Australian Windsurfing

South Australian Beaches
West Coast & Spencer Gulf
Yorke Peninsula and west to the Western Australia border

8 Mile Creek | False Bay | Port Augusta 2008 | Port Pirie | Point Lowly | Whyalla | Whyalla 2008 | Yorke Peninsula | Other

Whyalla Windsurfing Club
Darren Hoffmann
(08) 8649 2094

Whyalla hosts conditions of varying degrees. Longboard sailing can be done all year round. Shortboard sailing can be achieved year round however the best months are from late October through to late April when the sea breezes blow their strongest. Predominantly from the S/E-S/W they are commonly the strongest in the state due in part to the location of the deserts in the north and the shape of the gulf. Sea breezes generally blow best on the afternoon incoming tide and blow anywhere from 20 to 30 knots.

Places to sail:
Whyalla offers quite a choice to the novice or the more experienced sailors.

Whyalla foreshore:
Whyalla’s most popular sailing spot during summer is safe, has ample parking, easy sailing access, grassed area for rigging and is close to accommodation for tourists.  It is best sailed with a tide greater than 1 metre taking off from the sandy beach South of the tuck shop. The foreshore is part of a tidal flat approx 1km across which is bordered by mangroves on the southern end and the Whyalla marina and jetty on the northern end. The foreshore can be good for freestyle, slalom, speed and bump and jump. A large sand bar out on the edge of the tidal flat works well to smooth the water surface for record breaking speeds to be achieved. Past the blue line the seas get quite rough which can be great for bump and jump sailing.

The Whyalla Sailboard Riders Club regularly holds come and try days on Sunday mornings during summer for the novice sailor. The foreshore offers the best conditions for learning as it is a safe haven where even on high tide you can touch the sandy bottom anywhere inside the blueline, making self rescue easy.

Point Lowly:
The secret is out, the Whyalla premier wavesailing spot is Point Lowly lighthouse beach. The Point is for the more experienced sailors a short 25-minute drive North from town. All wavesailing here is done backside with the occasional bear-away available. This spot has the reputation to dump you on the rocks with the rocks being named after many local sailors. This has been sailed by a few lucky Adelaide sailors who have gone away with large smiles after having a great sail in anywhere from small waves to ½ to ¾ mast high waves. Point Lowly can be sailed on many wind directions however best direction is S/E in summer and N/W in winter. There is dangerous rip in the area and local advice is recommended when sailing here.

False Bay:
If you find the Lowly rocks rather daunting then back towards Whyalla is False Bay, this is a great onshore jump haven. The waves are consistently larger than Adelaide coastal waters and the winds are the strongest in the area.  It’s not uncommon to see large jumps done on both tacks. Big backhand slashes are also there when wave-riding takes your fancy. This spot can be sailed along the beach for many hundred metres and if gear failure strikes the beach is never to far away. False Bay is large and flat its best sailed from the far eastern corner. False Bay is also a great spot for sailing on winter Northerlies.

8 Mile Creek:
With the onset of the cooler winter weather the seas breezes fade and when the wind does blow the predominant wind direction becomes North/North west. On strong wind days this makes the foreshore offshore, gusty on the protected inside and out of control and dangerous past the blueline. Therefore sailing at Eight Mile Creek is the best solution. With the morning high tide the northerly comes howling of the saltbush country side and out across the water insane speeds can be reached on the mirror smooth water. Low tide makes this spot impractical.

Whatever your style or your experience Whyalla has a lot to offer the windsurfing enthusiast. Whyalla has offered great sailing to the travelling sailor on there way to the South Australian west coast secret spots or the travellers journeying back from the windy coast of Western Australia. There is no need to travel so far when Whyalla sailing has so much to offer.

The Whyalla Sailboard Riders Club are a friendly bunch and are only to eager to help new sailors into the sport and are happy to share the howling sea breezes and waves with travelling sailors.

Written by,
Eric Brokken & Darren Hoffmann

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