Bordeaux (Rubber Duckies)

Finally a spot for the easterlies, but not to be tackled alone.

Conditions

Flat Water, Chop

Usable Tides

High, Mid

Usable Winds

NE - SE

The Launch

Ahhh the launch! You’ll want to bring a friend for this one because there isn’t one! As the tide drops out towards mid, a small crook of gravelly sand completely encircled by rocks reveals itself and allows just enough space to rig up two kites side by side. There’s a good wind shadow from the massive rocks between you and the Russell – this is a mixed blessing, but allows a little time to breath. Draw straws to see who gets launched first, and then have that person do a one hander special for their pal.

 The Good

This place can be pretty tasty on the right conditions.  It needs to be about an hour and a half either side of mid tide, dead high isn’t good for launching or managing the chop, and low is a bit rocky! A number of Islands create a bunch of great flat water areas at the end of each reach, brave and adventurous kiters can continue up past the island of Houmets, and around the corner towards Beaucette Marina to make full use of what is in reality a vast stretch of water. But be aware – it’s an upwind tack to get you back to home base in a SE wind.

This is the holy grail – a spot on Guernsey that works in an Easterly wind – you didn’t expect it to be plain sailing did you?

 The Bad

This is not a user friendly spot… There’s no beach apart from a steep boulder bank, and as the tide drops out you’ll start to see a bunch of reef heads poking out in all sorts of random spots. No matter how favourable the wind conditions are, the majority of the reach is choppy until you get into the lee of the various islands and outcrops. But come on – this is the holy grail – a spot on Guernsey that works in an Easterly wind – you didn’t expect it to be plain sailing did you?

The Ugly

This spot sits at the edge of one of the most angry tidal straights in Europe. Be careful if you are considering tacking out beyond the relative safety of the rocks (which mark a nominal boundary around the spot). Even within that protective curtain, there’s a 3-4 knot current running through this spot on a regular basis. Even if you could realistically launch here on your own, which you can’t, you wouldn’t want to be sessioning here without a kite buddy. None of this stuff is designed to be scaremongering, but this place is just a touch less forgiving than your normal broad sandy bay set up.

Finding it?

Follow the coast road North from town – pass by Vale castle and keep an eye out for Bordeaux Harbour on your right. Take the right that runs next to the harbour and park in the carpark at the end, the launch is (believe it or not) right in front of you.