It was known by last weekend that The East Coast of Australia was staring down the barrel of an epic week of waves. An intense low pressure had stationed itself off just a few 100 miles off the coast, then was forecast to drift out east providing solid swell and good winds from Sydney to Snapper. 

However for the last two days, with the low so close to the coast, there was nothing but giant, unruly 10-12 foot of swell, being torn apart by a howling southerly. There are only a few places on the whole coast that can handle that combo of size and wind, and even fewer that don’t turn into a big, but fattish, walls hampered by a giant sweep. 

Deadman’s, at Manly, is one such place. Over the last two days its reputation has been upgraded from a premier, but fickle, Sydney wave to a world-class big wave location. 

That’s in no small part courtesy of the image of Chris Lougher, aka underground charger @curlyflowers_  that was captured by @spencerfrostfilms. Lougher was riding an 8’0” Dylan Longbottom gun and Frost scored an epic angle of what he called, ’the best wave I’ve ever seen ridden in Sydney.” 

Chris Lougher – same wave as above. Photo: Spencer Frost

The day before it was the turn of North Narrabeen charger Matt Dunsmore to claim the wave of the day. His long and deep drainer was one of those rare beasts that didn’t shelf, step or closeout down the line. He was however made to pay later for his good fortune. After getting caught behind on the first wave of a set, he broke his board, then had a half-second of breath before the second, bigger wave behind torched him. 

In fact, for every wave that was made, there were at least five horrible beat-downs. Cameraman and one time Tracks photographer Steve “Naig” Carroll filmed two days worth of carnage and has put them up on his Facebook page. He described the Wednesday as bigger than Tuesday, although the tide was a little low.

Amputee Olie Dousett had a good claim for one of the heaviest wipeouts after his one leg buckled at the base of a solid 10 footer. He was then dragged underwater over the urchin covered ledge, before landing a few more on the head for good measure.