Wind against Tide

One of the reasons we built a house here is that its such a good location for windsurfing. With 4 miles of sandy beach on our doorstep and plenty of Westerly winds and waves, the seafront from Borth to Ynyslas is perfect. But that isn’t all, we also have the more sheltered waters of the Dyfi Estuary which can be good when the wind is from the east. This is especially true in the Spring when Ivor, out local katabatic wind, comes howling down the valley.

On Friday, another combination of local effects allowed us to have a good windsurf session too. The wind was South-Westerly at about 18-25 knots. Plenty windy enough for most people, but us windsurfers like it windier so that we can use our smaller sails and boards. However, there had been loads of rain and lots of flooding inland. The Dyfi bridge was closed due to the flooding and the Dyfi River was in full flow. Coupled with an outgoing tide, this results in a very strong tidal flow through the channel in the Dyfi Estuary. The water flowing through here was moving at 10 knots or moreĀ  and flowing out to sea – in the opposite direction to the wind. This results in an effective windspeed (for someone on the water) of 28-35 knots… Perfect.

Andy and I launched from the Ynyslas side of the estuary, sailed out through the channel, walked across the point and into the channel where we spent a couple of hours blasting around perfectly powered up with 5m sails and smallish boards in really good conditions. For a change, sailing downwind was a problem though due to the speed of the current.

Once again, West Wales provides perfect windsurfing conditions.

Here’s my diary entry and here’s Andy’s diary entry.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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