The Newcastle Cup might not resume until the middle of next week should conditions remain unsuitable across the long weekend.
The World Surf League postponed the competition early on Friday morning for two days and will reconsider on Sunday morning whether to get back underway.
"The swell just dropped off, and we predicted that, but there is some really good swell on the charts for next week which we're pretty excited about," the WSL's Asia-Pacific general manager Andrew Stark said.
"We'll make another call on Sunday morning, but with the charts the way they're looking it's probably more likely early next week to mid next week is going to be the prime time.
"There's a strong swell predicted for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday."
Mr Stark said the forecast swell would like result in "some pretty serious waves".
"There's talk of [surfing] second or third reef [at] Merewether, which is potentially like six to eight-foot waves. So it could be pretty spectacular."
THE HUNTER'S BEST SURFERS, COUNTING DOWN:
- Ten point rides: Newcastle's best surfers across the decades
- 'Girls can't surf?' Yes they can. And how
- Boardriding brilliance on the bus from Wallsend: Kelly Bashford
- Longer hair, shorter boards: Peter Cornish
- 'Radical Roger' Clements, with rare 1968 video footage
- Opposite ends: Smooth Belinda Baggs and the frantic Sabre Norris
- The impossibly stylish Craig Anderson
- Paige Haggerston: Aussie champ at 17
- The tropical life of Peter McCabe
- Merewether pioneers Pam Lane, Nancy Newburn and Judy Clements
- Young guns Amelie Bourke and Ellie Lambkin
- Revered at Redhead: 'the other' Col Smith
- Bells Beach winner at 16: Nicky Wood
- Elle Clayton-Brown riding the WQS table
- Hell-raiser, Bells winner, Matt Hoy
- Sarah Baum finds a new home in Newcastle
- Hometown Newcastle Cup favourite Ryan Callinan
- 'Out', loud and proud: Michelle Donoghue from Blacksmiths
- Luke Egan, new dad, sought after CT coach and 18-year tour veteran
- Newcastle's woman 'wild card' at the Newcastle Cup, Philippa Anderson
Mr Stark said if contest resumed at Merewether and did not have to be moved, another 2000 tickets would be released on the day.
He said the NSW government's public health orders allowed the event to have a capacity of 5000 people.
The extra tickets could be secured at the event, he said.
Some of the competing athletes headed down to Redhead on Friday after the contest was suspended, mixing with locals and enjoying a different break.
Men's world No. 1 John John Florence, along with France's Jeremy Flores and Aussie Ethan Ewing, were all spotted in the water.
The surfers still managed to put on a decent show during the opening day on Thursday, but the waves were well short of what organisers would have liked.
Former world tour surfer turned pundit Richie Lovett said despite the small surf on offer on Thursday, it was a "positive" to get the contest's first round out of the way.
"There were no losers," Lovett said in reference to the opening day featuring seeding heats only.
"The positive thing is the swell on the horizon for the back half of this tournament is looking really, really promising," he said.
"We were always going to have that one little day where it was kind of marginal; we got through it, we saw some amazing surfing and now we can bank on some good waves coming."
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