GALLERY: Hurricane Sam's Supertubos Session

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 15d ago

Clue's in the name about the potential of one of Europe's finest and most powerful waves. When the swell comes good, Supertubos is a spectacle. On Friday, while many of us were dialled into what was going on in the UK, this good ol' faithful unloaded energy from ex-hurricane Sam on to the shores of Portugal's western front, making for quite the day of it.

It is more good news though because the world's best talent were in town, ready to take a swing at this juggernaut. The likes of Italo Ferriera, Nic Von Rupp, Michel Bourez are all in the mixer here – meanwhile, a group of other legends broke away for a session on their own, but more on that very soon *winks in 'exclusive edit incoming'*.

Live cam: Supertubos

The fog started to rise...

The fog started to rise...

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

Things didn't get off to a good start, though. The fog descendeth in the morning, making for some incredibly tricky conditions, as in, you couldn't see the wave from the beach. And that is a terrifying experience considering you could be paddling out on the day of days.

...and an Italo popped out!

...and an Italo popped out!

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

Probably a bit too much wind on it to bestow that title, but it is still formidable Supertubos from a rather special ex-hurricane.

And what made lil' ol' Sam, the Hurricane who started so small but delivered on both sides of the Atlantic, so special?

Miguel Tudela.

Miguel Tudela.

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

We asked MSW forecaster Tony Butt: “As Sam tracked towards the northeast, passing south of Cape Farewell, it merged with an existing mid-latitude depression, resulting in a powerful system that looped around in the same place for the next 12 hours or so, basically doing a little dance.

Gatien Delahaye.

Gatien Delahaye.

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

“It then became a single-centred low pressure system which expanded and accelerated in an ENE direction, passing north of the Azores around October 6. Then, instead of continuing in that direction and slamming into Ireland, it swung north and stalled just south of Iceland for another two days.

Michel Bourez.

Michel Bourez.

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

“When Sam joined forces with that mid-latitude low around October 5, it quickly blew up into a really powerful system, containing a large area of storm-force westerly winds on its southern flank. This sent a long-period pulse of west swell towards Europe, which first arrived at exposed spots late on Wednesday October 6.

Nic Von Rupp.

Nic Von Rupp.

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

“As the system tracked ENE and then northeast, it continued to generate swell, which combined with the initial pulse, resulting in somewhat mixed conditions at the most exposed, most sensitive spots in Galicia and Portugal. Places where the swell arrived more filtered, such as southwest France or Cornwall, were much cleaner. Wave heights in many places were also bigger than originally expected.

Alex Ribiero.

Alex Ribiero.

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas

“Both of these factors were due to the fact that the winds on the southern flank of the system as it tracked north of the Azores were initially underestimated, and persisted for longer than earlier forecasts suggested.”

By the afternoon, the fog had gone and this is what was left.

By the afternoon, the fog had gone and this is what was left.

© 2021 - Henrique Casinhas