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There are 397 News Items in 40 pages and you are on page number 36

Sunday 17 August - Blyth - Peter Amos
AT last some wind, but as it was SE all usual venues were not suitable, after some debate it was decided that Blyth would be our best chance. So Rich and I met with PAul at about 1.30 with Terry D, Tony C and Ross all expected later. We met in the car park Alastair who is comming back to the sport after 10 years off and Steve S turned up to sail.
Most on 7.0 with biggish boards (although for Rich that means 105l !!) I had my new acquisition , a 2001 Starboard Formula 155 and Heckler 8.0.
Unfortunately the wind was just lacking that 2 or 3 mph that would have made it a fully planning day. There was quite a swell but this did give the possibility of planning in on the waves that Paul certianly managed to achieve. Apart from one 5-10 minute spell when the wind got up ( and I managed both straps and a glimpse of just how fast this board is going to be) there really was not tenough wind and although Terry, Tony and Ross all turned up they wisely refrained from getting wet.
As we packed up my board brought over a Dutch guy who had not sailed for 7 years amazed at the size of the board. He used to live 30 minutes from Renesse! We may have another returnee.
On the whole Blyth has its attractions being 15 minutes from home but it just doesn't have the beauty of beaches like Hadston even if it also has the advantage of no dog sh*t.

Roker – 16th August 2003 - Kevin Hazard
An alternative location protected by two piers providing a sheltered ocation tried out by some of the more newer members of club – Lesley, Martin, Jayne and myself.
Conditions – Convenient parking, no dog mess, blue skies a light wind direct onshore and an incoming tide, the direct onshore wind created an awkward swell but sailable, Martin & Lesley put in a very good performance, the first time let loose in the sea for myself, Jayne had a few difficulties, never the less a location worth considering for the future.

13 August - Ladyburn - Lesley Roberts
Evidence of wind lured Jayne and Nikki up to Ladyburn for an afternoon session and by all accounts, a good time was had. Jayne's enthusiasm was restored by a good performance so she's back on track. Martin turned up at about 5 with Lesley hot on his heels. He must be awarded the medal for achievement, planing well and generally whizzing around. Nikki definitely gets the medal for stamina, sailing right through 'til almost 8. No medals for Lesley until she can stop turning into the wind. Carl arrived and sailed too. He gets the medal for quirkiness - for sailing fully clothed in football kit and then going home half naked. Ah well

Seaton Point - Wednesday 13 August - Paul Barnes
After the usual stream of Website messages and telephone calls Ray and I had decided to meet at Seaton Point at 1230. We arrived to be met by Andy and Tony.
The wind looked a little light so we all rigged big, with sails being around 7.5-9metres.
The wind had swung directly offshore by the time we launch giving us perfectly powered blasts across the bay.
The wind then increased on at one point we all come in to rig 6.5s and small boards. It promptly dropped again when Jonah Freeman got his kit out of the trailer. So we all persevered with big sails down hauled to the max. The wind then returned with a vengeance and we all had some extremely fast and overpowered blasts. Andy at one point came back to the beach looking a little ruffled and declared that it was 5metre weather out back and he had gone so fast that Robby and Bjorn better look out if these conditions kept up.
After a few spectacular crashes caused by boards being literally blow off the water, the wind tailed off around 1730. Freeman demonstrating his usual luck in being the only sailor two miles from the beach when it dropped. It didn’t take him too long to wallow back though.
Once again Seaton Point proved to be a brilliant and safe sailing spot giving us probably one of the best sessions of the summer.

Sun 10 Aug – Budle unsailed - Ross Ketteridge
And the news is. . .there is no news!

Barnesy was the only person to come close to sailing, camping up at Bamburgh with step-brother Paul. I’d been unable to go with him on the Saturday due to needing to prepare for my impending house move. I thought there’d be no wind anyway, until I received a call from a frustrated PB, in mid afternoon, who was witnessing a F4 cross shore sea breeze on a high tide; in other words classic summer Bamburgh conditions. I could hear the wind whistling around his handset. He was frustrated because he was the only one there, so couldn’t sail. Bummer.

The following day dawned fine and I got a text from PB to say, “Are you lot coming?” One hour later the heavens opened in Bamburgh and thanks to a quick about-turn communication by PB all those who had intended heading for Budle halted their plans. For the next few hours, a huge 200 mile wide line of cloud crossed the north of England, and we got dark skies, thunder, lightning and rain, while in Heathrow a temperature of 37.9 degrees C (100 F) was recorded, making it the hottest day in the UK since records began 130 years ago.

The wind failed to materialise, unsurprisingly. The weatherman then cheerfully informed us what a lovely sunny day it had been and that the heat wave will continue for a few days more. Great. If you’re not dying to go sailing.

Sun 03 Aug – Kielder - Ross Ketteridge
Plus points today for me were sunshine, a lack of biting insects, some excellent pie and chips from the sailing club galley, and good company from a turnout that included one of our new members, Stephen.

