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article imageHigh tides offer four-star waves for surfers on the Severn Bore

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By Kev Hedges     Mar 20, 2011 in Environment
Sharpness - Surfers have turned out in droves for a spot of river surfing this morning as 14mph waves seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn in England experience a very high tidal bore.
The River Severn which flows west towards the Severn estuary and into the Bristol Channel experiences a bore tide heading from the west and up against the flow of the Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, rising up as much as 50 feet (approx. 15.4m). The Severn Bore is one of England's most truly spectacular natural phenomena.
The Severn Bore  downstream from Minsterworth.
The Severn Bore, downstream from Minsterworth.
Pip Rolls
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Another four-star wave is expected on Monday. The phenomena attracts several tourists from around the world as both surfing participants and onlookers. There are also several pubs on the winding river that give viewers an exciting spectacle as they sup their cider or real ale in the pub gardens. One such pub with a great viewing point is the The Ship Inn at Upper Framilode near Saul, a rustic old charm of a country pub which comes with a viewing deck.
Crazy people surfing the front wave of the Severn Bore. Distance records have been broken numerous t...
Crazy people surfing the front wave of the Severn Bore. Distance records have been broken numerous times on the bore with the record changing hands numerous times between various people most notably Steve King and Dave Lawson, both covering in excess of 5 miles on a surfboard
Flickr
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The BBC Gloucestershire news reports that surfing the bore has become something of an obsession with over a hundred surfers vying to record the longest ride. Kayakers, canoeists and windsurfers also join in the fun but power boats are strictly told to maintain a distance of 200 metres behind the wave so as to prevent getting in the way of the surfers. They often collect those surfers who have "lost" the wave.
Photographers taking pictures just north of Severn Bore Inn pub garden as the bore approaches.
Photographers taking pictures just north of Severn Bore Inn pub garden as the bore approaches.
Hywel Williams
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The best vantage points are at Stonebench, near Elmore, on the east bank, or at Minsterworth on the west bank. It may also be seen at Over Bridge. The Severn Estuary is about five miles (8km) wide as it passes the coastal town of Avonmouth, narrowing to one mile (1.6km) as it passes Sharpness.
The way the Severn Estuary is shaped is such that the water funnels into an increasingly narrow channel at the same time the tide rises, thus forming the surfing paradise several miles inland on the River Severn.
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