Gunfleet is windy - It's official
One of the reasons why sailing at Gunflleet is so good is because the prevailing wind is “cross-shore” - that is, parallel to the beach. If you don’t believe this then click on the “wind rose” image.
The rose is based on data collected over a twelve month period from the test tower located on the sands – the full report of the wind survey is available on the website www.gunfleetsands.co.uk. The rose shows the proportion of the time that the wind blows from a certain direction and the strength. As you can see the longest bars are from the South West – strictly speaking, WSW and SSW. In Gunflleet Sailing Club parlance this translates to “the wind is blowing from the end of the pier”. There are concentric circles on the rose labelled 5% 10% and 15% and you can see that the WSW and SSW bars almost touch the 15% circle. So on average we would expect the wind to blow “from the end of the pier” almost 30 percent of the time [2 x 15]. The other long bar to note is that blowing from the ENE. This means that the wind is blowing straight along the coast from Frinton and this happens about 8 percent of the time. Again an excellent wind direction for dinghy and board sailing at Gunfleet, though a tad cold in summer and several tads cold in winter. Of course the Clubhouse and compound are protected from the cold north-easterly wind by the Point, which again illustrates the benefits of our location.
The next thing to consider is the strength of the wind. The wind rose is calibrated in metres per second and in order to convert this into a more familiar scale that non-engineers understand you need to look at the table below which converts wind speed from metres per second into Beaufort. The table also shows knots and miles per hour. A knot, you may remember, is one nautical mile per hour, which is 1.1 statute miles.
|Force 1||1-3||0.3 to 1.6||1 - 3|
|Force 2||4-7||1.7 to 3.2||4 - 6|
|Force 3||8-12||3.3 to 5.4||7 - 10|
|Force 4||13-18||5.5 to 7.9||11 - 16|
|Force 5||19-24||8.0 to 10.7||17 - 21|
|Force 6||25-31||10.8 to 13.7||22 - 27|