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Panoramic view of Hayling Beach, high tide
03/08/14
Parking ranging by the time slot - All day £6.00, Overnight [22:00 - 08:00 ] £10.00
Toilets have a shower section,  but didn't try them. Toilets are vandal proof steel type. Drinking water.

Poole

Carl at Poole
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Event reports Event reports: Event reports for Poole
Forthcoming event Forthcoming events: Forthcoming events for Poole
Pictures Pictures: Pictures for Poole (143)
Rating OMWC Rating: 4 star rating
Poole is one of the best windsurfing areas in England for beginners and intermediates due to the enormous expanse of shallow flat water in the harbour. There is plenty of variety for experts too. OMWC events are held at a number of different venues in Poole, so make sure you check the event information for the precise location where we will be meeting. Should the wind be in the wrong direction, it is easy to switch venues and to find somewhere where the wind is much better.

For accommodation and other details refer to www.pooletourism.com

Sandbanks Harbour

Windsurfing
The Harbour is the most popular venue because it is the only one with shallow water - acres of it!. It can get crowded in summer, especially on windy days, so head out further and avoid the crowds but keep out of the deep water channel next to Brownsea Island, which is used by big ships and ferries. OMWC tend to visit at high tide weekends, to be sure there is enough water in the harbour! Despite the acres of water, some people have a tendency to windsurf amongst the moored boats, which can be avoided if you want to. The harbour bed is mostly sand, but watch out for the occasional rock or deep hole where the bait diggers have been.

Parking
Parking can be a problem in summer, especially if it is sunny (tourists) so make sure you arrive early. OMWC events tend to avoid July and August. Parking is on the water's edge - just chuck your kit over a wall (not always easy to chuck it back over the other way when you are knackered!). Park near the OMWC flag or wherever you can. Avoid parking in the kitesurfers zone, near the sandbanks hotel, the water is extremely shallow here and full of kites. Parking at either end of the bay, has the advantage of deeper water and a shorter potential walk. Free to park in winter but a lot more in summer. (£10 per day in the height of summer).

Facilities
Cafe and toilets close by, on the sea front next to Sandbanks Hotel and in the large beach car park. Several windsurfing schools nearby and one of the few places where rental equipment is still available - from Poole Harbour Boardsailing or FC Watersports Academy. Also nearby is the massive H20 Watersports shop.

Sandbanks (Sea)

Windsurfing
Gorgeous soft sandy beach, cross shore in a westerly with an added funnelling effected in this direction created by the back of the Purbecks. As you launch there is a sand bar to the right about ¼ mile out which can generate some decent sized waves. There are some rocky groynes and a small shipping channel which goes along the beach (not the large one used by the Condor Ferry which is further to the right and goes out past Old Harry Rocks). If the wind is in the wrong direction, just pop over the road and sail in the harbour. This venue is best on cold rainy days, when the crowds stay in their caravans.

Parking
Massive car park on the edge of the beach but completely stuffed full on sunny summer days, so arrive early. Charges are about the same as the harbour per day.

Facilities
Very good, several cafes and toilet blocks with a seasonal life guard service on the beach, windsurfing shop just over the road. Rig up on the tarmac car park, the pedestrian promenade or the grass next to the café ? basically anywhere rather than the super fine sandy beach and you should avoid jammed masts.

Hamworthy

Windsurfing
Another venue under-utilised by the masses, which suits us fine. Unusually for a harbour venue, good in all winds and tides. Deep water during all states of tide, so no danger of losing a fin or having to walk miles. Further out are a few moored boats to dodge, then a deep water channel (too shallow for the larger ships) and beyond this massive expanses of flat water. There can be a strong current in and around the channel when the tide is rising or falling. On a falling tide, avoid drifting down to the channel ferry port to the far left of the launch area.

Parking
Small FREE car park. If full, free park in the neighbouring streets is easy, just off load your kit first. Car park is a 50 yard walk over grass to the waters edge.

Facilities
The huge grassy rigging area is also great for children, kites, dogs etc. Fresh water tap on the promenade. Toilets nearby and a café with large enclosed childrens play area.

Bramblebush Bay

Windsurfing
An idyllic harbour-side windsurfing spot, nestled in the sand dunes which protect the harbour from the open sea. Best in a west-north-west round to easterly wind, other directions are offshore at the launch area and become more gusty. Shallow water for much of the time, sandy bottom. One deep channel to watch out for but no ships. Hardly anyone else windsurfs from here but it is a fantastic venue. Just keep away from the harbour entrance if the tide is racing out, else you might go with it!

Parking
Coming from the Poole direction, once across the chain ferry, pay your toll, then park anywhere you can on the verge on the right of the road. This way it is free to park and relatively close to the water.

Facilities
Toilet in the NT car park (very green, but rather smelly).
We normally stay in and around Swanage on the Saturday night.

Studland Bay

Windsurfing
An outstandingly beautiful beach but xxxx all use for windsurfing, despite being on the open sea and nice and sandy, because it is extremely sheltered. The exception being in an easterly or even a north easterly, which is when this venue really comes in to its own. If the wind is in any other direction, do not even think about Studland. Lots of trippers come here but the beach is huge so there is plenty of space for everyone, including the nudists at the northern end!

Parking
From Poole, take the chain ferry, then take the NT Car park a few miles further on on the left hand side. Huge car park (there are several so look at the map carefully and make sure you select the right one!) Free for national Trust Members, the rest will have to pay a fair old wedge.

Facilities
All the usual National Trust quality toilets and cafe. For Studland events, we normally base ourselves in Swanage on a Saturday night.

Last updated: 18/02/08 20:05 By: Andrew
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