The East Coast

Carnoustie

I grew up in this town and have windsurfed there for the last 9 Years in all kinds of varying conditions.

When the wind blows offshore the bay is transformed into a very long speed strip with very little wind shadow if the tide is out. If the tide is in you tend to find that the big, new golf hotel casts a wind shadow.

The two most common wind directions are SW and NE both giving completely different conditions. When the wind blows from the SW generally the water is flat with small windchop; excellent for the intermediate sailor; gybing and small jumping practice.

If the wind tweaks slightly from the SW to S then it can be a wole different kettle of fish - just a little bit further out, near to where the sea mark is for the yacht club you will find the swell heaping up a little bit and some good ramps for jumping. Nothing awesome but you can get some good height if you put your mind to it.

Now, NE, this can throw up some very interesting conditions depending on the state of the tide. Be prepared to do a lot of waterstarting but hell, it's fun especially pounding back inshore, jumping over the swell.

Occasionally, when the wind blows SE you can get some really good sailing, racing up and down and over the troughs of well spaced out swell.

Access to the beach is excellent with a massive car park only 50 yards from the beach.

Last but not least I have never really found need to go to another location as Carnoustie bay is sailable in almost all wind directions. It is also a very safe location for beginners and intermediates.

Report by Ben Smith
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St Andrews, West Sands

North of the centre of town in front of the golf courses lie miles of golden sands backed by dunes facing east. If only the water were a bit warmer! I've sailed here once in howling SE conditions with huge waves rolling up. The wave heads were having a ball while I tried to hang on to my new 4.5. Should be good in anything from N through E to S winds. If it's anything W don't even think about it - I've seen the helicopters picking people out of the sea here. The sand shelves quite gently so it's shallow for a fair way out but the tide goes a long way.

Practicalities: Access - along car park, drive onto grassy area behind dunes. Rigging - plenty of room on grass. Toilets - yes, I think so. Showers - if only. Food & Drink - stall in summer. viewmap

Report by Brian Smith


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Elie

Nice place to sail from. More regatta sailing than wave sailing in my experience.
Report by Gavin Shaw
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Longniddry (Edinburgh)

A popular spot for the Edinburgh sailors. It usually provides slalom blasting, and can provide very flat water, high wind sailing when the wind is southerly.

Conditions do get a bit bumpier if you venture further out into the channel, but the swell generally isn't nearly as big as it gets at Gullane. At higher tides you watch out for the rocks on the east side of the beach which stick out in a sort of headland shape. At low tides it is possible to launch off the rocks. This will get you launched straight into the channel where it is generally a bit windier.

The car park at Longniddry is right on the beach, and there is plenty of room to rig up. The parking is free, and toilets are available.
Report by Edinburgh University Windsurfing Club

Was popular with local sailors when I last sailed here (a long time ago). OK around high tide but watch out for rocks as the water goes out. I once saw a sailor sailing a two piece board here. One foot in a front footstrap the other in a back footstrap in an 18 inch section of tail with the remains of his skeg!
Report by Gavin Shaw
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Longniddry


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Gullane

compass lochwinnoch A favourite spot for many Edinburgh sailors. The beach has clean sand and clean water. Provides excellent slalom blasting / bump and jump action in westerly / north-westerly winds.

The conditions are usually pretty flat close to the shore, with the swell growing the further into the channel you sail. If the wind direction is more northerly, the waves are closer to the shore, and often there can be small rideable waves at the east end of the beach. There aren't any rocks to look out for, although at high tide care should be taken at the west end of the beach, where there are one or two obvious ones. If the wind has any south in it, then Gullane will be quite sheltered close to shore and it will be slightly off shore, so rig a wee bit smaller than you think.

There is a car park very close to the beach, with a short path to the beach itself. In the summer it costs about £1.30 to park, and in the winter it's free! Toilets located nearby.

As you enter Gullane village you pass through the middle of the golf course and then take the sign for Gullane Bents
Report by Edinburgh University Windsurfing Club
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Gullane


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Limekilns

compass lochwinnoch Limekilns is situated on the north banks of the Firth of Forth approximately five miles west of the Forth Road Bridge. It is probably one of the more obscure locations, but is useful if you live nearby and are looking for a quick blast without having far to travel.

At the east end of the village is a very small shingle bay adjacent to the harbour. Park in the car park and launch from here. Sail here when the wind is from the west and you will have the whole width of Forth to sail across.

Beware of rocks which are located a short distance out from the harbour. At high tide they are covered and can be sailed across without too much worry. However as the tide goes down they become exposed and you will have to pick a route through them to gain access to the Forth.
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Limekilns


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