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Anglesey Tide Races

The following pages provide detailed descriptions, pictures and tidal information relating to the tide races of Holy Island, Anglesey, Wales. First published in Ocean Paddler Magazine, it is reproduced here by kind permission of the author Phil Clegg of Sea Kayaking Anglesey.

 

"Holy Island, off Anglesey, North Wales has some of the world’s best tidal races. This is due to its prominent position in the Irish Sea, its tidal range, its geology and its exposure to the elements. This article looks at how, where and when to play in the races formed off the island however it does not cover all the safety aspects involved with tidal races. As well as being great fun tidal races can be very dangerous, if you are at all unsure of your own abilities or the conditions on the water leave it for another day or get experienced assistance. All tide times are in relation to Holyhead. The information is opinion and not necessarily accurate. Some of the information differs to that of other sources. Don’t rely solely on this article, check the local charts, tide stream atlases, cruising guides and pilots.

 

Safety: Having the judgement to know if it is safe or not to go into a tide race is vital and this article cannot cover all the safety aspects of paddling in races but here are a few key points: All the races mentioned below can be viewed from the land. To help you get to know them have a look at them in a variety of conditions. Check the tide times and range; wind strength and direction; and swell size and direction. You can arrive at a race early before it gets too big, or wait till it slows down and is smaller. If you are dropping down with the flow to a tide race, stop safely above it to make sure it is ok before you drop into it. Be aware once the flow gets too fast you won’t be able to paddle up against it till it slows down again. If the swell makes the eddies unusable the race is unusable. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to paddle into a tidal race. You or someone in your group needs to be able to recover yourself and all the other members of the group from any foreseeable situation."

Phil Clegg, Sea Kayaking Anglesey

 

Holy Island, off Anglesey, North Wales has some of the world’s best tidal races. This is due to its prominent position in the Irish Sea, its tidal range, its geology and its exposure to the elements. This article looks at how, where and when to play in the races formed off the island however it does not cover all the safety aspects involved with tidal races. As well as being great fun tidal races can be very dangerous, if you are at all unsure of your own abilities or the conditions on the water leave it for another day or get experienced assistance. All tide information is in relation to Holyhead. The information is opinion and not necessarily accurate. Some of the information differs to that of other sources. Don’t rely solely on this article, check the local charts, tide stream atlas’s, cruising guides and pilots.

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