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.
Flat Water: YES
Car parking : YES (Free/20p)
Nearest Windsurf Shop : unknown
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.
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.
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.
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