Tropical Cyclone Uesi has lit up Australia's Eastern Seaboard with solid waves breaking from Port Agnes in the far north of Queensland all the way to the southern border of NSW. It is the first cyclone of the summer season in Australia and breaks the drought, both for waves and rainfall.
Flooding has been widespread in the wake of the cyclone with many rivers having broken their banks. This has turned the usual green cylinders on the Gold Coast into chocolate colored drainers.
Unsurprisingly, it was Joel Parkinson who scored one of the best waves of the swell in a crowded lineup that included CT surfers Wade Carmichael, Conner Coffin and Jack Freestone. Parko's retirement from top flight competition hasn't blunted his legendary tube skills and he found this epic barrel behind the rock at Snapper.
Parko's wave was captured by his long time collaborator and friend Simon "Shagga" Safigna. Shagga was also on hand to film a wave that he called "one of the beastiest" waves he has ever witnessed at Snapper Rocks. Given he has been capturing waves there for two decades ... that is some call.
However, another local Mitchell James may have almost out pipped Parko, at least in terms of tube time logged. He scored a ridiculously long barrel down at Kirra. Even the filmer was surprised when Mitch popped out.
Further north on the points of Noosa, unridden waves were at a premium. One of the Sunshine Coast's best surfers, WSL Longboard Tour competitor Harrison Roach, managed to score some epic tubes, even if he had to share them at times. After this particular "share" captured by legendary filmer Justin Gane, Roach snapped his board.
The Valentine's Day love wasn't just centered on the Queensland Points. Cyclone Uesi provided a solid, if more wind affected, east swell for hundreds of miles of coastline. Angourie was almost to big, but the protected waves of Byron Bay were reported to be all time.
Further south in Sydney the Outer Reefs like Queenscliff Bombie were huge, while rare novelty waves inside Sydney Harbour came to life.
The cyclone now looks set to be downgraded and while still providing fun waves over the weekend, seems to have spent most of its energy. The swell and the rain were gratefully received and left East Coast surfers thirsty for more. Hopefully this is just the beginning.