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Summer 2001

With a pretty busy lifestyle at the moment, and plans afoot for headin south, gonna keep it short this report. There are some great photo's to complement proceedings...


Tuesday 5th June

With only the passage of 12 days since last gracing the crystal waters below Jaqui's reef, Drop Down and Toes were standing in the more than shallows of upper boats, watching the setting sun. Wiz had suggested an attempt but become held up under a train in Newport. Fortunately a local, who had passed across the sand for a chat, pointed out the crawling ripple along the sandbank, that was indeed Sabrina's slacker side! Expecting failure, the borers started to wade back upstream, only to be surprised by a half meter peak on the upper banks that peeled all the way across the lagoon. Small, glassy, the sun was shining, and the borers were smiling!....

Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd June

Small tides still, but on a calm Thursday evening, Buffalo and Toes raced against the clock to join Wiz and the Silver Surfer at upper boats for much the same as the previous month. As Toes kicked off the shoulder to attempt a dismal paddle into the channel, Buffalo headed right across the shallows, and had a long arduous wade back east! On up to Jaws and a somewhat moderate two foot peak peeled across the glassy surface for a brief display of cutbacks before churning into the rocks. A quick beer, and an amusing wallet gag by the Buffalo up at the chippy!

Finally Boats was shifting back south the next evening with a three footer, and Magic Feet was up and riding after a long break. Toes scored the shoulder across the shallows, with the Silver Surfer tucked into the barreling shit pipe behind. Drop Down slipped off the back, and Wiz got a bit jammed in the tide race and suffered the long wade back with Toes!

Next morning saw just Silver, Magic and Toes at the Boats. The wave was late, slow and weak. Silver, with his menacing paddle power and Toes, with his ocean liner, managed to paddle into a open face as Magic started paddling home. Not a lot to it! At Jaws, Toes pulled off a heinous manouvere to not only steal the shoulder but wash Silver out of the wave. Magic rode the soup, only to be replaced suddenly by Yoda, back from a long spell away from the river. It was good to see the guru stoked and smiling! Still running late, the evening turnout was good, and Sabrina delivered. A group bonding session took place towards the shallows, as the borers tugged on each other to hang onto the wave. A hot fun surf, followed by some cold fun beers...

Saturday 21st to Sunday 22nd July

The Inaugural Meeting of the International Bore Riders The tides had dropped too small in early July. This was a shame, since on Tuesday 10th, Wiz, Toes and Silver met up with one of the pioneers of the Mascaret, Philippe Garrigues, down in Bristol. The crew were also joined by Rick Harwood of surf forecast fame, and shared photos and stories of their respective rivers. The event was dubbed the Inaugural Meeting of the International Bore Riders.

A few weeks later and a shock became reality, as the old faithful, Boats, hung up her sands for a while. Wiz and Toes stepped out at Jaws in fading light to face another glassy three foot peak. The choice of suit was a slight cause of concern, for Toes, in the scramble out through nettles and thorns! But the experience was washed down with a few of Grumpy's ales.

Sunday morning, and as he caught the glimpse of a speed camera flash, Toes stepped on the juice to make it to the Skipper's jetty in time for a flight on the magic carpet with Wiz. As it happened times were wrong yet again, and the crew found they made it to Newnham in time to ride a lumpy footer, which doubled up as the channel met another wave cutting across from the east. East of the Rhaetic rocks, the wave hardly reached a foot, and Toes clung on to a bumpy sand hugger, as Wiz cruised the shoulder. E-Land started great at three foot, but rapidly slowed and died. The ride was long all the same upto the top bend. The Whirl had made a right mess of channels that seem to totally prevent any piling of water across the Mudbanks, and at Donny's, Wiz scored a quick bank hugger round the bend. Dagoba, The Bench, Cloudbreak and the Cross all produced bank hugger's which the Wiz scopped up leaving Toes flailing in the water waiting for the Skip. On the journey home some useful debris was acquired, and the borers counted down the seconds to Sabrina's evening call.

