FELIXSTOWE NORTH - Suffolk

Panoramic View of Felixstowe North
120º panoramic shot of Felixstowe North

In the last few years this area has seen a huge increase in interest, mainly due to the wide range of conditions now available here, and due the the friendly bunch of locals that sail here regularly. The sand banks at the river mouth shift dramatically year-on-year, and I've given up trying to document this! There can still be sheltered water given by the spit, but mostly it's intermediate bump'n'jump. A lot of sailors are into straight-line speed (spot the GPS's!), but local sailors are very good too, with plenty looping. Actually, this spot is great for loop/jump practice as there are great ramps to be had, even when the swell/chop isn' big.

Map overlooking the sailing area, and local information

OS Map with Aerial Photo

Flat Water: YES
Wind Chop: Some
Waves: YES
Beach: Shingle / Sand
Wind Direction : N-SW W

Car parking : YES (Free/20p)
Toilets : NO
Café : NO

Nearest Windsurf Shop : unknown

Wind information from Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club
Tide information can be found here.

Felixstowe is located on the East Coast of Suffolk, approximately 9 miles SE of Ipswich. Approach on the A14, and at the SECOND roundabout go right, then left at the lights. Keep going until you find the Cliffland Car Park, just before the golf course. There is plenty of grass for rigging, although this means carrying your rig down some steep-ish steps. If you're not yet confident enough for this, there is some grass at the bottom of the steps that you can use instead.

There are three main sailing areas, but whether they are all useable depends on the tide:

(1) There used to be a small lagoon formed between the spit and the seafront. This was useable from mid to high tide, and was perfect for beginner/intermediate practise and excellent for forcing gybe practise as it's not very wide! This has mostly disappeared now, with the shifting sands, but it' worth checking because things move from year-to-year.
(2) Secondly - but only at mid-tide - there is a large "ring" of shallow enclosed water on the seaward side of the spit. Again this is very safe for the intermediate, great for flat-water gybe practise, but is now mostly home to the local kiters.
(3) Thirdly there are nearly always breaking waves and nice ramps on the point of the spit, even if the surrounding water is pretty flat. Great for jumps and you can still gybe on the flat water on the inside, and blast out to sea afterwards. Most people lauch from "The Dip", which is pretty safe. Note that the parking is private - club members only, but you can park nearby or up in Cliffland Car Park.

For more aerial photos of the bar, see the gallery at www.debenentrance.com.

Despite the safety of most of this location, there can be some pretty nasty currents caused by the nearby river mouth, so ask the locals for advice if in doubt. High-tide can get a bit tricky for launching and landing, as the water comes right up to the concrete steps, but if in doubt (or in trouble!) you can lauch or land from the safety of the lagoon, it just means a short walk back to the car-park.

Launching areas are shown by the red arrows. The sailing areas are numbered. Aerial Photos & Maps from Multimap and GetMapping

The photos below should give an idea of the range of conditions found at this location. The larger images have a description of the conditions at the time the shot was taken. If you've got any good photos that you'd like to see here then email the site and I'll add them on if possible.

Typical Sailing Conditions

Photo no.1 Photo no.2 Photo no.3 Photo no.4
Photo no.5 Photo no.6 Photo no.7 No Photo Available
Click thumbnails to open larger images. Thanks to ImageShack for free hosting of these images.

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