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|Monday 3 January Poo corner again. - Andy Freeman
Ray, Brian, Matt NU and myself turned up for a sail today. Steve C attended in the guise of photographer.
WSW was the direction and everything from 4.5 to 7 meters would have been appropriate at times. Most people opted for sails about 5.5 and suffered the lulls.
There were some little ankle high waves to mess around on being easily accessible with the cross of wind. Hopefully the pictures Steve took will look ok and not like ripples in a bath.
Matt joined in the Vulcan attempts and has the first caught on camera attempt. I didn’t see it but Steve reckoned it was a good shot.
Personally I did not have a good sail as aches from the last couple of sails combined with my inability to rig my 5.8 correctly. Will have to look on the Gaastra web site for some rigging tips.
The surprising thing is that there were no more interested parties willing to have a go. It was really easy sailing compared to the last few sessions and not cold at all.
|Sat 01 Jan: D-Bay, Poo Corner Revisted - Ross Ketteridge
Definitely the best sailing session of the year, said Steve C, who we know can be prone to exaggeration. The statement is obviously true today but I suspect it may remain so for a while to come.
The greatest thing about today was the re-acquaintance with “the dog sh*te end” of D-Bay and the realisation of how good a sailing location it is. Actually, on the subject of nomenclature, I’ve just checked the OS map and the name Hadston Carrs actually belongs specifically to only the rocky “reef” that is immediately in front of you as you drive to the beach, with “the boat ramp” to the south and “dog sh*te end” to the north of it. The correct name for the dog sh*te end is Togston Links. The beach to the south of Hadston Carrs, right down as far as Druridge, is Hadston Links. So now you know.
Anyway, the sailing session today started at the now default boat ramp end and ended at poo corner.
Poo corner offered far superior sailing which I shall come to in a moment. When I launched at the boat ramp, as wind monkey, at 11am the neap tide was well out and the wind was southerly, making it cross on in direction (it swung round to SW later). This meant that I sailed worryingly close to the exposed rocks as I reached off to my left. At one point I was shocked to realise that I was planing at full speed past a big rock that was downwind of me and was very lucky a few moments later to graze the tip of my fin on a very solid just-submerged rock. For a while I was nicely powered on my 6.3m/94lt rig. Just as I started to wonder whether the forecast increase in wind strength would happen, the water turned white, the wind howled at me rudely and I returned to shore like a bucking bronco knowing that I’d be on smaller kit for the rest of the afternoon. The sea state, incidentally, was simply awful, with mushy shore break combined with the most horribly uncomfortable, sharp, uneven chop you can imagine.
4.7m/85lt seemed to be the ideal for the wind’s re-settled strength, so I set about my task, only to be halted when the head strap snapped cleanly in two and forced me to revert to my 4.1m instead.
For part two I headed north of the reef to old poo corner, my first sail there for nearly a year. Although the first period was a bit underpowered for me, the second was not and I enjoyed probably the best hour of sailing I have had since October. Tdog and others have recently waxed lyrical about old poo corner, once our favourite spot. Boydy has often extolled its advantages while we struggled in the slop at the boat ramp. Only today did we, en masse, finally decide to revisit it. It was like being on a completely different beach. It was, quite frankly, a revelation.
The wind was much cleaner for a start, in fact as clean as I can remember it at D-Bay, full stop. The protection of the reefs both immediately north and south was comforting, the southern one giving the extra benefit of cutting out all the horrid sloppy chop we’d just been in, and allowing clean waves to come rolling into this little “mini bay”. I also noted there was no perceptible rip at all. The shore break was low but the waves were well formed from a long way out, providing easy launching, very well-shaped ramps on the way out and good long rides on the way back in. At about 500m out, the swell stacked up to two metres, but without sharp chop mixed in, it was lovely sailing terrain. If you stayed up wind, at the southern section, just north of the Hadston Carrs rocks, the water was quite flat and allowed easy sailing. Boydy commented that that made it a very good “sea graduate” spot especially when combined with the safety features referred to above.
I recall that the main reason for decamping from poo corner last year was the increasing proliferation of lobster pot lines. I saw only one pot there today, and no trailing lines. The numbers of them at the boat ramp have been increasing in recent months
In the end I was glad that I‘d ended up on my 4.1m as the wind grew in strength to a full F7 but the sea state still allowed quite composed sailing. I had a thoroughly excellent afternoon in the balmy 8 degrees (and even sunshine at times!) until the rain front stopped play at 2.30pm.