As nightfall beckoned, the boaters were joined by Drop Down for a brief escapade in the channel. As with the morning an interesting array of peaks formed as the east channel cut across the front of the wave, and the borers scored some awesome drop ins on three to four foot peaks that suddenly built and then died again. The next morning, it was one man and his carpet, as Wizard scored a wave from above Jaqui's reef to the far end of the Rhaetic rocks. A good couple of miles of estuary surfing! Looks like things are shaping up pretty well for August then!??...

Sunday 19th to Wednesday 22nd August

With some big tides beckoning and a weak display at Boats yet again as Silver discovered, Wiz, Drop Down and Toes hung around above the J&E to await the tide. A good forecast, with a light SE breeze, and a deep depression off southern Ireland, produced an admirable wave below the J&E, ridden by some first timers from Bristol and Stow. In fact one of the guys went a pretty long way for a first attempt, so reckon they must have been pretty stoked! (All down to the advice we hope!?) The local crew, rode the wave all the way past Leicester Square, only to be greeted by a crowd of cheering hippies at the Beds, who were more than stoked to see one of the Wiz's headstand. As the guys recouped on the bank, the man with the plan, Jim, and his pet Special Brew, offered them a lift back to the Camp. Eventually after much persuasion, Jim wrapped the boards around his car wth some rope, and the crew hopped in. Not sure about that oil light Jim, but thanks for the lift anyway man!

Drop Down waits on as the Buffalo roars... Courtesy Dave Birch Monday morning, it was good to see a few fresh faces back in the river. Standfast, had taken a few days break from his full time surfing job in Barnstaple, and Buffalo was on the prairie and seeking some facial action! But the girls waited above the J&E with Drop Down, while the summer soldiers, Wiz and Toes' twin brother, marched south to the Point.
{ed. a brief aside...wot is it about the J&E? well for those of you out there that haven't seen the mighty Severn recently, one moment you may be standing ankle deep on a rocky ledge, then take a step and your upto your chest in a well! This doesn't make for a clean ride over Sabrina's silky flesh!)
Before hopping onto a solid three footer doubling up, Toes and Wiz couldn't help but notice Silver (back from the outer hebrides) somehow floating up the sand on the east bank at the head of the surging tide. No channels there, just sheer sand. Guess that explains the comic book status, not least that as the whole crew gathered on the wave heading for the Red Lung, who should appear hurtling across the sands, but Silver, having now traversed all the way from upper Boats!! The wave was slower along the Square, but the guys eventually reached the Beds, losing snapping Standfast on the way, where Drop's van was waiting, while Silver had the long hike back east! Here are a few snapshots from Standfast's camera...

From camera: Drop Down, Buffalo, Wizard, Toes. Courtesy Dave Birch From camera: Drop Down, Buffalo, Wizard, Toes. Courtesy Dave Birch

And if that doesn't tickle your tastebuds, then here are a few thumbnail images taken by Standfast's dad. Click on these ones to enlarge...

Courtesy Mr Birch Courtesy Mr Birch Courtesy Mr Birch Courtesy Mr Birch
Courtesy Mr Birch Courtesy Mr Birch

Jaws was roaring this morning and with a mirror surface, the wave broke at 4', barrelling midstream as it knocked Toes on the head in his sneak shoulder move! Buffalo, against his usual luck, put another big gouge on the side of his board, quite possibly from a collision with the ocean liner.

As darkness fell, later that night, the summer soldiers were alone again, and in the fading light Toes and Wiz picked up a roaring four footer as the Point doubled up. Across the J&E they were joined by Drop Down for a long dark surf to the Beds, followed by a somewhat zigzagged hike back through the dense undergrowth of the fields!! At one point Wiz was knocked off in the darkness, only to reappear bank side of Toes a couple of minutes later after a long arduous paddle! Oh, not forgetting Silver Surfer's second sand surf of the day to again join the borers in the channel!

Tuesday morning and with Silver, Buffalo and even Wizard (!) absent through work, the double channel was left to Toes, with Drop Down and Standfast hoping on above J&E. Sabrina appeared to have finally seen enough shoulder hogging by Twinkle as he was tossed off the wave in the slightly windy chop, near the Red Lung. Drop Down whopped with delight as he rode his first shoulder for a while on up past the Square. As the three borers casually stood around supping coffee, little did they know Jaws was about to go, and the paddle down was a rush, with them only just making the peak in time. It was choppy and lacked its usualy sheeny lustre.

