Severn Bore report April 2009 Horseshoe Region

Thursday, Apr 16th

Pretty much as predicted in the last report river levels have dropped away even further and by April 8th, the day before the full moon, were exceptionally low. As a result there were no Severn bores at Newnham. Other factors of pressure and this year's gravity have mitigated against any great bores this Spring, rather contradicting the media hype of earlier this year. Bore prediction is quite a bit more than star ratings!


According to legend the Druids probably had it wired. In today's Severn bore surfing culture there are probably only a few, who could predict accurately enough to justify guys jumping on that plane. No bore in April was a rare and exceptional event. Normally one would expect a reasonable and sometimes considerable head of freshwater in the river for the month. Tom recalled this being a considerable change for a month in which the bore can be expected to be running on a flooded river. He went on to suggest that an aggressive tide race may still be a hidden indicator of a good bore further up river in the straight mile environs even when Newnham is flat.


Tom continued: Low river and Newnham not good! I recall the lowest we ever saw it the boatyards bank (mid stream) was an island with just a small knee deep channel up the Arlingham side and surface water across the nab side. It was side-thrusters all the way! Can't remember what the Fox was showing. That was mid summer and there was nothing up river.


Donny Wright was out on Wednesday the 8th April to catch the first evening bore of the year at the Fish Hut on the 9.4m tide. "There was nothing, not even a swell, just a dribble on the edge of the sandbank showing the tide was flowing in. I paddled in the hope that something would pick up at my mark. I paddled and just went on paddling for over 200 yards keeping with the flowing front edge of the tide, until there was enough of a face to get up and knee board it. Bendy was waiting upstream and got the final bit of white water when we both stood up and got wrapped together, bringing that ride to an abrupt end."


Thursday the 9th on the 9.7 metre evening tide saw Donny and Keith paddling for a small wave in the Newnham channel, Donny getting a tiny crouching ride on a mini face and Keith a cricket pitch ride on broken water along the edge of the sanbank. There seemed no point putting a cold wet wettie on the next morning for the 9.7 Friday tide and so Donny took some pics to prove a point and commiserated with the clutch of Swansea surfers who had made a wasted journey.
A lone surfer on the April bore that did'nt happen Can you spot the bore? The surfer didn't!


Boatyards was absolutely flat and one surfer paddling midstream probably did'nt even know the tide had gone by until the following current kicked in.Three kayakers had the tiny channel wave and there would have been no position for a surfer to get onto that that one.


Kayakers on tiny April Severn bore in Newnham channel


Despite the disappointment of these tides and the gloomy outlook this is one of the greatest surfing experiences on the Planet. You just cannot believe it without seeing or experiencing the Severn bore at her most majestic. In the meantime a copy of Longwave goes the distance in filling the void. This film is the best of the best of nearly 10 years of Severn bore surfing. Watching this footage and seeing the bore at Newnham on one of the gnarliest days with 4 to 6ft of white water, it just does'nt seem possible that nothing at all happened Friday morning.


There is still rain forecast through the next week, although without a prolonged and heavy period of "April Showers" we cannot expect much improvement for Severn bores until the end of May, when the tide switch hits in and then only on the back end of a wet month.

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