To balance the rosy picture it should be noted that the nice waves started to dissolve as the tide flooded, but as a low tide venue the general conclusion was that it is very difficult to beat.
Also out today were Steve C, Andy, Gavin, Matt B, Martin H, Boydy, Raymond, John (from Morpeth) and Tony L who arrived as official (non sailing) photographer.
I’m conscious that I’ve not mentioned much about what went on (like Steve C’s Vulcan practice session for example) as I wanted to concentrate on the venue and conditions, so maybe someone would forward a short tale or two that I can add?
In short, we have been reminded that on a low tide, in a SW wind, old poo corner is an ideal venue for a wide range of abilities that can offer flat water, waves and good “bump and jump” all in one bay. I feel a renaissance starting.
|Thu 30 Dec - D-Day at D-Bay - Andy F and Captain Duthie
Windy it was indeed. Steve B and I arrived first to find a rather cheeky little breeze blowing. The wind was WSW and ripping spay off the water and you could lean into it without falling over.
4.2 seemed to be the size of choice, simply due to the fact that was the smallest I had brought with me. Steve rigged a 4.2 also for the same reason I believe. A mate of Steve whose name I forget (sorry mate) was also on 4.2.
I for one was really overpowered in the gusts and I saw Steve hanging on for survival.
Ray and Gavin appeared an hour late and rigged as small as they had, 4.5 and 4.2 respectively. Probably just as well that the wind dropped as they approached the water necessitating a reduction of down and outhaul. Another great hour or so ensued.
Brian and another sailor whose name eludes me but I have spoken to before rigged 4.2 and 4.5 respectively but by this time the salad dodging boys were needing a change up to 5.3 and 5.4 for myself.
What a splendid sail it was, sunny at times warm and who would believe today was the back end of December.
And from our military reporter Captain Duthie:
Yep just another ballistic D-cember's day at D-Bay. On arrival, Andy F, Boydy and a mate were found striding manfully down the beach from the Boatramp , with a chorus of "we're all on 4.2's" , and it looked like they were going to need them, because as they struggled down to the water the sea was a mass of white caps and intermittent spray, hmmmmmmmm I thought, just as I suspected, the big guns were firing again, off and then on, off and the on. Whilst I ate a banana in the balmy 13C sunshine, I pondered the scene, my conclusion was, ................ WAHAY , let's join the 4.2 assault party.
Later, 4.2m locked and loaded in board struggling down the beach watching the heavy squad do battle with the conditions, I thought the medium squad consisting of Ray (4.5m) and myself, were probably going to get blown away, and we very nearly were, albeit that it seemed the heavy boys had done their initial assault very well. The wind, after a few hairy runs moderated slightly, enough to make it VERY enjoyable, although some lulls were still evident. The usual steep chop saw some neat jumps, planned and unplanned, but the lack of outside gybes was telling. The reserve forces of Brian (4.5m) and another bloke arrived late, too late for the 2hr main assault. The wind, as forecast was dying. Andy F and Boydy persevered with a 5.5m and 5.7m and had some fun, but it was 2.30pm and the fight was won. Board sizes ranged from 80 - 100lt, the wind was SW almost cross shore probably gusting 6/7. ( apologies for overtly militaristic macho style of reporting, it's really only just another winters tale)
|Monday 27 December - Boardwalk - Steve Carragher
Quick report from today:
Andy arrived early at the boatramp and reported 5.8m weather so I rushed down to Hadston. True enough, 5.8m would have done the trick then but we prevaricated and ended up at the boardwalk where it was more cross shore as opposed to cross on at the boatramp. 6.3 and 5.8 were rigged and plugged into 100l and 78l. Ray turned up. The wind disappeared. Wind monkey took to the water on 5.8/78l. A couple of planing runs were had but then the last run in was a major submarine wobble back to the beach to avoid an unpleasant swim. Ray and Andy watched and laughed at the monkey.
Cold? Positively balmy!
MBON? Not quite
|Thu 23 Dec - Beadnell (addendum) - Andy Freeman
Gusty it was but there was some fair sailing to be had at times. The south of the bay had some terrific head high glassy waves promising some long, long rides but as Ross said getting there was hard work and there was definitley less wind at that end. I had a quick look but didn't fancy getting rinsed due to lack of power in my 4.7.
