This is a pulse of swell that may have scuppered some Valentine's Day plans – but that is ok. Blame us for missing anything because we called this one a few days out. And once again, everywhere in Europe got dolled up for the ball, as a huge pulse of powerful swell tore across the Atlantic from Friday and into today.
France's Belharra, Nazare, sheltered corners of the UK coastline, Ireland, the Basque Country the Netherlands and more stood up as this storm threw its full force into the coastline.
Watch: Nazare live cam, HERE
Whenever Belharra breaks, it is headline news. The fickle, yet remarkable XXL wave that thunders around 2.5kms out to sea, is quite the spectacle. You can pull up, right on the road, and watch this thing blow its head off, with tow crews taking it all in their stride on Sunday.
Nazare was again much-lauded given the conditions. And it was huge – but not the 80ft waves we all want to see at Praia do Norte. But, and oh it is a big but, Laird Hamilton turned up for this session, apparently the second time he's been to Nazare this season. You'll remember that Laird wrote the world's biggest wave off as a mushburger, not a real wave, which sparked some debate about the validity of its heftiness. Since that lambasting, Nazare's proven itself time and time again, perhaps so much so that Laird's seen the light. Anyway, here he is below gliding avec foil.
Meanwhile, if you knew where to look in the UK – you could luck into some pure gold. A huge pulse topped out at 21.5ft@16 secs, WSW swell accompanied by winds of up to 55mph from the west. That means, seek shelter. And if you did, you would have scored something that looks a lot like the below.
UK spot guide, HERE
And if this all feels a little like Deja Vu, it's because only a few days ago, we were wrapping up the crazy sessions from Storm Ciara that set off many of the places you see above. We've a gallery of that too, see HERE.
“The largest open-ocean wave heights were in the northwest, but were accompanied by the windiest conditions,” said MSW forecaster Tony Butt. “In Ireland, the swell jumped to over 20 feet by early Saturday then increased further on Sunday and holding through today. Winds were strong to gale force.
“A very long period initial swell arrived on Saturday in the Bay of Biscay, with periods over 20 secs and wave heights increased throughout the day. Exposed reefs really made the most of the period, hitting 15 feet or more, with light to moderate southwest winds. On Sunday the swell increased a notch and continues through today.”