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There are 397 News Items in 40 pages and you are on page number 31

Sun 14 Dec - Amble - persistence pays - Matt Simpson
And on the seventh day he rested, but we didn’t…
Thanks to the diligent praying and selfless sacrificing of much of our precious weekend at the windless altar that was Seaton Point on Saturday the wind gods came through with a belta on Sunday! And whilst various deities rested and NWC members indulged in a little DIY, Carl, Steve C, Matt and potential new recruit Nic, had the pleasures of a sacreligiously splendid, blasphemously brilliant full on blast…
A good north north westerly blow was in evidence when we convened at 1100 in Amble, and with minimal shore break and a good rolling and choppy swell, big rigs were assembled and put through their paces, the wind started to fill in and soon the kit was shrunk and the speeds increased. Steve on his 5.5 and wave board was seen heading skywards on numerous occasions and the steady wind made for some epic full power reaches right out towards the island.
Eventually foot straps gave way and mast feet and sails suffered, so, taking this as an omen the day was decreed to have finished. At this point the heavens opened, the wind got to a good force 8 and the hail descended as a double rainbow arched over the Coquet light house. Halleluiah! I have seen the light!
Another classic Amble session, it's four days later and I am still grinning, and repairing my kit…
Festive good cheer and all that. . .

Sat Dec 13 - Seaton Point - Ross
The day started well. 9.30am. Druridge, spray everywhere, 11 deg, sunshine. Blowing cross off F7. I rigged a 4.1m but when others arrived the consensus was to go to a safer beach. Off we (8 of us) went to Seaton point. FIVE hours later I eventually got to sail - for five minutes, on a 5.5m. Prior to that the wind had lulled to F3 and after the short blast it died again. Unbelievable given the weather charts and the fact that it was blowing a gale everywhere else. Today was all about standing on beaches again, and very little to do with sailing.
I ended up wishing I'd been making progress on the DIY. As Gavin says, this beach has been serving up some horrible, gusty, unsailable winds the last few times we've visited it.

Seaton Point / 13 December 2020 - Gavin Duthie
One For The Record Books -
As the forecast did not live up to the billing, a quick roll call of today's. MBON's (Merry Bunch Of Nutters) will suffice. Ross, Ray, Tim 100, Matt, Steve C, Steve B, Gavin, Tony C and a half alive Andy (Barnes Disease) made it out (well only some of us onto the water) to endure 2.5 hrs of iffy wind. After a brilliant forecast, the seasonal fare served up, left a lot to be desired. Seaton Point is in danger of falling severly from grace.

NWC AGM/end of season party 2003 - Ross Ketteridge

Many thanks to all those who came to Newbiggin Sailing Club on Wednesday 03 December.

We kicked off at 7.45pm with the formal AGM section that started with a somewhat lengthy Powerpoint presentation of my Chairman’s Report. This included an update of membership numbers, the results of the member survey and a review of 2003. This included an analysis of the amount of sailing we actually did and the average sizes of sails that we used from month to month, and hence what the average wind strength was. This is not the place to report the detail, but suffice to say that due to a hard core of highly addicted and optimistic sailors, we made the most of a very poor year, in respect of average wind strength, to rack up some very impressive statistics. For example, there were over 100 sailing days reported in this News section in 2003, over half of which were on weekend days.

On reflection, 2003 was a great year for the club. We saw a continuation of the strong growth in membership, currently standing at 66 sailing members. Most of the new members have sailed very regularly this season, and a few have complemented the gradual growth in the “merry band of nutters”, the small group of our most addicted, that are prepared to sail all year round. We enjoyed some superb sailing in 2003 when the wind decided to blow. At home we made regular pilgrimages to our favourite haunts, both coastal and inland, and also discovered some new venues that have turned out to be great sailing spots. We are truly blessed with a great coastline. We also reflected on our two excellent overseas 2003 sailing trips, to Renesse in Holland and Kos in Greece, and looked forward to the sailing we have in store for 2004, both at home and abroad.

My report concluded with all the events we can expect in 2004, both sailing-related and social. Development of the website, promotion of the club and strengthening links with Newbiggin Sailing Club all figure in our plans for next season. We also hope to get involved in the Super 8 Race at Derwent Reservoir to a greater extent next year. To this end, Dave Dobson gave a presentation that sought to de-mystify this event, which has sometimes been seen as a serious and difficult racing fixture rather than the easy, fun event that it actually is.

