Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sandridge beach in 20 knots for a blast

Session 59: Sunday 25 October 2009

Kite: Switchblade 10m
Location: Port Melbourne
Wind: 20 knots SSE
Duration: 1 hours 3:00 to 4:00

After a bike race in the morning, some good wind was blowing SSE in the afternoon, so I headed down to Sandridge Beach in Port Melbourne on Stuart's advice.

There were quite a few kiters out at St Kilda where I stopped for a look. I haven't kited there since my learner days (e.g. Session 6 - 8) so I was tempted to go out, but decided to visit Port Melbourne instead.

Sandridge beach is small and tucked away past the Tasmania ferry terminal. The parking is free and there is a nice beach. A few signs get in the way for launching though.

Link to Google map

There were four other kiters in having a ball in the strong wind and the small surf. I took out my new 10m Switchblade for the first time. It had heaps of power in the 20+ knots and turns very fast. Wayne, another kiter, helped me launch then it was on.

The surf was really good fun. Cranking speed on the flatwater between waves, popping off them, then surfing in on them. With only 5 of us it was not too crowded. I did a tack right over to the old pier. Another kiter tacked upwind then disappeared around the headland to the West heading towards the main Yarra channel. Next time.

After an hour we all came in for a rest and some biscuits. I had some chores for the afternoon so I departed after launching their kites.

This beach is best kited in a SSE wind to avoid the industrial headland disturbing the breeze. Not a ideal place for beginners either due to the rock groynes and the surf.

As an aside, this morning I listened to some fools on talkback radio saying they hated wind farms and how they were "terrible" things that were not effective. What a load of nonsense. Wind power is an amazing resource, and is produced the majority of renewable energy in Australia at this time.


Stuart Tarzan Man said...

I'm glad you got a good sail in - it's quite an amazing spot. It would be a bit dodgy doing a self launch - apparently the beach to the east of there has a bit more space and less poles around. I hadn't realised how close it is to williamstown - it would be an easy sail across and back I reckon. All set for Inverloch now !

Peter Campbell said...

Stuart, Tarren was out and made it over the Williamstown. If I had more time I would have gone with him. He said it was a good run - about 30 minutes - and a good run back. It would be a great short tour past the shipping area, across the channel and past the Westgate.

Unknown said...

It is a great place to kite in the right conditions. We were lucky there were only a couple of us there. Surprising really given the conditions. I was there last year with similar conditions and you could have been mistaken for thinking it was St Kilda!

Didn't realise you were all stopping for biscuits... Lol. Did you have a thermos of tea too :)

Looking at Google maps this morning with Stuart we realised just how easy it would be to actually make it around the corner to Altona. From there it would be a decent run straight back across to St Kilda. Next time.

After reading your blog I think I'm going to look into a GPS. Will chat to you about this on the weekend. Looking forward to kiting Inverloch. Never been but it has been on my list for years.


Khai said...

Hi mate,

My name is Khai from Malaysia. I'll be in Melbourne around 4th March.Am bringing my kite n board with me to kitesurf.I've heard some really good remarks about sandridge beach on how you cen get into the yarra river channel for some silky smooth flat water from some mates back home.How do i get to Sandridge beach from Central Melbourne?Is March a good month with wind?

Would really appreciate if you could give me some pointers.BTW is there any other kite spots?

I'm an intermediate advanced kiter.Am able to self lauch.

Cheers mate



khai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Campbell said...

Khai, Sandridge beach is good for experienced kiters like yourself but not really suitable for beginners.

The Yarra river channel is around past the car shipping dock. While you may get some flat water there (probably in a South Easterly), it is also a very busy shipping channel with no safe kite landings.

I would advise extreme caution kiting in that area. Tarren and some others have kited across towards Williamstown shoreline (no safe landing there either) and back. I don't know anyone who has ventured into the Yarra mouth.

Upstream you would definitely lose consistent wind.

There are many other kite spots - see link section on the right, or click [here]

You can self launch at all the kiting spots if you are careful.

You can get down close to Sandrigdge beach on Tram 109 which runs along Collins St in the city.

March is usually good for wind, but the sea breezes conk out mid to late April.