Also there was Kevin, Ally, Peter, Gavin and family, Terry and Dave D.

The latter four plus myself were equipped with longboards, on which we made a trek after lunch.

The minus point was that the tantalising wind, that was blowing when I was rigging my sail at 11.00 am, dropped off by 11.15, so a planing fix was out of the question and did not present itself for the rest of the day.

So off we all set to Leaplish Park, a mile or so upwind of the sailing club launch spot. The unofficial race had no prize for the winner but the threat that the loser would have to buy ice creams for the rest. Dave got there first, followed by Gavin, Terry and myself, then Peter, who really got into a rather unlucky wind “black hole” after making a great start. Luckily for him we were all far too greedy to wait for someone to buy our snacks, so when he arrived we had already consumed our goodies.

After lazing around in the sun, chatting, for a while, we headed back on what turned out to be a fifty-minute dead run in an ever-decreasing zephyr of a breeze. Very tedious, and very hot for me as I was somewhat overdressed in long legged wetsuit and warm buoyancy vest. I came last this time but there was no ice cream shop so I was saved.

It would have been nice to get some strong wind but we all had an enjoyable day out. As Andy said yesterday, it sure beats digging the garden, which I agree with despite the fact that I have a yard.


Sat 02 Aug – Blyth and Seaton Sluice - Ross Ketteridge
The talk on the message forum is that we have found a good new local beach, after the second recent sail there in the last couple of weeks. Blyth is not a new beach at all, of course, just new to those of us who have sailed it recently and found that it is much better than its somewhat negative reputation would have had us believe.

What it does not have is the great rural, isolated magic that comes as standard with Druridge, Hadston, Seaton Point and others. What it does have is locality (for we Tynesiders), a very sailable low-tide state, no rocks whatsoever, free parking right next to the beach, a chippy right next to the car park, toilets, and a get-out-of-jail card in the form of the jetty and river mouth at its north end. The main hazards to be aware of are a sometimes-nasty high tide shore break with associated rip, and the groynes that extend down into the water a couple of hundred yards south of the launch spot, but these should only be a problem in extreme offshore or onshore wind directions combined with a high tide, in other words rarely. We are also informed that it gets quite gnarly in some wind directions and tide states, but for anyone aspiring to learning a bit of wave sailing then I have a feeling this may be a good place to start, on its more benign days, of course. It is quite feasible to assume that in southerly directions it is a suitable venue for ambitious early intermediates too, as demonstrated by Tim a couple of weeks ago.

On Saturday lunchtime Andy and I arrived to find a low tide, lots of sunshine, and a flat turquoise sea. The nearby wind turbines always give a handy visual clue as to the wind direction. In this case it was dead offshore, and just touching F4. I should point out that generally speaking it is unwise to sail in such a wind direction as, if anything goes wrong, there is only one way that you will drift – out to sea. However, given some sensible precautions like not sailing very far from the shore, keeping a close eye on your buddy and using a board that will go upwind very easily, it’s a viable proposition on a warm sunny day. And what a great sail we had, too. It was a real novelty to be sailing in parallel with the beach and, for me, to be able, for the first time, to actually sail from one beach to another in one easy trip. The bay, although quite straight, is curved enough that it allowed us to launch from Blyth South Beach and land two and a half miles away on Seaton Sluice beach. What a lovely beach the latter is, and what a great view you get when sailing its whole length, just a hundred metres from the shore. We basically spent an hour and a half racing each other back and forth, on wonderfully flat water. The easy conditions allowed some experimental gear-tuning too - I realised after Andy’s advice that by moving my mast track back to its rearmost position I became sufficiently fast that Andy could barely catch me; thanks, mate!

The wind was, given its direction, surprisingly steady and the gusts were surprisingly gradual and sustained rather than vicious and explosive. Apart from one memorable one where I witnessed, from maybe twenty metres behind, Andy getting drilled by it at full planing speed, causing him to sail for an exciting second or two with his hull a few centimetres out of the water as if the fin was a hydrofoil. Very entertaining!

As the wind dropped Barnesy turned up but it picked up again to give him some good blasts. Despite having missed the best sailing, he was nevertheless converted to this new local spot. After an après-sail ice cream and smokey and chips, I was converted too!


Fri 01 Aug - Hadston Delivers Again - Ross Ketteridge
The wind had been building steadily all morning. When I called my boss to tell him I was taking the afternoon off I was pleased to hear he had already taken the day off to play golf. That’s his obsession but I can guarantee that he did not get more pleasure out of his eighteen holes, or whatever, as I did out of my stupendous afternoon session at the boat ramp end of Hadston today.

