Sardinia Goes Epic Thanks to Ultra-Rare Medicane

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 358d ago

Earlier this month, a rare Medicane – that's a hurricane in the Mediterranean, folks - tore through that near-tideless sea, delivering waves all across the region, including to Italy's heel (see here). But a few days after, as this beast of a system was moving through, another one swept in behind it, much further to the west and pumped into Sardinia making for one of the best sessions of the past two decades.

Welcome to Sardinia, where the waves will only get going in some pretty extreme conditions and is incredibly susceptible to wind, so even if the swell comes good, it's a tough call to get everything ship-shape for a classic day.

Alessandro Onofri scoops low on a what's about to be the ride of the session.

Alessandro Onofri scoops low on a what's about to be the ride of the session.

© 2022 - Andrea Bianchi

“For us surfers of the Mediterranean Sea, this was a bit like a 'unicorn' day of Sardinian waves,” said photographer Andrea Biancha. “It's been three years since we had the right conditions to make this spot work. But this session, the Medicane actually delivered more waves in two hours that we've seen in like, the past 20 years. It was insane, think the last time this happened was in 2004.

And what kind of forecast are Andrea and Sardinians looking for? “Well, this one was 6ft@10 seconds,” he said. “With light wind offshore. I don't think the Mediterranean Sea can go beyond a wave period like those 10 seconds.”

© 2022 - Andrea Bianchi

When the swell comes good though, how difficult is it to score? “It is a very difficult spot to find in surfable conditions and can be quite difficult to get to. The wave is technical especially in these conditions. Often when it makes nice waves here it does it for short periods of time, like this day earlier in the month. It was two hours of great waves, max.

“This time it worked in very good conditions throughout the evening and then epic conditions during the following morning on Monday November 8.

"The surfers this time were Alssandro Onofri and Mattia Maiorca, two times Italian Longbard Champion.”

Mattia Maiorca, packaged up.

Mattia Maiorca, packaged up.

© 2022 - Andrea Bianchi

Talking about this forecast, MSW forecaster Tony Butt said: "During the first week of November a stable high pressure system persisted to the west of Biscay. Around November 5, a low developed on the southeast flank of this system, centred in the western Mediterranean, south of the Balearic Islands.

 Mattia Maiorca, again.

Mattia Maiorca, again.

© 2022 - Andrea Bianchi

Our Med swell chart from the 7th. As you can see, all that juice was slamming into the island of Sardinia.

Our Med swell chart from the 7th. As you can see, all that juice was slamming into the island of Sardinia.

"As the centre of the low shifted northeast over Sardinia and then Corsica, an east-west pressure gradient between here and relatively high pressure over the Iberian Peninsula generated an area of strong northwest winds north of the Balearics on 6th and 7th. This, in turn, generated a pulse of swell which radiated out towards the south and southeast, hitting the west coast of Sardinia on 7th and 8th. The pressure gradient to the east of the low remained weak, meaning light variable winds or light easterlies over local areas."

Bonus: Italy Got it Good Too

Did we say good? We meant, it got real good.

Did we say good? We meant, it got real good.

© 2022 - Andrea Bianchi

Dreamy lineup for anyone in the world.

Dreamy lineup for anyone in the world.

© 2022 - Andrea Bianchi