Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Pic of the Day: Surf's up as storm calms

Surfers returned to the seas at Bronte beach yesterday following days of high tides in Sydney, Australia. Adverse weather eased and sea conditions were reported as clean with swells of 1-3 feet.

Sydney's surfers were forced to busy themselves with other pursuits over the past few days as gale force winds battered the coast.

Warnings were issued by the Bureau of Meteorology in Sydney as cold temperatures, large swells and winds of up to 100kmh made surfing too dangerous.

The bureau cancelled an earlier severe thunderstorm warning, which had predicted flash flooding on the northern beaches, as rainfall in and around Sydney eased.

There are around 40 beaches along the coastline around Sydney, from Palm Beach to Cronulla.

The area has also produced a plethora of world surfing champions over the years, including Barton Lynch, Pam Burridge and Layne Beachley.

It is believed that surfing was introduced to Australia around 100 years ago by a Hawaiian named Duke Kahanamoku.

Bronte beach lays claim to the title of the oldest surf life-saving club in the world, established in 1903. It is a common misconception the beach takes its name from the Brontë sisters; it is in fact named after Lord Nelson, who was the Duke of Bronte, a town in Sicily.