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National Windsurfing Championships 2018
Iona receiving her trophy from Guy Cribb having come first in her fleet (4.5m)


Kiwi Steve Aerial - The Bluff
Kiwi Steve330/03/08 
Event reports Event reports: Event reports for Cornwall
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Cornwall needs no introduction if you are a wavesailor. Gwithian is the favorite spot for keen wave-heads and can deliver some of the best down-the-line wave sailing in England. If you can get your kit down the goat track from the cliff that is.

The launching spot is down the cliff at the end of the car park. Best to get in your wetsuit and carry all your kit down the cliff in one go. Watch the wind swirling around and it can get very slippery when wet, you have been warned! If that sounds too hardcore you can walk along the path and down the steps to Godrevy beach. But most are in a rush to get out and just head down the cliff to Gwithian and rig up on the beach or on the rocks in the cove below.

The sailing is predominately port tack with the common winds from the S-W. Gwithian and just past the rocks, Godrevy, face north west and west respectively and pick up the biggest swells.

The best directions for Gwithian are SSW which is x-offshore and SW which is x-shore. A true S is a bit too off-shore and gusty,better to sail The Bluff - and W is x-onshore, worth checking Marazion. N and NE can apparently be good x-shore on starboard tack. Gwithian is a classic beach break and can be light and tricky on the inside, especially when the tide is getting high, and maxed out the back. So you may need to consider board and rig sizes accordingly.

The best tide according to the Locals is 'mid tide on the push' as the swell lines up better on the sand bars. The tide is big and comes right up to the cliff so makes a difference to the swell, the launch and sailing time. Keep an eye on the tide and where you are in relation to your launch as the tide can catch you out! Also keep an eye on your gear on the beach if you come in for a break as the tide can come up quick if you not careful and your kit will float off!

There is a big rocky reef that sticks out from the cliff below the lifeguard hut and separates Gwithian and Godrevy and you need to watch it when the tide is getting high as you can get caught on them!! On the left looking out from Gwithian is a reef about a few hundred metres out to sea. It can disappear at high tide so watch the water boiling around it.

The best wave is in front of the rocks which has a nice wall and section to smack. My favorite is the wave that breaks downwind into Godrevy as it is bigger and sometime cleaner with more turns in.

Watch out for the patrolled swimming areas as the life guards are not happy with windsurfers sailing in the swimmers area and they will shout at you!! There are often surfers out so you MUST keep an eye out for them as they will have right of way. Kiters are not that keen on Gwithian as it can be a bit too big and x-offshore for the less experienced.

If you suddenly need a dump (which happens when you see the swell) there are toilets opposite the lifeguard hut.

There are two cafes at Gwithian with good food and coffee.

Parking is free in the winter and 4 in the summer.

The Bluff/Hayle

The Bluff/Hayle is a great wave riding spot. The best winds are S-W as the beach faces North. SSW-SW is ideal as it gets funnelled down the hills and along the river and out to The Bluff. WSW is a touch x-on but good. A S can work as it accelerates out of the river mouth for very localized x-off sailing when it's getting too offshore for Gwithian.

The waves are usually smaller than Gwithian and often much cleaner in a SW. But it can get big there. The river mouth has a very strong current which can help or hinder depending on what way it's going. Hayle is a small working harbour and there are fishing boats that have to navigate their way in and out - so keep out of their way!

The tide is best on the push and can come right up to the cliffs. Keep an eye on it!

Parking can be had at the Bluff Inn in the winter when it's closed or for a small fee in the summer. Otherwise there is a big pay car park across the road from the pub.

Don't forget....

Know your wave rules and right-of-way. 'First on the wave' or 'Closest to the peak' you decide! Remember the waves will be bigger on the water than they look from the cliff top! Know your limits and respect the conditions and other sailors/surfers.

You may even spot dolphins or seals in the line up which makes it interesting. Once I saw two huge fins come out of the water near me and I nearly shat myself but was relived to see they were only dolphins.

If you get Gwithian or The Bluff on a good day you'll score some fantastic down-the-line wavesailing and have a big grin on your face!

Kiwi Steve

Last updated: 05/03/08 11:44 By: Andrew
Views: 7539

Added by Genevieve on 03/02/09

if you have driven all this way, then you already know something is good about these spots! There are toilets (open in summer) and there are cafe's but the beaches are big so you can't expect the walk to be short. The best thing is to be prepared and bring your own. Lots of tourist stuff for the rainy days when the kids can't handle any more beach time.

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