A Windy Wednesday

The wind arrived as forecast on Wednesday, continuing what has so far been a very autumnal September.

With blue skies and a decent 30-35 knot SW wind I’d normally sail on the seafront, but Graham is just getting back into windsurfing and I’ve been encouraging him to get out and the seafront would have been far too rough for him so we headed to the estuary. I gave Dave and Sarah a ring too and they came with us.

The estuary was looking glorious, blue skies with fluffly whit clouds scuttling overhead and a the wind was whipping the sand across the beach in an ever moving dance.

I rarely sail in the estuary these days, especially in a SW which can be a bit gusty, but although there wasn’t a huge amount of wind on the beach I knew it would be windier further out so rigged my 5.2m North Warp Speed sail and my fast, Mistral Red Dot slalom board. Graham was on his Bic Veloce, his only board and his smallest 5.5m sail. He was planning on staying close to the shore anyway and didn’t want to venture out into the middle of the estuary in the offshore winds. Dave and Sarah were out on the 100ltr Eagles and 5.2m sails.

The wind strength was just about right for my kit and I was soon flying back and forth in the channel. It did get quite choppy in places though and after a while the board and sail combination was just too fast for such choppy conditions so I came in and changed down to a 4.5m sail and my little wave board. This was OK too, much more comfortable over the chop and nowhere near as scary, but also a little tame really. I also had trouble in the lulls and did sink now and then.

It was nice to get out on flat water for a change though and I think Graham enjoyed it too, even if it was still a little too windy for him really. Ideally he needs a nice 20 knot NE in the estuary where he can get some relaxed, easy sailing in on flat water to up his confidence. He’ll get there though and we’ll soon have him throwing himself into forward loops off the waves on the seafront!

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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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