The Coastalwatch Story

7 May 2008 Share

The Company

Since its inception in 1998, Coastalwatch has been committed to bringing the coast to you. With live surf cams, expert forecasts and insightful news and analysis from around the country, Coastalwatch has grown into Australia’s most comprehensive surf website.

With a community-first focus, Coastalwatch lends support to groups and charities such as Surfrider Foundation Australia, SurfAid International, Surf Life Saving Australia and numerous volunteer rescue organisations.

In 2019, Coastalwatch joined forces with Surfline, the world’s original surf report and forecast company.

Surfline has a 35-year backbone of R&D in surf forecasting, and an unrivalled global reach, with cams and forecasts for all the world’s great waves. It’s relied on by the best and most committed surfers to nail forecasts for everything from mega pro events to crazy strike missions across the planet.

Surfline uniting with Coastalwatch enables surfers throughout Australia to score more waves – to provide access to the largest, highest-quality surf camera network on Earth, along with detailed forecasts and twice-daily live reports to help them decide when to surf and where to Know Before You Go.

The Team

The Coastalwatch crew are a mixed bunch, brought aboard from various disciplines including media, meteorology and atmospheric science, corporate management, computing, information technology and infrastructure – even professional snowboarding. And then there’s our team of contributors scattered around the country, armed with cameras and keyboards to keep you up to speed on pressing issues affecting our coast.

Despite our mixed backgrounds, we’re united in our goal of bringing the best of surfing to you, wherever you are in the country. From the meteorologists who burn the midnight oil poring over weather charts to tell you what tomorrow’s got in store, to the technicians who keep the cameras oiled, to the writers who pen insightful stories – it’s all one big family.

So come and get to know us...

Ben Macartney - Chief Forecaster
Ben joined the Coastalwatch team in 2005 and has become the Australian forecast lead. Ben forecasts for the east coast regions of Australia including QLD, NSW and down through Victoria, and also tracks major swells for Indonesia and the South Pacific.

Katie Jackson - Swell Forecaster / Meteorologist
Katie joined the Coastalwatch team as Swell Forecaster and Meteorologist after moving to Australia from the States. She resides in Western Australia and has undertaken a PhD at Griffith University on the topic of Wave Analysis in the nearshore region. Prior to her Australian adventures, Katie worked for the US Navy and for Surfline, both as a swell forecaster and meteorologist. Katie forecasts for Western Australia and South Australia.

Nick Gregory - Head of Digital & Camera Network Manager
Nick’s previous life as a professional snowboarder saw him chasing powder around the globe on an 11-year endless winter. After a five-year stint on the Billabong team, he hung up the boots and picked up a video camera to produce a TV series on professional snowboarders in Australia and New Zealand.

This led to work with Coastalwatch’s sister site, Mountainwatch, and Transfer Snowboard Magazine. When the Coastalwatch office moved to his hometown in Avalon in Summer 2010-11, he took over as our Digital Guru.

Between keeping the site and our apps looking fresh with creative solutions, Nick finds time to show up the rest of the staff during lunch-time surfs at Little Avalon and hit the slopes for the odd spot of heli-boarding.

Ella Risby - Group Account Director
Ella lives in Burleigh on the Gold Coast with her husband and young son. They are a family who love the ocean and spend as much time as possible up and down the Queensland coast surfing, exploring, camping and fishing.

Ella lived a life chasing snow seasons around the world until the end of her University degree forced her to get serious about life. Starting in advertising, she kicked off a fruitful career spanning marketing, media and communications. She landed at Coastalwatch in 2016 and was deeply involved with Mountainwatch as well as publishing Transfer Snowboard Magazine and Surfing World. In 2019, when Surfline acquired Coastalwatch, she began working across both titles. Ella is now the Group Account Director, directing a myriad of initiatives including partnerships, advertising and marketing.

Mark Pottie - Chief Technical Officer
Mark is a resident of Avalon Beach where he lives with his wife and daughters. Mark’s been surfing since the ‘70s and is passionate about the ocean – he’s been a senior lifesaver at Manly Beach since 1999 and captained a squad for many of those years.

Mark’s been in the tech biz since '93 and he’s been a witness to, and participant of, the evolution of the Internet. Mark left the marketing and start-up world behind to join Coastalwatch as Chief Tech in early 2017 where he was responsible for 3CMG Development and Dev Ops for Coastalwatch, Transfer, Surfing World, Transmoto, and Mountainwatch.

Mark is grateful to contribute surfing culture on products that constructively inform.

Genevieve Reynolds - Customer Service and Subscriptions Manager
Genevieve joined Coastalwatch three years ago. Since that time, she's been the eloquent, comforting voice of the company, taking care of our loyal audience's concerns and questions each and every day.

Mike Jennings - Editor
Mike creates, produces, commissions, and manages all original daily content across a number of mediums for Coastalwatch. Mike is also responsible for This Week in Surfing – the bewilderingly popular write-up of the weekly events in the world of surfing published every Friday on

Nick Carroll - Senior Contributing Writer

Sean Doherty - Senior Contributing Writer

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