Following my report, Peter and Ian took us through the Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports respectively. It was announced that membership fees are to remain at £15 per year for 2004. That is true value for money!

The formal AGM was concluded with the re-election/selection of the 2004 committee, which is as follows.

Chairman – Ross Ketteridge
Vice Chairman – Terry Dobson
Secretary – Peter Amos
Treasurer – Lesley Roberts
Social Secretary – Nikki Gill
Co-opted member – Andy Freeman
Co-opted member – Tim Robinson

Peter laid on a superb hot buffet of chilli con carne, roast vegetables with cous cous and salad that was very much appreciated and completely devoured despite our concern that there would be far too much.

The evening was concluded with the annual NWC awards ceremony, in which the nominees and winners are as follows.

Most improved windsurfer
Nominees – Tim Robinson, Martin Haigh.
Winner – Martin Haigh.

Most blindly optimistic sailor
Nominees – Andy F, Steve C, Ross, Ginge
Winner – Steve C

Most spectacular single manoeuvre
Nominees – Ginge, Gavin, Terry, Barnesy
Winner – Ginge

The heart of gold award
Nominees – Barnesy, Nikki
Winner – Nikki

The social embarrassment award
Nominees – Reiner, Lesley, Ross, Tony L, Terry
Winner – Lesley

The Balls of Steel Award 2003
Nominees – Tony C, Barnesy, Matt, Leslie
Winner – Barnesy

So, the coveted BOS award goes to our man Barnesy, for many reasons but largely for the unselfish and frankly brave act of sailing out to a man in distress in a very challenging and potentially dangerous situation on that fateful day that Gavin broke his boom whilst sailing off Bamburgh beach.

Finally, many thanks to Newbiggin sailing club for hosting the event and particularly to Les who put in a considerable amount of his own time to help to make the whole night the success that it was.

Sat 29 Nov – Survival Conditions, Amble - Ross Ketteridge
The merry band of nutters is expanding. Today they included Steve C, Andy F, John C, Tim, Alistair, Matt, Steve B and (I think) his mate Terry.

This was some turnout given that it was 8 degrees C and the wind was blowing F6, later F7, and gusting to gale F8 (I wonder what the wind chill temperature was?) with a mix of horizontal rain and hail thrown in for good measure. These speeds are verified by the XC Weather website that recorded, for the hours from 11.00am through to 2.00pm, 26mph, 30, 35 and 35, gusting up to 48mph.

As a result even my 75lt/4.7m combination felt way too big, especially when being literally blown off the water in the biggest of the gusts. The rest of the time it was just the most exhilarating (and windiest) session of windsurfing I have ever had in the UK, being scary but manageable most of the time. Yeehaaa!

We’d made an early start as the main rain front was forecast for later on. I got to Druridge Bay (Hadston end) at about 9.30am, expecting to see a similar sea state to Tynemouth/Whitley Bay where it had looked quite flat with some white chop but nothing major in the way of waves. The sight that met me at Hadston was awesome, with huge rolling white water everywhere, and a good F6 blowing cross-on in direction. Not sailable, I concluded, and headed to Amble.

Good old Amble. It never seems to let us down when the rest of the coastal conditions are suicidal. The outer reef was doing its job as usual, allowing some swell and chop to come into the bay but filtering out the really big scary stuff that was visible on the horizon.

Even the big lads were on 4.5m sails and sinky boards. The skinny guys such as myself, Steve C and John C were consistently overpowered once the first hour had passed, as the strength of the wind increased to just-manageable proportions. Water starting in the gusts called for a very firm grip on the boom but the wind still ripped it out of your hands at times. The sea state was lumpy, allowing good airtime, and the shore break was negligible, especially as the tide receded. I wished I had a 4.0m sail.

Tim, Alistair and Matt unfortunately did not have sufficiently small gear. Alistair and Matt later changed down to 4.0 and 3.5m sails respectively but their old designs made them too much of a handful and their boards were just too buoyant for the conditions. Tim grappled manfully with his new JP and a 5.4 but he too had too much sail area and had to retire, but the important thing is that he recorded the board’s maiden voyage!