The reef also had some splendid waves breaking over it. The action looked good but was infrequent and you could never tell when one was coming. So another chance to fulfill one of my sailing ambitions goes begging. I Will sail that reef one day soon!!!!
Martin H did some stirling work in the shallows, dialling in his waterstart and getting to grips with smaller boards. Martin now has all the skills to "get out there", just needs the confidence to realise it now.
Just as an aside Steve B has earned a Johnah point as his apperance coincided with the rapid departure of the wind.
|Thu 23 Dec - Beadnell gust fest - Ross Ketteridge
Driving back from my 110 mile round trip today, I realised that UK windsurfing is closest not to any sport, but to serious gambling. Like the serial gambler, we deal with odds that are stacked against us and know that our pilgrimages are likely to be in vain. Despite the continual banging of one’s head against the same old brick wall, the enticement of Nirvana, the perfect sailing day, is always a pull far too strong to resist.
So it was that another “Big Thursday” came and went. At 9am my excitement was complete. The prior night-long wind that howled at my window was now buffeting my open car. Rarely had so many weather forecasts concurred so closely, I thought. Steady, strong wind all day, they all said. I could feel my pulse rising already. I wolfed down some more carbohydrates and was on the road by 9.30.
As I approached Beadnell Bay and caught my first glimpse of the sea, my heart missed a beat. Wow. Deep blue, peeling waves, bright sunshine and windblown white spray everywhere. The weathermen had been right. I was in for a great day of sailing. Quietly, my pulse reached a new level.
Half an hour later I took to the water, 4.1m sail and 75lt board in hand.
I was a few minutes behind Steve and Andy, who launched from the north end of the bay ahead of me and shot off like bouncing missiles into the distance, the white spray from their wakes being blown some 20 metres downwind of them and causing small rainbows in the low, bright sunshine as they receded towards the dark grey horizon at an alarming rate. Within 4 minutes they were 2 miles distant, at the other side of the bay, blending with the white mist that the force 7 gusts were slicing from the wave tops. My heart pumped faster at the sight of it and in anticipation of my own free all-day roller coaster ride.
As I launched I became aware that the wind was extremely gusty, as expected, but it seemed quickly to be getting worse. With my heart in my mouth I took off in the centre of a huge gust like an arrow from a bow and made frighteningly overpowered progress for the first 300 metres or so, at which point I met the first abrupt lull, causing an immediate halt and a slow sinking, boom still in hand. In the next instant I was hit by a gust so violent that it ripped the sail from my hands and bodily threw the whole rig, board and all, from my grasp, leaving me with a short swim to retrieve it. This on-off violent gusting continued for a while until I was in the middle of the bay, about a mile out, floating powerless in the water in the shadow of the largest dune. Overhead the clouds frustratingly continued to hurtle past like giant grey express trains. Eventually some small gusts came my way and I managed to make slow wobbly progress to the shore whence I came, resolving with aching arms to plug in my 85lt board.
Meanwhile, Martin H, Ray, Tdog and Matt B joined in and manfully struggled to find good style in the increasingly gusty conditions. After a while the wind seemed to steady but it was less strong than before. Given the distance I had driven and that my desires were still far from fulfilled, I decided to rig a larger (4.7m) sail, as did the others. Once complete, half an hour later, I took to the water again but by now the fickle wind had dropped still further and it began to rain.
Highlights of the day were sparse. Most notable was Steve’s evident glee at perhaps his single best wave ride of the year. At the Long Nanny, at the south end of the bay, the head high waves were rolling in, in perfect sets and being held up in glass-clean faces by the offshore wind. Being on the other side of no-man’s land (the windless shadow of Big Dune) and with lighter winds, it was a difficult place to reach, but Steve’s reward for perseverance (and good sailing!) was a beautiful long wave ride that quite obviously made his day.
The lowlight happened, a short while later in the same spot, for Matt, who snapped his mast in the shore break and had to make the 2 mile return journey on foot. To his credit he was still smiling when he returned half an hour later but by this time we were, in reality, all wearing a thin smile over our collective disappointment.
