South-West winemaker and pioneer big-wave surfer Damon Eastaugh rides the wave of his life at a break called Cow Bombie, off Gracetown, home of the famous North Point break. Together with Paul ‘Antman’ Paterson, Damien ‘Taco’ Warr, and a handful of others, he revealed the reef’s extra large, high-quality potential in early missions, and anticipation in the local big-wave community grew. The spot had a unique dynamic capable of turning deep ocean swells into giant waves, much like Cortes Bank in California. But unlike Cortes, this piece of reef is relatively small, focusing sea energy into a condensed peak, forcing it to break top to bottom. Each mission led to more speculation and higher hopes. Big waves were ridden during early sessions, but nothing in the extra-large realm. But the crew persisted and, on July 5, 2006, flawless fifty- to sixty-foot waves unloaded on the reef.
(© Jamie Scott, excerpted from The Finest Line)
Camel is a fixture of WA surfing, known for living in his van near good waves in the region and getting highly connected with them. In recent years, he’s focused his energy on paddling the biggest waves he can find, and has ridden some absolute beauties. (© Jamie Scott, excerpted from The Finest Line)
Jamie Mitchell, very content after a session like the one at Cow Bombie in October 2011, has kept his perspective and knows just how fortunate he was at the time. “That day was special,” he recalls. “For the swell, wind, and low tide to come together for that one day is pretty amazing – that it went down in raw WA, and two miles out to sea, makes it very rare!” (© Jamie Scott, excerpted from The Finest Line)
The Finest Line, the Global Pursuit of Big-Wave Surfing by Rusty Long, Insight Editions, $55.
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