Severn Bore report March 2009 Horseshoe Region
Thursday, Mar 19th
High pressure and westerly winds diminished the 10.4 metre tides and reduced the size of the Severn bores, during the peak tides of the 12th and 13th of March. Once again the westerly wind blew the bore wave out on Thursday 12th so much so that Boatyards was one of the poorest of March bores, even with the lighter breeze of Friday it was sufficient to change the surface flow direction in the Newnham channel. The upstream blow of the wind can have a significant flattening effect on the Severn bore. A lack of downstream surface current reduces the resistance which holds the wave up. The perfect conditions with a big tide in the horseshoe bend have to be a combination of heavy downstream flow with northerly wind creating an offshore effect. Few bore waves illustrate this better than in the opening sequence of the Longwave film where a perfect tubey wave peels off Collow sandpoint.
Donny glides through fat section, Newnham channel 12th March
A staggering 40 surfers were out on the bore Thursday and Friday. On the Thursday stand up rides were few and short lived and the Boats wave was messy and disappointing. Donny got a reasonable ride in the channel from above the fish house through to the Fox with a couple of other guys losing it on the fat section, prone riders and kayakers were dropping out all through. Friday saw a much improved wave at Boats and at least 10 up and riding, but again distances were far from the full potential distance of this wave, but the stoke was evident as the hoots of joy carried upriver.
Toby1 solo, Newnham channel 14th March
Saturday was down to 6 surfers at Boats who all had a stand up ride on a small wave and Toby 1 had the channel to himself with a nice solo ride to just above the Fox.
Small bore at boats, 14th March
The main excitement at the White Hart on Thursday was the rescue operation for a surfer who had been reported shouting for help. The car park filled up with 3 fire engines, 2 ambulances, paramedic team, several police cars and the SARA rescue boat, along with the air search rescue helicoper overhead. As is often the case this operation costing a huge amount of money was not needed after all, as the surfer got out safely. The surfer must have felt embarrassed, to say the least, by the panic caused.
More so than ever safety is a real issue on the Severn bore . Enthusiasm is one thing, stupidity is quite another. The most experienced surfers often have to find their way out of potentially dangerous situations when surfing the bore and still do get hurt, sometimes very badly. Those surfers who have'nt got beyond standing up in the shore break probably should'nt be on the bore. The words of Rodney Sumpter ring out loud and clear. When asked what his worst wipeout was in his worlwide surfing career he replied without hesitation, "the Severn Bore". That comes from someone who surfed Pipeline!