem #groundswell #surfphotos #emptywaves #wavephotography #surfing @theouterbanksnc @ramblersurfmag #surfedout #strikemissions #wavehunt #spotcheck #itsfiring
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Lorenzo packed some heat. For those savvy to the forecast models many hollow waves were scored. Fellow wave riders @blueberry_dave @casecolonell @evanjkibby @willis_wayside @jakeluvsdacake and I scored our fair share of tube time. But there were still many a #kookfreegem to be photographed. @eastwaves #kookfree #emptywaves #surfphotography #surflinelocalphoto #surfology #oceanphoto #surfing #keepsurfingfun #beachbreaks #cleanlinesurf #hollowwaves #obx @theouterbanksnc #obxsurf #hatterasisland #hurricanelorenzo #hurricaneswell #swellchasing #hurricanehunters #delmarvacrew #smallwavesbigfun #pittedsopitted #surfsfiring #itsfiring #nopalmtrees #lifesbetterinboardshorts #nikond3300 #justgonnasendit #letsplaysurfboardsandboogieboards