The swell cleaned up after a couple of days’ worth of shifting winds and intermittent squalls found another beach to mess with. Anticipation built into the afternoon as Soppel Plasen (the left-hand point at Unstad) cleaned up and the 4pm starting time for the event was looking like a very good call (albeit a starting time that was a little unorthodox).
Judges’ cabin? Check.
Competitor’s vests? Check.
Mobile sauna? Of course! (this is still quite a new phenomenon for me at a surfing competition).
The clock struck 4pm and the live stream beamed images of the groomed swell across the internet and at Unstad, the crowd gathered on the hind dune and enjoyed the show. Soppel Plasen was grinding out some fast rides that had many of the competitors struggling to keep ahead of the curl.
Defending champion Tim Latte was an early standout, taking apart a nice left early in his heat and backing up his score with an average ride late before the final hooter was sounded. Australia’s Tim Matley stomped a large backhand floater on the left before launching a front-side reverse on the right-hander in the middle of the beach that had the local crowd cheering.
As the heats continued on into the evening the sauna became increasingly popular as a place to enjoy all the action. In the water, the competitors did their best to outrun the fast moving curl on the left and begun drifting towards the middle of the beach to grab a few of the occasional right-handers that would offer a decent wall to squeeze a few turns on.
The forecast points towards a diminishing swell throughout the final day of competition, but with a quality wind direction and clear skies thrown in to top it off.
Tune into the live webcast at www.lofotenmasters.com to keep up with all of the action
Photo: Hallvard Kolltveit