Really happy that we're going back to North Berwick, certainly one of my favourite venues!
The sailing club ELYC (East Lothian Yacht Club) are a friendly bunch and put great efforts in to making you feel welcome.
The town has plenty of places to eat, probably why I like it. It also now has a Greggs so we'll be able to stuff our faces with plenty of sausage rolls!
Getting down to the business end, the sailing area is superb. It has plenty of scenery so when your not doing so well it can take your mind off it.
When the wind blows from the east large waves build enough to lose half a solo in the troughs. This makes for good surfing conditions so make sure your well practiced as good wave sailing can give you a good edge.
North Berwick is on the south side of a wide estuary, the Firth of Forth. The coast faces due north, and prevailing gradient winds are from the west or south-west, while easterlies are the next most common direction!
Although North Berwick faces north, the sea breeze comes from the east. The sea breeze will develop depending on the strength of the opposing gradient wind, a westerly or south-westerly morning wind of up to a Force 3 is likely to give way to a sea breeze around noon. A stronger westerly is more likely to persist!
The tide floods east-west and ebbs in the opposite direction. Only occasionally does it run at more than a knot and is stronger the further from the shore you are.
The main tactical questions you need to ask yourself is, when the tide is ebbing and the sea breeze is in, the tide is with you on a beat, so do you go right for the wind as the sea breeze veers through the afternoon or left to the stronger tide? Or, in a westerly wind with a flooding tide helping you, do you go left to the convergence that exists near the shore or right into the stronger flow? The answer varies from day to day and from hour to hour!
There is plenty of space up at the boat park but down on the shore it will be congested. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get out to the race course. Since returning this year the sand has washed away in the bay compared to when we were there last. Large rocks have appeared so keep right close to the harbour wall on your way out. Once you go round the corner of the harbour keep about 25- 50 metres from the harbour and spit, don't stray to far left as again there are large rocks. It's certainly worth taking a look at the beach at low tide and work out where your going to sail out and come back!
Hope you have a good week and look forward to seeing you there.