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Sunday, 22 September 2019
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7 mile broad reach


The Kent coast has been getting more than it's fair share of wind this week! Whilst everywhere else has been becalmed they've had 4.5 weather every day..
I filled the van up with all the toys and made the trip down yesterday.

Arranged to meet Mark Bell at St Mary's and arrived to find Ian black was there too (from St Ives, Cornwall!). Guess it's been pretty desperate in Kernow lately. Both were getting their share of decent stunts. Mark seemed well dialled to the conditions and able to boost some big backies off the soft 2ft ramps.

St Mary's with Dungeness in the background

Had a fun sail for a couple of hours, finding the occasional decent vertical ramp on the way out and even managed a couple of half decent airs on the way in! (came as a shock to me too -I have a witness!)
Billyboy and King Shingly from Boards forum were out playing too. Tide soon stopped play though, so after a natter it was time to head round the corner.

I had my eye on the South coast for some slalom blasting/speed so went to check it out at high tide..

Google map

That corner of land from Dungeness to Camber sands is super flat. The shingle beach itself is the highest land mass (except for the power station on the point). See the pic at the top of the page! It's a bit like Portland Harbour only the course is 7 miles long! The wind was North East.

View left

View right

Of course the big problem is, if you break anything you'll end up in France :o

Had some fun blasting along the whole strip nicely powered on my 7m and 95 slalom with 34 fin. Managed a 32knot peak and a 28.5knot mile, but probably not far off that for the whole 7 mile..

Fortunately I could sail straight back upwind along the coast without having to tack out to sea.
Unfortunately I can't retrieve my sbn file so can't do a google map overlay. No big numbers and sounds pretty dull I'm sure, but take my word for it, it was quite a decent laugh. I think you could do some serious speeds here in a real blow but you'd need a rescue boat for sure. Halfway up towards Dungeness the wind is almost uninterupted as the shingle bank drops to almost nothing and there's no groynes for miles.

With arms and legs well and truly pumped I headed back to St Mary's for another hour or two of wavey stuff and more forumites sailing, namely the big guns Graemef and Basher ripping it up.
Didn't enjoy the first half hour at all (underpowered on the inside), and was all set to go home but went for 'one last blast'. Which turned into an hour and was actually pretty good after all.

It's very tide dependant down this way. Low and high are no good, and in between doesn't stay the same for long due to the sand bars. But you can get a good couple of hours of decent ramps if you're at the right spot on the right tide. (somewhere between Greatstone and Dymchurch)

Obviously used my new Mistral 82 Twinzer! (combined with 4.5 and 5m Missions and 15cm k4fins) Oh yes!
Felt really good, very spritely underfoot and easy to sail. It did everything I asked of it with finesse -which is good because changing brands is always bit of a worry! It feels fairly similer to the 09 DaCurve which was definitely my favourite board of recent years so that can't be bad, I felt at home straight away. It's almost certainly a bit quicker and livelier though. I'm more than happy, bring on some big waves!

All in all a top day, well worth the drive and good to get a solid 6hrs on the water powered up. Would be nice to get a Big down the line day soon, why can't the wind and waves coincide for once?

Moo Custom
Hot Sails Maui
K4 Fins





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