Red Wharf Bay - Speed sailing

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Red Wharf Bay - Speed sailing

Post by BTB » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:09 pm

I managed to sail Red Wharf bay in a strong SW wind this summer (the opposite side to Rhossy) - something I have wanted to do for ages.

When the tide is out the main area of the bay drains to give a broad stretch of flat sand, as below. There are hills at either end of the bay and a S or SW wind is funneled down over the sands with well over a mile at the broadest stretch before it hits the low tide water line which is pretty straight. The result I expected is high steady winds hitting flat as a pancake water.

I launched off Benlech beach (the west - far left of the bay on the pic below, you could launch from the Llanddona side), it's tricky rigging the right sail as the beach is sheltered / difficult to judge and you have no safe option if things go wrong. In a SW you have to head of down wind to get to the clean air. I rigged a 5.9 to be sure I could water start easily enough close in to the beach - mistake as it was more like 5.3 weather even close in and when I headed out to the exposed east end of the bay it was more like 4.2 weather. That said as it is totally flat you can sail overpowered and very fast with ease but it's a scary experiance. It's a tricky spot beacuse in the bay you are a very very long way from anything and with wind bolt off shore, you can be sailing 10 feet from the sand but your a mile from anything else, I have sailed West Kirby a lot which is great as its super safe but its shortish runs - this is the opposite. You can sail runs of 1km or 2km and still be in the middle of the bay but if things go wrong you dont have many options. The other issue is the sand slopes very gentley and the tide is moving the water line constantly. You dont really know how deep it is. The day I sailed it was blue sky so i could read the colour of the water but in cloud cover you could easily get this wrong. Still very flat in the deepish water i stuck to. Given the issues I only did a few runs but I would love to go back with more time and with others so I would be more comfortable.

In summary - I have long suspected this coud be a world class speed sailing location and having sailed it I think it is. It's just difficult to rig the right gear as the sweet spot might be 4k away from where you rig up under the shelter of a small cliff - and the depth is hard to judge.


View from the south east side

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Re: Red Wharf Bay - Speed sailing

Post by TwoFish » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Don't know about the speed sailing, but it's a brilliant, beautiful spot. I had one excellent bump-and-jumpy small waves session there (Llanddona end) in the earlier days of my windsurfing adventures. It's also a rare spot in the NW that works in the bad (N'ly-ish) wind directions.

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Re: Red Wharf Bay - Speed sailing

Post by Arf » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:29 pm

Sounds pretty awesome, I wonder if GraemeF sailed it first though, whilst sunburnt. Red Dwarf Bay lost its original title through Chinese whispers.

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Re: Red Wharf Bay - Speed sailing

Post by maker » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:55 pm

I hear Y Foryd is a good, fairly nearby flat water spot a couple of hours either side of High.

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