The seafront has a very fast tide race during spring tides as the Exe Estuary is 7 miles long, up to a mile wide, the tidal range is up to 4.5m and the entire Estuary empties through a two hundred yard wide passage. Short-board sailing is possible in a force 2-3 with no need to sail upwind. A sandbar, two hundred feet offshore is exposed at low tide and shelters the channel, giving a protected sailing area. In S winds (onshore) there’s nearly a mile of perfectly flat water. On the other side of the bar in everything from E to W conditions it’s wave oriented with SW allowing both port and starboard tacks wave riding. The front can be sailed in everything from E to NNW. There is a local acceleration of NW winds, regularly giving more than forecast. In the winter, NW is best during the day, dying off as the sun goes down. In the summer, the northwest wind often picks up in the evening as the effects of the sea breeze wears off, perfect in an incoming tide as you have to keep bearing away downwind to counteract the tide taking you upwind. Sandy beach.
Getting there: Once in Exmouth, follow the signs for the seafront
Parking: Queen’s Drive Pay and Display car park by beach, roadside parking on the seafront free October-March pay and display otherwise (season tickets available).
Ideal Wind: Everything from E though to NNW (W can be gusty)
Suitable for: Intermediates and above