On Friday the 10th of June, the now usual crew of suspects (Dan Carr, Joel Menz and myself) set out to join Pete Sperling in bodysurfing one of Sydney's most infamous locations. The heaving slab at Cape Solander, more popularly referred to as Ours.
Now I've come for barrelage
It seems almost inconceivable that just three days prior, this spot hosted the the Cape Fear event. Possibly the most insanely crazy surf event ever held. Where scoring seemed as much based on survival as riding waves. Yet here we were, with the last contest evidence being the locked parking gates and final remnants of that east coast low swell ricocheting off the ledge in front of us. There is a lot of umming and ahhing going on. Unlike last time we were here, the issue of commitment is more to do with the lack of size than too much of it. The direction is still very easterly, causing the waves on offer to come into the ledge rather than down it. While we deliberate, a wave is drawn up by our collective desire, it stands up, expands and barrels down the line. Its settled. We suit up and jump in.
Welcome to the Lions den
Despite this being my third visit to Cape Solander, this was the first time I had made it into the water to bodysurf Ours. The place has a fearsome reputation and all of us bar the veteran Pete are tentative. After all, the takeoff is directly in front of a large rock that emerges from the water in between waves. The wave itself then ledges up in front of this barnacled bouncer before breaking in parallel to another inside rocky ledge and finally finishing in the wash in front.. of you guessed it..more rocks. Throw in a less than optimal swell direction, low tide, small waves, some violent backwash and a current that keeps pushing you deeper and it all adds to the "fun".
To make this wave, is going to take paddling inline with the rock, getting in front of the ledgey bowl section, so as then to be catapulted down the line with enough speed and nerve to get past the inside ledge and into the deeper water in front of the jump off...assuming of course the wave cooperates with the plan and you commit to it.
A few waves come through and we all take turns testing this theory out. There are plenty of "eject" moments either on the takeoff or down the line. Some of them actually voluntary.
The rocks are on their way
There are a lot of near misses and not so near misses. Joel manages to get rolled entirely on to the other side of the inside reef but makes it unscathed and laughing into the deepwater wash. I manage to find the backwash on the end section of a beauty, it causes the barrel do a huge flare right before catapulting me through the air. It was one of those moments where you cringe and brace at once in anticipation of impact. Fortunately it never came as I missed the inside reef ledge and land in the deep wash. (which incidentally feels way closer to the rocks than it is) In a show of Cenny coast support to Justin Allport (JugJugHeadHead), Dan commits to a hollow little slab, gets clamped and bounced over the inside reef. A small cut on the hand, a bit of blood and a whole lot of banter and he is still charging (and whinging). Like all good mates, we obviously give him shit the whole session.
Welcome to the Cape of Fun
In between, there are a few waves that hold true and provide an exhilarating ride from the top of the peak through a racey barrel section into the deeper water. Its almost like being on a roller coaster where you smile/scream with enjoyment but at the same time are holding on with white knuckles for dear life.
Everyone manages to find a gem or two but as usual - its Sperlo with his experience that unearths the best waves of the session. Although he will probably still regret an outside breaking keg that gives him the heave ho before barrelling through... Eventually the final waves of that magical east coast low disappear and mission accomplished we swim in. Have to say Ours is sketchy but a complete blast and there will be a "Cape Fun 2.0" in the not too distant future.
We would later find out that Dan had actually fractured his wrist and need a plaster cast. We are still sorry we aren't sorry.
Welcome to the Cape of Fun Now I've come for barrelage Welcome to the Lions den The rocks are on their way Welcome to the Cape of Fun! Cape of Fun!