Seven Wonders of the West

Relates to Peregrinations and Surfing

A couple of weeks ago I was pleased to hear that our local surf break had been shortlisted for the forthcoming BBC's Seven Wonders of the West. Of course, the Severn Bore is more than just a surf break, it is the spiritual soul of the local area and the most impressive of many tidal bores scattered around the British Isles. As a surfer I always feel very priveleged to have the opportunity to ride on the bore tide.

The northern arm of the Severn Horseshoe Bend with a swollen river the day prior to the spring tides. With the river almost swollen to bursting point at Gloucester, our expectations had been low until the impending change in weather was predicted early this week. So, with Steve's usual boat skipper unavailable I chose to substitute my board for the helm to guide the film crew around the Severn Horseshoe Bend while Steve rode the most powerful tide of the year, propelled by the surge created from the intense depression off Ireland - my barometer had fallen by 30 millibars in 24 hours.

Over an inaccessible stretch of the river we captured footage of the bore ranging from three to six feet, while I managed to keep the cameraman, Joules, and presenter, Amanda, relatively dry - even when we got trapped behind the head of the tide with a looming 4 foot whelp close to breaching the stern!

I followed up the next morning with a relaxing two and half mile surf to wrap up what has been a surprisingly good year of tidal bore surfing in which I may have come close (or possible breached - no logs to confirm this) the 100 mile mark for the first time in 8 years! The current form suggests there may be further tides in November, but from experience this is the flooded month. Still, there is plenty to look forward to in 2005 as the confluence between perigee and syzygy get back on track.

The Severn Wonders of the West will be going out on regional television on Sunday November 28th.

Posted on Saturday, Oct 30, 2004 at 20:50:29.

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