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Panoramic view of Hayling Beach, high tide
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.



Diary summary statistics

By Board
By Sail
By Board/sail
VenuesBoard sizeTotal
Camber Sands    1       1
Cornwall    2  6    8
Weymouth       11   2
fuerteventura 2 2 11   1 7
Poole1   4  92   16
Lepe & Calshot       521  8
Southend on Sea       1    1
Hayling Island  1 3  71   12
La Torche, France    1  11  14
Whitstable    5  65   16
Tankerton Bay, Kent    1  3    4

Each cell shows number of sessions, click on a cell for more details.

Whitstable on 09/05/18

Rating:2 star rating
Board:138 litres

First sail of the year at Mercers Lake (not Whitstable!).

This one was for the kids as well. Lucas was happily sailing on his Kode 123/2.5m and I practised my low speed tacks.

Lake water was surprisingly not freezing. Had my summer suit on and it was ok.

Looking forward to some salty water though.

Whitstable on 28/10/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:120 litres

Another session in Mercers lake in Surrey. The promised 15+ knots never realised, and Lucas reported that he stayed within his comfort zone throughout. He is trying to do some harness practice, but today the wind never picked up enough.

Another non-planing session for me. My goal today though was to advance my fast-tacking to the next level so I sized down to my 120lt board. To my astonishment I pulled it off and probably achieved a 70% success rate - mind you, until today, I had never fast-tacked on this board before! All that summer practice is paying off! Fast-tacking aside, it was a tiring session, as this board is a nightmare to manage when not planing.

Great afternoon though, sunny and not very cold.

Whitstable on 11/09/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:138 litres

This session was actually in Mercers lake in Surrey. Unlikely anyone else will ever sail there, so I don't think we need it added to our venue list.

I don't like small lakes. They smell mouldy, on a cloudy day the water looks black (not just grey, black!), the wind is patchy and very gusty and everything is covered in moss.

Nevertheless, Mercers lake is 30 mins drive from our house and has a nice sailing club, so a nice place to take the kids windsurfing to.

It was Lucas's turn this time. I realised yesterday that gusts can be good for the kids to practice sailing in stronger winds in small bursts without getting too overwhelmed. Kids are pretty self-reliant now, so all I did was keep my distance and stepped in just once to untangle him from some tree branches that had fallen in the water. Other than that, I did my usual non-planing stuff.

Weymouth on 27/08/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:138 litres

With the club on the Billy Winters beach for the weekend.

Accompanied Lucas in his morning and afternoon sail. Not much wind to get anyone going, so we focused on some turning and sail flipping action. First, we caught the early morning on-shore breeze. Then, back out in the afternoon in off-shore wind this time. As current kept pushing us further and further out, Lucas got a bit scared, but committed to some serious zig-zagging action to get him back to the shore. I wasn't as lucky as my small sail proved woefully inadequate and I had to walk the last 100m.

On Monday, both Eva and Lucas went out doing their practice, but I just watched from the beach.

Whitstable on 19/08/17

Rating:2 star rating
Board:138 litres

I am having second thoughts about Whitstable as a good venue for the kids to practice. Even on low tide and cross-shore winds it gets quite choppy, something I never really noticed when sailing by myself, but trying to get the kids to uphaul and get going is proving a hefty task.

I had all the wrong kit for planing action: small sail, large free-ride board, short square fin; and yet the breeze was strong enough I had to try very hard not to plane and stay close to Eva. Eva tried her best, but the strong wind required harness and footstrap use and she is not there yet. And then was the relentless chop. I did manage a lot of fast tacks in strong wind though which was a first - next I got to try on a smaller board. Maybe next weekend in Weymouth.

Whitstable on 12/08/17

Rating:2 star rating
Board:138 litres

In the water with Lucas again. Elements against us. Barely any wind, and waves moving faster than we could manage, so a challenge for Lucas to feel comfortable and for me to practice any moves with ease. Yet, the boy did really well, recovered from a couple of minor mishaps and, to top it all, tried his first oysters at the breach restaurant - and liked them! Lovely sunny skies before and after our session, but miserably overcast whilst in the water.

La Torche, France on 04/08/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:138 litres

Today, after the kids lesson, we visited another spot further down Plage du Ster to check out the small sailing club. After days of miserable weather, the sky finally cleared and it ended up being an amazing afternoon on the sandy beach with a gentle off/cross-shore breeze. The sea was completely flat, blue and clear and I could not resist the temptation to hit the water. It would have been a crime not to. There was just enough wind to get me moving and practice some light wind moves, but just being out there was epic. My hands though were still in a bad shape and any boom change, or uphauling were agonising.

Last sail in France. Next, muddy Kent!

La Torche, France on 03/08/17

Rating:1 star rating
Board:120 litres

Once more at Plage du Ster.

It sure felt windy when standing on the sand dunes. But out on the water it was a different story. The 7.5m proved insufficient to get me going, and the relentless lumps added insult to injury. The 8.4m might have been ok, but the rough sea would have made water-starting a challenge. Everyone was under-powered so that felt a bit better (apart from that token guy who is on every beach and always manages to plane when everyone else does not). Also, my blistery hands were killing me and since they were doing all the work it ended up being a short session.

La Torche, France on 02/08/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:95 litres

Back on the Plage du Ster.

Finally, the wind picked up. But I could have easily been on Hayling beach: overcast, cold, messy waves with not a ramp in sight, gusty. The long walk from the Yelloh campsite demanded that I got the sail right the first time around and, lo and behold, I did! That 5.6m fitted like a glove for the most part.

Hadn't sailed on wavy conditions for a year, so it took a while to get warmed up. Even managed a few jumps, but need to work on softer landings. Finished when my hands got all blistery. Gotta wear gloves tomorrow.

Sailing club was closed today due to the weather, but hopefully will be sailing with the kids tomorrow in milder conditions. 16 knots tomorrow and then that's it for the holidays.

La Torche, France on 01/08/17

Rating:3 star rating
Board:180 litres

Not exactly on the La Torche beach, although the day before I was there paddle boarding, but on Plage du Ster, on the south side of the peninsula. Kids had a windsurfing lesson at the local sailing club and I joined in using the club's hire kit. Very light wind, so I spend the whole time practising the basics. Kids had a blast though.

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