Some forecasters had predicted that swell from Hercules had the potential to produce some of the biggest waves ever seen in Ireland, with the south winds meaning Mullaghmore was the spot to be. Well it wasn’t. “It was a hoax, the swell just never came,” said UK’s Andrew Cotton, who was just one of the many Mully addicts who had traveled over there for the swell. “It was a shame, the winds were absolutely perfect, and when we went out at high tide, we thought there was going to be some whomping sets, but that was the best it got. It just fizzled.”
Of course fizzling is all relative. “There will be some great photos, and there were half a dozen or 6 really good 15 footers that some guys scored, but nothing on what was forecast,” continued Cottie. “The swell must have had too much south in it. It was a tough decision, where to go with this swell, we rolled the dice and looks like we got it wrong. We looked at Nazare, but I really wanted some real XXL slabs, not just some fat drops. In hindsight, maybe Belharra was the best option.”
Shane Dorian was one such surfer who has put his money on Belharra. He arrived in France two days ago with his quiver of Jaws paddleboards, meaning that if it breaks, you’d back him to paddle in to the biggest waves ever in seen Europe. “For a while now Sancho has been telling me of the paddle potential at Belharra,” Shane told Surf Europe. “He has had his eyes on the right, not the left, so fingers crossed we may scratch into a few. I’m here to paddle.”
Right now at midday Belharra had just started breaking (see the webcam) and with offshore winds and a super low tide in the mid-afternoon, things are warming up. The crowds are lining the cliff, helicopters are buzzing overhead, jetskis are patrolling the line-up, there’s hot French TV chicks with mikes and Sancho, Dorian, Twiggy Baker, Jamie Mitchell and local chargers are getting ready to rumble. Even Surf Europe editor Paul Evans has got out of bed and made the trip down (to watch). Another hoax or history to be made? Time will tell.