Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire

hree miles long and one and a half miles across at it’s widest, this 1600 acres of open water provide perfect sailing conditions for racing or cruising. The relatively flat surrounding countryside of Western Cambridgeshire does little to disturb the wind giving almost the same wind strength as at the coast.

Grafham Water Centre www.grafham-water-centre.co.uk and Grafham Sailing Club www.grafham.org are situated on the southern shores of the lake. But you have to PAY to use the water on a daily rate or at any time by joining the Sailing Club.

Fees: One off daily fee: £6 for you, £6 for your kit. On Sunday, this rises to £8.50

Grafham Sailing Club annual fees: Adult windsurfer: £207 + £76 joining fee

Junior windsurfer (U18): £52 (no joining fee) For more info visitwww.grafham.org/subscriptions.htm

Beach Faces:

north

Best Wind Direction:

all wind directions are sailable.

Not Good:

Southerlies provide a gusty launch, but once off the beach it’s fine.

What’s On The Bottom:

mud/silt/sand

Any Hazards:

only the pontoons for the rescue boats and a few moorings.

Other Water Users:

Dinghy sailors, canoeists and fishermen. The waters can be busy on Sundays and other race days.

Suitability / Levels:

Suitable for every level as it is very safe although a strong breeze can be a challenge. It is excellent for race training, blasting and freestyle.

Wipeout Factor:

When it is really windy, there is a fair amount of chop and wind swell of up to four foot but nothing to get that worried about.

Instruction:

YES, for beginner to intermediate at Grafham Water Sport Centre. The Centre offers residential and non-residential courses in a wide range of water and land based activities. Tel: 01480 810521 www.grafham-water-centre.co.uk Email: info@grafham-water-centre.co.uk RYA Instruction also available at Jonti Sailboards Windsurfing and Dinghy Shop on the south shore. Tuition starts from £30 for 2 hours. Tel.01480 811242 www.jonti.co.uk Email: jonti@dial.pipex.com

Kit Hire:

YES for beginner to advanced through Jonti Sailboards (see contact details above)

Friendly Factor:

There are a lot of regular windsurfers and a good social scene based around the sailing club. There is a nice grassy rigging area where everyone hangs out and plenty of things to accommodate the family to make, all in all, a pleasant day out!

No Wind Alternatives:

There are a lot of regular windsurfers and a good social scene based around the sailing club. There is a nice grassy rigging area where everyone hangs out and plenty of things to accommodate the family to make, all in all, a pleasant day out!

Facilities:

Toilets

Yes, on site

Shower

Yes, on site

Windsurfing Shop

Yes, Jonti Sailboards on the south shore has everything that a dinghy sailor or windsurfer will ever need. (see contact details in Instruction)

Food

Café in the sailing club

Parking

Day membership is required for a one off visit including parking

Pub

There are several around the area, one is a 5mins walk away from the centre

Accommodation:

There are plenty of B&B’s in the area. Grafham Sailing Club has a full accommodation list on its website: www.grafham.org/accommodation.htm

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

Grafham Water has been known to create a thermal wind on hot summer days. A strong wind can produce good chop for jumping.

Extra:

Grafham Sailing Club hosts a number of sailing and windsurfing events throughout the year.

Take a look: www.webcam.grafham.org/index.html

How To Get There:

Grafham Water is just outside Huntingdon and next to the A14 and the A1. From the south, take the A14 west from the M11. From the north get off at Jnc 19 on the M1 to join the A14 east bound. The turn off is very clearly signposted on the A14. Follow the signs through the village of Grafham and at the end of the road turn right towards Perry. As you see the pub on your left, take the right (opposite the pub). The end of this road forks: one lane is to Grafham Water Sailing Club, the other is to Grafham Water Centre.

Report By:

Clyde Waite

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