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Severn surge promises big wave surfing chance as Severn Bore hits Gloucestershire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

Severn Bore surfers

Severn Bore surfers

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There will be nothing boring about the giant waves due to sweep up the River Severn this week, as surfers prepare to take on one of the biggest swells in Gloucestershire for years.

Sunday’s Severn Bore is brewing up to be one of the biggest on record and has been given a five star rating. Saturday’s bore is also likely to be significant.

A five star wave is likely to pull in the adrenaline junkie from far and wide. On Saturday, the bore is due at Newnham on Severn at 7.52am and at will reach the Severn Bore Inn by 8.45am and Maisemore at 9.33am.

On Sunday the bore will be at Newnham at 8.35am.

Jason Potter, who runs the Severn Bore website, said: “This new interactive map will show where people can watch the wave from safely.

“This weekend promises to be the biggest we have seen in a few years. Usually the depth of the river is between 9.5-9.9 meters. On Sunday when the five star bore comes through, it will be at 10.3 metres.

“It is hard to predict how big the wave could get, as it will depend on wind and the weather conditions on the day. But it could reach six foot.

“We will be posting regular updates on our Facebook page, and there will be information on where spectators can watch the bore safely and also enjoy some of the local hostelries along the route.

“We would always advise surfers to watch the bore first if they haven’t been here before and ask the locals for their advice. You can’t see what is under the water so it can be dangerous.

“it will be better viewing downstream, as the bore heads towards Maisemore it could well be blown out or wash into the fields.

The Environment Agency has said people should expect parts of Maismore to flood and motorists should be wary of where they park their cars.

Due to the current high water levels in the River Severn, viewing will be better down stream in places like Arlingham, The white Hart Inn and Epney.

Up stream areas may not be as spectacular due to increased water levels. Spectators are advised to arrive early, to avoid missing out on one of Gloucestershire’s most famous sights.

Jason’s brother, Steve, 41, has been surfing for more than 20 years, and on the bore since 2006.

“There is a lot of camaraderie with surfers on the Severn bore. You can have 15 guys surfing the same wave. It is different to a beach break or reef wave. It is a lot slower, but it is unpredictable and there can be debris in the water. It attracts people from all over the world, last year we did some filming with some Australians. It averages 2-3 ft, but I have known it to reach five ft. It could be that big this weekend.”

Gloucester surfer Steve King holds the world record, surfing the Severn Bore for nine miles in 2006.

For update information on the bore, visit Severnbore.co.uk .

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10 comments

  • localboy51  |  February 02 2014, 11:07AM

    No wave at all where I was this morning. Very disappointed however I guess that with all the floods it was only to be expected. It was quite impressive to watch the tidal flow change in seconds from going downstream very fast, to flat calm & then suddenly the tide was going upstream! Heard a slight 'whoosh' which I assume was the bore passing through & then, apart from the fields flooding rapidly, nothing. Not a single solitary wave. Disappointed? Yes. But no real surprise when you consider how much water there is in the fields. Guess I should have gone downstream however time was against me. What was impressive, if that is the right word, is the speed & force of the water as it floods the fields. Has to be seen to be believed. Nature at its best & worst.

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  • Toobs  |  January 31 2014, 9:03PM

    Given that the surfers are all individuals accessing the river at points of their own choosing and exiting wherever the wave lets them, deciding individually whether or not to surf a given tide, how exactly do you think that would be policed? You know as well as I do that trying to control the surfers in such a way would be about as good a use of anybody's time as herding cats. Might as well rage at the rain for falling. And your not liking it doesn't change their being part of the bore scene. As to how many prefer the wave with or without surfers you know just as I do that it's all conjecture. We'll never know. But one thing I will suggest.. Don't go see the bore as nature intended. It's going to be stormy... you'll catch your death of cold! On this set of tides I for one am happy to be keeping my powder dry. Conditions look dangerous.

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  • bargee70  |  January 31 2014, 2:27PM

    The surfers are not part of the bore, just an eye sore, at least 2 or 3 bores per set should be allowed to be boat / surfer free and let them have the rest. How many people just come to watch the surfers compared to how many people come to see the bore, probably those who come to see the surfers come to watch them fall off

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  • Toobs  |  January 29 2014, 6:31AM

    Mike Smith, on every single tide there is as much of the bore not being surfed as is being surfed, so you get your wish every single time and it still isn't enough for you? And as Potterfanclub has said, many on the riverbanks enjoy seeing the surfers as part of the experience, So which of us is being selfish here? I can't be there. I'll be serving customers.

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  • Potterfancub  |  January 28 2014, 11:59PM

    the surfers r part off the bore people come to see the surfers on the bore

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  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  January 28 2014, 11:30PM

    Toobs, the bore has been coming up the Severn since way before the 50s. Some people would prefer to see this wonderful spectacle as nature intended, without surfers littering it up. Just as we would prefer to see beauty spots without litter or fly-tipping. Apart from the possibility of surfers reducing the height of the wave. I only asked for SOME bores to be surfer-free. Think of other people rather than your own satisfaction and pleasure.

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  • Potterfancub  |  January 28 2014, 10:58PM

    can we have Mike Smith free bores

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  • Toobs  |  January 28 2014, 10:50PM

    Why, Mike Smith? The surfers are part of the heritage. They've been there since the 50s. And there are areas of the bore which can be quite beautiful but are entirely unsuitable for surfing...wrong type of wave. Weir Green being one example.

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  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  January 28 2014, 10:39PM

    What a shame that surfers have to spoil what should be a wonderful natural phenomenon. Can we not have some bores designated 'surfer-free'?

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  • Toobs  |  January 28 2014, 10:31PM

    Either Mr Potter's information is inaccurate or he has been misquoted

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