The atmosphere was intimidating but intoxicating, with the gusting rainy wind howling over a black and white sea, a dark grey cloud canopy so low you could almost touch it and an unremittingly grey, murky semi-darkness. At times it got a bit silly, especially when blasting through the big grey waves whilst having your face drilled by high-velocity hailstones, to the extent that you simply couldn’t see where you were going.

Tremendous, fantastic fun - one of those days that the adrenaline really pumps, and you forget that you can’t feel your hands or face. What a way to start the weekend. As a final note, a big thank you to Barnesy for sacrificing himself for the weekend (he’s in Canada with Kelly today) and allowing the wind to blow on a weekend day for a change!


Tuesday 18th November Hadston Boat Ramp - Paul Barnes
Firstly the bad news. I have still only sailed my new 135 litre JP a handful of times. The good news is that it’s been so windy that I have been sailing my 94litre JP instead and today was no exception.
Andy, Steve Boyd and I turned up at the boatramp about midday and the sea looked dead flat and the wind fairly light more or less as expected. I was volunteered to be wind monkey so the strategy was to rig my 6.6 and plug it into my big board just to see what the conditions were really like.
I sailed out and back once and realised that it was much windier than we had thought. I changed down to 94l and Andy rigged his 6.3 and 94l and Steve his 5.8 and his 94l board. Initially I though that Steve was being a little optimistic about the wind strength and this was supported by him standing on the beach for the first half hour. Then it picked up and after a few overpowered runs Andy and I changed down to 5.4m sailed. The rest of the afternoon saw good blasts in cross shore but a little gusty winds. The only mishaps of the day were me breaking a downhaul rope and Andy sailing right down wind to Hadston due to a fin way to small for the initial sail size. We left the beach about 1600 happy and tired. Not a bad session for flat water.

Friday 14th November (Amble Links) - Andy Freeman
Structural damage was being forecast all week. It seemed too good to be true for us sorry bunch of wind deprived souls and so it was. The forecast dropped to a measly force 6 by Thursday night but we were forced to make the best of it.
First port of call was Hadston but there was way too much east in the wind to have a good sail there and so we “popped” round the corner to Coquet Island. Coquet island is fast becoming our default location in anything other than a SW and with good reason I think.
The crew was Barnsey, Ginge, Gavin, Martin H, Matt and Jeff W. Martin deserves special mention for going out on for one of his first sea sails on such a challenging day and challenging it was: the list of carnage is as follows.
My boom that snapped while landing a jump hooked in, a 12-inch section just ripped out cleanly. Jeff W who snapped his boom and was forced to ditch his rig to get back in. Barnsey killed a mast and Matt nearly had me calling the lifeboat when he was being drilled while sailing a massively down-hauled 5.5!!!!!!
The sailing was good and I must say if you are going to sail here low tide is without doubt the best time. The shore break is kept to a minimum by the reef but there are still big ramps out near the island.
Anyway the wind was SE F6 and as steady as it gets. There was 2-3 knots variation in the wind speed. You would be hard pushed to get better than that anywhere. The biggest sail on view was 5.4 with the smallest 4.0 so you can see there was lots of potential.
I have to say the more I sail Coquet island the more I am getting to like It, especially at low tide. If there is any W or E in the wind and the tide is low you will be hard pushed to get a better spot.

Addendum
From Gavin
Two Bust Booms, One Dodgy Mast, Two Walks of Shame, One Found Hat .......... Amble ROCKS !!

Quite simply Friday's sail was the BEST Amble has given us yet. The direction was perfect, as was the tide, the wind, the sun, the temperature and of course the waves. I'll keep this short to save all you kind readers the pain of reading another report of windsurfing superlatives, suffice to say that these conditions happen few and far between, and just I consider myself very lucky to have been there.

Fri 14 Nov - Amble, best sail of the year - ????
Rumour has it that this was BIG FRIDAY, what with the F6 storm winds, the big waves and the adrenaline that was alledged to have been flowing.
We must assume that for now the heroes that were invloved are just still too tired to post a report. We look forward to seeing one soon when they have recovered sufficiently.

