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River Severn surfers take to the waves in Gloucestershire for three star bore

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

  • Severn Bore surfer by Jason Potter 3

Comments (9)

Gloucestershire may be on full flood alert but that didn't stop a bunch of hardcore surfers taking their boards into the River Severn to take advantage of the first three star bore of the year.

Around 10-15 surfers launched into the Severn at Arlingham and Epney to ride the waves.

Photographer Jason Potter, who runs Thesevernbore.co.uk took photographs of the surfers in action.

He said: "It was meant to be a three star bore this morning but with the weather conditions it was more like a four star."

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  • Toobs  |  January 05 2014, 9:25AM

    Based on what you say, you lack the qualification to spout these insults. Give it up Sir. Those words are unworthy. As I said, these people clearly know this river extremely well. Indeed, they know it better than those who issued the warnings. It is not my right to tell you who they are and what they do for a living, but if you knew, then any decent, right thinking person would be embarrassed to have spoken your words. As a metaphor, it is quite right that beginners and even intermediates should be told not to ski on the black runs and to stay out of the powder in the back country, especially when the conditions are extreme. Such places are properly reserved for experts and perhaps the mountain rescue people...which is exactly who you are passing judgement upon.

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  January 04 2014, 11:08AM

    I take it that you have seen the number of whole tree trunks floating down the river at the moment, these trees are mainly submerged but can rise up to the top of the bore, they are more than enough to cause serious harm to anyone in the water, even if you weren't 'brained' by it there is still a chance your dry suite could get snagged in the remnant's of the branches and you get dragged under to drown. These trees will also pose a treat to any chase boat (one man crew) who is trying to carry out a "rescue." Others then may be required to put their lives at risk to rescue or recover any bodies. To answer a couple of questions, I stayed well clear of the rivers and roads near to them. I also have extensive kayaking experience both white water and sea and have been involved in the rescue of an unconscious patient in white water that was hit by a piece of wood about 2' long on the head and even with his helmet he was knocked unconscious without quick action he would have drowned! So when you say you know the risks you may do but you are also putting others at risk!

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  • borerider  |  January 03 2014, 11:39PM

    well said toobs. I am a qualified swift water rescue technician, ex RNLI beach lifeguard, white water kayak, surfing and climbing instructor. some of those guys out today are equally qualified and I know they have 'eyes on' when we are all in the water and would do what ever they needed if someone was in need of help.

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  • Toobs  |  January 03 2014, 10:59PM

    GlosAnarchy, the people who you call "Muppets"... I know who they are. Do you? I'll tell you. A good number of them are experienced in things like wild water rescue. Is that something you're skilled in? Or knowledgeable about? There were only experienced and skilled riders in the water today. Many of them are also greatly respected in many parts of the world where tidal bores on the scale of the one we saw today are commonplace..and often much bigger than ours. They are respected for their knowledge, ability and commitment to what they do. Perhaps, rather than hurling abuse, you could describe to us exactly what qualifies you to pass this kind of judgement on the sort of person you would be grateful to have alongside you if YOU ever got into difficulties in wild water. I'm sure there are many reading this who, like me, await your list of relevant qualifications with baited breath. To those who don't know perhaps they appear to be just a bunch of people having a lark when they should be out of harm's way. In reality, these are people that we should be proud of. They are worthy custodians of a worthy local tradition, and people of whom we should be proud.

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  • borerider  |  January 03 2014, 8:56PM

    glosAnarchy, can I first ask, did you get in your car today if you have one and go for a drive somewhere? that is far more statistically dangerous than what myself and my fellow 'hardcore surfers' were doing today on the bore. yes, I was one of the so called 'muppets' as you have decided to label us out on the bore surfing today. Along with me with 20 years of board riding experience, riding most tides over those past years, was 2 world record holding bore riders, one with 35 plus years of experience, several others out there have experience of riding bigger bores than today in various far flung corners of the world from the amazon to Sumatra. the guys out today were some of the most experienced bore surfing specialists in the world. Along with us was probably the single most experienced severn bore boat drive who was supporting several of the guys out and keeping a weathered eye on the rest. All the surfers out today have intimate knowledge of the river, its twists and turns, submerged rock, reefs, mud banks, sand bars, rapids, currents, eddies, etc honed over many years of surfing studying and observing the river. When we enter the river we do so with that knowledge, experience and the understanding that we only do so by taking responsibility for ourselves, have the skills to know what to do when things don't go to plan, how to get ourselves out of any situation we have put ourselves in. On a tide such as todays with the levels and conditions there isn't any debris! if you know the river well you'll know that when there is a level of fresh water and tide those 'objects' are long gone, moved off the banks and downstream over the preceding smaller tides and fresh levels. I can say I didn't see any debris in the river today other than a stray football! the biggest floating thing in their was Dave b's 12 foot bore board! The conditions today were for us a 'perfect storm'. the significant tide height coupled with the extra storm surge caused by the deep low pressure and helped along by the following strong south westerly winds plus the fresh water levels in the river added up to create the epic bore wave that we experienced bore surfers live for and if you like, train for. In such conditions only those of us who have the experience and knowledge of surfing larger than normal waves are happy to enter the water for and that's after careful discussion with each other and in the knowledge we are not depending on anyone else but ourselves. Of course we keep eyes on each other when surfing and always make sure everyone is out safe. The section we surfed today was devoid of any over hanging trees and dangerous banks, those sections upstream would be too full of fresh water so would not ( as was seen at minsterworth ) does not produce a good bore in these conditions, which if you were an experienced river user or bore watcher would know, hence why no one went past the minsterworth. the upper stream area does have tree lined banks but through experience and knowledge, we know where and when we can get out of the river in these areas and have plans I place before hand of where we will aim to get out should we come off the wave. Yes these conditions are not for the novice surfer, novice bore surfer or those with little experience of surfing big waves elsewhere. Many of us have surfed far bigger and powerful waves in the ocean, several of us have been surfing waves 3 times that size over the past few weeks and months with the large surf we have been having recently. Please, if you don't know, don't understand and have little or no experience of what your talking about, do not call those who do muppets and accuse them and assume you know what is going on and what you are going on about in future!!! apart from the wave size it was actually easier today to get in and out of the water and across the river before and after the wave! as bendybore below said, many more serious accidents happen around the home than in situations like this! thanks.

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  • Bendybore  |  January 03 2014, 8:03PM

    I like being a muppet especial at night. I think it is a good thing to have lots of new experiences, to spend time learning and achieving great things. We could all sit at home and watch the box but do bear in mind just how many serious accidents happen wearing slippers around the house. Please also note that the people giving the warnings now very little in comparison to the muppets you refer to when it comes to river conditions. Do you think only today that debris are in the river? strange

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  January 03 2014, 3:13PM

    emseaell - the reason they are Muppets is because during flooding there are a lot of large objects floating in the water some visible and many not. People were told to keep away from the river by coast guard and police amongst others. In the pictures I could only see one that appeared to be wearing a helmet. If one of them where to come a cropper and get washed to the bank there are quite a few trees that would do a good job of rearranging your synapses into a kind of soup! Riding a bore during a flood is just plane stupid and putting others at risk by your actions is just selfish!

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  • emseaell  |  January 03 2014, 2:54PM

    GlosAnarchy why are they muppets, they are kitted up and got a safety boat with them and having a thrill. don't be such a miserable bar steward

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  January 03 2014, 11:35AM


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