Wednesday and it was more of a case of avoid the camera for those who were meant to be elsewhere. So Toes' twin brother decided to do a wipeout right outside the Lung in front of the camera, only to appear on local news that night!! Wiz and Standfast went on up the Strand until the falling tide made the wave go slack. (Some pics coming soon!) Jaws was a classic four footer, wihout a ripple across its face, and Toes went for the drop in, only to get a slab on the head again and just hung on to ride it out with Standfast carving out the soup on the inside. That was the end of a good session of bores and the guys were well stoked to hear a swell was hitting the coasts and headed west!

The Silver Surfer was also out Wednesday, but did alone on the east side. Taking a risk he scored the first decent display from Boats for several months, although still lacking its peaks. Here is the report from the sandman's own journal....

Boatyards Erupts
This often volatile break was believed to be dormant after a large crater appeared there in the Summer of 2001. A large crowd was present on the chance it would once again show its spectacular power, however only one man dared to venture deep into the brown barrel. THE SILVER SURFER. Overnight the sand bank had rearranged itself into what must be regarded as the optimum form for this wave, indeed the only rider to experience it at first hand considered it to be better than ever before. Conditions were extremely favourable, with dead calm wind and bright sunshine. The bore showed very strong form downstream, but all went flat on the wide section prior to Boats. The wave rider had obviously chosen his take off spot with little margin for error, as the first 6 inch ripple popped up only metres away. For a moment all looked to be on the brink of disaster, as the riders fin stuck deep in the mud and he flopped up and down like a landlocked fish. The wave built very quickly and span out from the bank, and the surfer was soon standing on the shoulder on an exceptionally glassy wave. A consistent 3ft, bigger when the sections built, but what is more, this wave had a vertical wall breaking top to bottom! The wave was genuinely barrelling and the Silver Surfer tucked in tight.

E-Land Does it Again
E-Land showed a repeat performance of the previous day, but this time the surface was pure glass. The bore again showed a weak first wave with a stronger second. Having established an accurate mark the previous day, the silver surfer joined the first wave as soon as was practicable and began his long mellow journey beyond the pub. At the crib the going was very hard with a tide race forming on the sandbank on the inner bend. Using his recently developed sand surfing techniques the rider survived a gruelling ordeal through some gnarly conditions. With the use of the hydrofoil fin he strongly believes a connection could be easily made to the Whirl where the wave quickly reformed.

Cloudbreak Shocker
Deep in the heart of rural Gloucestershire lies the small village of Dagoba. Around lunchtime, a surfer arrived here somewhat out of breath and ran across the fields next to the notorious Yoda's house, where he entered the river. What happened next was to blow the minds of those who experienced it. No sooner had the surfer paddled across when the bore showed around the corner. Very glassy, but only whitewater fringes on the banks to start with. Very quickly the wave built up to nearly 3 ft on the banks with a solid, occasionally spilling wall all the way across. The surfer took off on the open shoulder in a sea wave manouvre, and proceeded to carve out onto the shifting wall. The wave showed great variety for the entire mile, but did not threaten to flatten out on any occasion. It was only upon the reaching the bend that the silver surfer regretted his decision to follow the West Bank, as the wave flattened and overhanging trees obstructed progress. Even after the wave passed by a long series of large and very powerful train waves charged after it.

Boring News Reporter

Well it's been a great season for bores, with some summer fun on a regualr basis through the summer months and the size returning in August. Difficult to award any trophies this season since only the Summer Soldiers around regularly. Although the Cuts Memorial, Style of the Month Award goes to the Silver Surfer for a spectacular display of sand surfing on consecutive occassions. The newly founded Arms Go Crazy, Paddle Power Award goes to Wiz for excellent bank hugging and a paddle racing through the darkness. Finally the I Really Don't Want to Be On TV Award goes to Toes for a ridiculous wipeout at the Red Lung!

Silver, Wizard and Twinkle may well be heading out to France for the equinox tides. These are the biggies and hopes are that the Mascaret will be roaring! Rumours abound that Buffalo might well be staking out the river with loss of competition for the shoulder. Maybe an appearance from a few of the Welshies too??

Spring 2001 Autumn 2001 - when it happens!

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