The usual skivers were assembled by 1pm: myself, Gavin, Barnesy, Tim, Paul G and Tony C. The tide was just starting to come in so a bed of kelp had to be negotiated on the way out, but once clear of it was like a day in windsurfing heaven. We were all equipped with between 7m and 8m of sail and 120-140lt of board. The sun was shining, the wind was steady and cross offshore in direction. The sea was quite flat but with a great rolling swell that could be followed on the way back in at the same speed, giving that incredible feeling of sailing downhill on water – just fantastic! But it was the first reach on the way out that was the most memorable one, and it makes the hair stand up on my neck to recall it. Gavin and Barnesy were, with myself, the first on the water, and we blasted out on that first reach, towards the power station chimneys on the horizon, fully powered, riding just on our fins across the long swell. It really was one of those rides that you just don’t want to get off, and we must have gone a good three miles before we turned. As we blasted along together, each was waiting for the other to make the gybe, but it was ages before Paul peeled off. We certainly could have sailed the full six miles to the Cresswell end of the bay, which was something of an upwind single beat but quite possible given the by now full F4 breeze. The sensation was that delicious precarious feeling of being two miles out in the middle of a big bay in a dead offshore wind, which it wasn’t, but that’s what it felt like.

The rest of the afternoon was just like a three-hour holiday. In fact, rather like Kos, as five of the Kos eight were out there. We even sat, offshore, floating on our boards in the sunshine, talking bollocks just like we had in June.

Tim made great progress, blasting out to the horizon like an old pro, and making some pretty decent waterstarts, too. Gavin made the highest vertical jump I’ve ever seen on a 7.5m sail, but unfortunately got out of shape and made a spectacular crash landing! Barnesy, on newly repaired and beloved JP, was ripping up the swell and reported sightings of four seals in the middle of the bay. Paul G had a good sail, alternating between his Xantos and his Phoenix, on his trusty 8m Heckler. Tony had a pretty decent session too and we were all glad for the relative absence of lobster pot lines for once, although Tim did hit one at one point.

Later on, the wind dropped, which happened to coincide with Mr Unlucky-Freeman, recently having a regular habit of arriving at beaches at wind-dying times. Barnesy and I risked being thumped by him in the subsequent winding-up and predictable wind-Jonah references, but thankfully it filled in again just as the first shift was leaving at about 6pm. Joining Andy on the evening shift was Steve C (planing straight away as usual), Jeff W and Peter. By all accounts they had a great couple of hours as the wind stayed on for a good while. At the dog poo end, Tom had launched and had a few hours in his own, but I didn’t manage to talk to him.

In summary, wehaay!


Sat/Sun 26/27 July - Wind Prayers Unanswered - Ross Ketteridge
Today was scheduled for Budle but we ended up spending the day on Bamburgh beach waiting for the wind that never came. The intention was that if the wind picked up we’d check out Budle, but it didn’t so we didn’t. I hope no one else did. I assume not by the fact that my mobile never went off. We did see Paul G heading Budle-bound but retrieved him to Bamburgh with a phonecall and allowed him to enjoy some sky watching with us for a couple of hours, before driving another 55 miles back home.
Myself, Gavin, Ray and Barnesy had spent the night camping at Budle campsite hence we made an early start at Bamburgh not Budle, as the latter was a low-tide mud flat until lunchtime.
The previous day (Saturday) we had spent a similar fruitless search for wind at various beaches in the same vicinity. Sadly the sea was dead flat which ruled out surfing and the intermittent rain ruled out climbing. Or at least until 4pm it did, when a suitable dry weather window allowed a hasty trip to Kylo crags where we had a good session until the rain came again at about 7pm. Gavin and Ray made us suspicious of their claims to have never climbed before, scaling the thirty-odd foot sheer rock with apparent ease and lack of fear.
We managed to pitch tents in another dry period and then spent a pleasant evening drinking around a barbeque being bitten alive by midges and listening to the dulcet tones of the resident population of camping charvers.
While I’m moaning, I’ll tell you that I forgot my sleeping bag, so spent a sleepless night in a Carve 121 bag that was rather like spending the night in a giant draughty crisp packet – I even kept Gavin, my next door neighbour, awake, by my crackling noises, every time I moved, which was frequent.

26/27 Jul - Plans for this weekend - Ross Ketteridge
Today (Saturday) a few of us are venturing up to Beadnell, meeting in the usual spot at around lunchtime. However, if there is absolutely no wind, we may move later to the other end of the bay or somewhere else, so please contact us on our mobiles if you need to track us down.

THe plan for the eveninng is open, weather-dependant, but the basic plan is to go camping at either Beadnell or on the beach at Ross Sands (North of Budle).

On Sunday we're sailing at Budle Bay. Normally I'd refer you to the message forum where Peter has posted directions of how to get there, but of course I cannot as it is not working! I've never sailed Budle but I know that Reiner has and a few others including Tony C and Gavin, so perhaps if you read this email and you know the exact directions and how to get to the local farmer to pay him the agreed £5 launching fee, then you can send a reply to everyone with details.

Hope to see you sometime over the weekend.

Cheers,
Ross.

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