Eventually, by mid afternoon, we all reluctantly admitted defeat and began to dismantle everything and pack it away. The second last to leave, as I was closing my car’s hatch I realised that the wind had suddenly come back, steady and strong. To confirm that this was not my imagination playing tricks on me, I made the short walk, over the dunes back to the beach, to check. Sure enough, the sea in the bay was once again painted with windblown whitecaps and the gulls above resumed their aerobatics. And it was only 2.30pm. Damn it. Not again. Will someone kindly show me to the wall?
Will I believe the next forecast? Of course I will, stupid, I’m an addicted gambler.
|Website's a Winner Official - Peter Amos
I am pleased to announce that this website is RYA Communication Award 2004 North East Region winner.
The following is an extract from the RYA North East Region website announcing the decision:
Around a hundred entries were received for the RYA Communication Awards 2004 and twenty four regional winners have been chosen; thirteen website winners and eleven newsletter winners.
All the winners will be invited to attend an awards ceremony at the Schroders London Boat Show 2005 on 15 January but before they do, the winners’ websites and newsletters will be judged by a national panel of experts.
At the Schroders London Boat Show, Dick Durham of Yachting Monthly will present the winners with a range of trophies and cash prizes at a special RYA Communication awards ceremony. Winners will also be allowed to carry a specially designed RYA Communication Award logo on their publication or website.
Rich (The designer and original Webmaster) will be there with Lesley to collect the award. Tim (responsible for the latest manifestation) is still in Australia so cannot be there.
Well done to all concerned and in particular to all members contributing to the forum and with news items and photos, keep 'em commin' as that's what makes this website work. Because we have no physical clubhouse or fixed venue our website is our Clubhouse.
|Thu 16 Dec: Almost Epic D-Bay - Ross Ketteridge
In the same way that King Kong was a largish monkey or that a box jellyfish is an annoying transparent thing, today there was a pesky breeze and a bit of a nip in the air.
If your idea of fun is having your sail almost ripped from your grasp as you water start and accelerate from 0-60 in 3 seconds, or being drilled by gusts, at full planing speed and getting lifted clean off the water, or bouncing over big chop at terminal velocity on a scarily grey sea that is being lashed by rain, spray and force 6 wind, then today would have been fun for you.
Fortunately, I, Matt, Brian, Andy, Tdog and Adrian all fall into that category so we had an absolute hoot. Walking to the water’s edge was a challenge in itself. With the temperature at about 7 degrees you needed to wait for the finger toothache to subside before really laughing, but once you’d started you couldn’t stop. I rigged 4.1m, as did Andy in the second half of the excellent session while the others chose 4.5 to 4.7m. I was well powered most of the time although as the tide came in and the wind swung from SW to WSW the gusts and lulls increased in size, ferocity and frequency.
Marvellous half day off work and no bad sessions to report! As a footnote, Adrian had his maiden voyage on his new noseless JP Real World Wave 75 and loved it. No sign of THE VAN yet and we all brace ourselves for its imminent arrival.
|Tue 14 Dec - D Bay Epic - Steve (Obi Wan) Boydy
I arrived at about 12.45 to be greeted by 12 degrees centigrade and cross shore F5-6 with a small swell. Then Matt(newc. univ.), Matt, Adrian, T-dog (i am sure i have forgotten a few more) all arrrived. The usual sail size panic descended with the majority settling on 4.5-5.0m and myself settling on 5.3m on my 94L F2. I was first on the water and found myself well powered heading out and even mananged to sneak a few frontside turns on small swell that was starting to build on the incoming tide. The wind was up and down a bit but i managed a few little jumps with a bit of wave riding on the inside. Thankfully i had rigged big and it payed off but everyone seemed to be sailing a fair bit of the time in very pleasant weather for this time of year.Tdog wished he had rigged a 5.0m instead of his 4.5m and Adrian just kept saying "im getting a new van tomorrow!". the wind died about 3pm so we packed in. Sorry if the report wasnt a gloating or a "whinging" one!
Addendum by Tony Tdog Champion: Martin Dillon was also there, alternately swimming, water-starting and wobbling between the intermittent gusts and I feel that we should extend a welcome to Martin to the ranks of the MBON. It may not have been cold enough for him to qualify as a full member but the intention was there and I am pleased to see that the dedicated training in Kardamena in Kos 2002 has at last paid off.
|Tue 14 Dec: D Bay - Ross Ketteridge
A report from one not in attendance, for the record.
Adrian, Matt, Matt (Uni) and T Dog.
4.5m wind, SW. 10 degrees C.