There has been much interest generated world wide in the recent March 30th to April 1st 2006 Severn bore surfing achievements.
The original documentation and all subsequent chronologies of world long distance surfing records have been made first at Still Stoked and almost immediately thereafter and comprehensively since at the sister site Boreriders. Both these sites were developed and are maintained by Tom Wright at Severnsolutions.
As a point of future interest and as a focus of fact the following information may provide a current source of distances for potential record breakers seeking the ultimate Severn bore record.
1. The potential maximum distance in the upper river between a point approximating to the lower pylons downstream from Windmill Hill and Maisemore Weir is approx 6.5 miles. Steve King is the only person so far to have surfed this distance, who believes it is probably the upper surfing limit possible.
2.The distance of ride in the horseshoe bend between Newnham and Bollow Pool is at a maximum from Newnham car park to halfway along the Bollow Straight 7.5 miles.
3. The distance from Newnham car park to the Noards aka “Donnys” is at a maximum 8.51 miles.
4. The distance from “Boatyards” (“Submarines”) to “Donnys” is at a maximum 9.56 miles.
5. The distance from “Boatyards” to above Denny reef is approximately a maximum of 10.46 miles.
5. At the present time there is no evidence to suggest a record distance exists in isolation downstream and between Sharpness and Bullo a distance of 8.4 miles out of the “Wellhouse Bay” to the Bullo Dock.
6. There is anecdotal evidence for huge Severn bores throughout the historical period, particularly January 1606/7, as a result of a huge gale and storm estimated somewhere off the western approach to the Celtic Sea. Also more recent anecdotal traditions from visual reports and fishermens tales gives a possible argument for 10 foot bores below and through Hock cliff.
I conclude from an ongoing study of the Severn bore, from historical, literary and mythical sources that a bore can travel unhindered and constantly breaking from the Wellhouse Bay off Sharpness,to above Denny. If that event occurred it follows that the immense energy then generating would probably hold a wave up all the way through and beyond Maisemore weir. My argument for this stems from the fact that on the events we have witnessed there are relatively short sections where the wave disappears. As Tom points out in his blog distance and speed is a function of size. From a point of view of the Longwave surfer/record seeker I also believe the hydrology and topography, as in form of the river bed being in places unforgiving and immovable reef, mitigates against a surfable wave and upholds a mythic understanding that the Severn bore becomes a killer wave Longwave myth and legend.
The point of this blog was to demonstrate the actual surfable distances between given points, where the bore is known to break as a surfable wave from first hand and current experience.
As a footnote my understanding is that Steve’s ride during the end of March tides was between the “Strand Rocks” and the entrance to the Bollow Straight. I stand to be corrected if this understanding is wrong. This is a distance of + or – 5.7 miles depending on the finishing point. A mirror of Dave Lawson’s long standing record!
All distance data is calculated from OS Gloucester and Forest of Dean Sheet 162 1:50 000 Landranger Series 1987
This blog will be followed by a further discussionary blog vis a vis the reality of upper distances achievable within the existing strict rules. These do not allow for prone surfing or for the surfer to rest his knees on the deck or touch the deck in any way with his hands. Also a look at the dangers and risks of freak bores.