Sat 15 Nov – Gusty Seaton Point - Ross Ketteridge
Those that missed the epic yesterday were relieved to see a good forecast for today and also to find, on XC weather’s recent history, a steady 20mph blowing for the first few early hours of the morning.

The westerly direction was always going to be a problem, being dead offshore at almost all beaches on our exposed coastline. Normally Beadnell would be a good option, as a westerly allows reaches right across the bay from one side to the other. But today the tide was at its lowest point at midday, and Beadnell is unsailable on a low tide, due to the dreaded central reef.

I drove to the beach simultaneously with Ray, although Ray was Seaton Point bound as I headed to Blyth. Blyth was beautiful. Sunny, 11 degrees, white horses everywhere. But dead offshore. Tempting, but you’d need to get out past the gusty inshore section, so when Ray called to say Seaton was cross off in direction I reverted to that plan, followed by Alistair and Tim who’d gone to Blyth first too.

When we got to Seaton Point it seemed quite unwindy. Ray had rigged a 7.5 but I noticed that it was quite windy at the water’s edge so I rigged a 5.5m. We were soon joined by Dave R (who was launching his new Screamer 105 for the first time), Andy, Peter and Matt. The wind was very unstable, coming off the land. At times even Ray was wallowing on his 7.5 then at others I was maxed out on my 5.5. Probably about 6.5 was the best size, which is what I later rigged. After an hour or two of intermittent blasting the wind turned WNW and started to drop off as forecast and the gusty runs became less frequent. In the end of the session Andy had to swap boards with Matt to allow him to uphaul because he had characteristically taken out gear that was a bit too small for the conditions. I can’t talk, as I was on a 95lt board myself.

In all, hardly an epic day, but it was quite mild, lovely and sunny and the water was flat. My memory of the day will be the long fast blasts out on my small sail and board directly into a low dazzlingly bright sun that was reflecting blindingly off the sea ahead of me. If I’d been in a car I’d have pulled over for safety’s sake (obviously I’d not be driving my car on the North Sea but you get my point) but it was an exhilarating feeling, sailing almost blind like this, at full speed. Through my squinting eyes I couldn’t see the gusts or the chop so it required a peculiarly seat-of-the-pants technique to fight through the gusts and punch through the lulls.


Amble Links Sat 8th November 2003 - Gavin Duthie
Ripping Currents, Lost Hats and Oblivion
First thing to say is what a fantastic turnout for a cold grey November day. If I miss out anybody sorry, but here's the rota of hardcore nutters who probably are now at present seeking villages somewhere, for gainful employment as the resident local loons ; Ross, Andy, Tony C, Carl, Steve C, GINGE, Barnsey, Carl, Brad, Tim and Steve B. I arrived quite late to find several sailors huddled on the beach, dwarfed by a very big grey choppy sea, interspersed with indistinct rollers culminating in a dumping shorebreak all kicked up into confusion by a cross on F4/5. What wasn't apparent from the bluff was the wicked northerly running rip current, which was proving very tricky to get through. Chosen sail sizes went from 6.5 down to 5.0 and boards were all small and wave orientated. Tony C came along the beach just as I was preparing to launch muttering wicked words about oblivion and rig munching breaks, but at that point there seemed to be a mass breakout and we all launched into said oblivion. Timing was the order of the day to punch out, along with the ability to hold your board and rig up for as long as possible, in what seemed like Niagara Falls rushing past your legs, waiting for a hole in the surf. Once out the sea was very confused, and to keep board and rig trimmed was a constant high speed thigh and torso workout. Wanting to face the shore break as little as possible I tried to stay out for as long as possible, only coming in when my hands were on verge of ceasing to function. Getting in was a lot easier with some nice wave rides evident, Barnsey in particular was pleased with taming one huge gnarly monster. Very little airtime was evident as any ramps that came along were erratic and few. Special mention must go to Brad and Tim for getting out and surviving, if only just, but the munch of the day award must go to GINGE (sorry mate) who got caught badly as he was coming in, and truly had his board and rig put through the mincer. The damage wasn't too bad with mast dinging the board, but the same can't be said for GINGE'S favourite surf baseball cap. It's gone now, and is like a lost sock in the Laundromat of oblivion.

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