2011 IBA Pipeline Pro Forecast Update

The 2011 IBA Pipeline Pro is OFF today as Pipe is barely breaking. What’s worse is that the reef is filled with sand and the forecast hasn’t improved. In fact, the Northwest bump for next Monday/Tuesday has been downgraded.

Currently there is a massive sandbar at Ehukai channeling water out between Pipe and Gums. With no large Northwest swell coming to push that sand back towards Pupukea, it’s looking like 2011 may be the year of Backdoor and back-flips.

Looking at the Waimea Bay buoy forecast, tomorrow provides the most size through the next week, but the swell direction is straight North (7°). Given the current sand situation, it could actually produce fun conditions at Backdoor. Light Southeast winds should provide excellent conditions throughout the day. Tough call, really depends on how the swell direction is looking at Pipe/Backdoor in the morning.

Friday is looking like a go. There will be a combination of fading North swell (7°) and a peaking Northwest swell (311°). The Northwest component provides the best angle in the forecast, and the overlapping swells will likely produce some ramps. Size holds throughout the day, with light to dead winds from the South.

The event will also likely run on Saturday, as the Northwest swell continues to deliver surf, with a small NNE swell providing combo-swell conditions. Winds continue to be light, turning more Easterly. Smaller size will favor the more technical riders, and the NNE component should provide some peaky ramps. Nothing epic, but clean and contestable.

Sunday is pretty small, but may be used for the specialty events. Monday is a holiday, and therefore off-limits due to permit restrictions. A new Northwest swell peaks early Tuesday morning (3.9 feet at 11.0 seconds 324°) and fades throughout the day. Winds are forecast to be light and from the East, providing offshore conditions. The competition will likely run.

Looking at the Northwest Pacific pressure maps, it doesn’t appear that Thursday (2/24) or Friday (2/25) are going to produce any last-minute miracles. If the contest doesn’t run tomorrow, then it’s unclear where the fourth day of competition will come from. One possibility is that the drop-knee and bodysurfing events run on Sunday, leaving Tuesday available for the final day of the main event.

Check back in tomorrow for another update, including a glimpse at next Thursday’s forecast.

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