Port Phillip Bay (Victoria, Australia)
Windsurfing & Kitesurfing Spots around Port Phillip Bay
Port Phillip Bay might not register as one of the all-time great destinations in the world of windsurfing but it offers some pretty good sailing with super easy access from a big city and its suburbs.
There is enough launching spots for kite boarders & windsurfers around the bay to be able to get out in every wind angle.
During summer many parts of the bay (particularly the northern end) experience afternoon sea-breezes from the south (15 -20 knots is very common from 2 pm) as the land heats up on a hot day.
During winter most storms start with a northerly system and winds can be quite strong and sometimes squally. Sailors tend to congregate during winter down on the Mornington Peninsula at places like Rye where a northerly works well.
The main sailing season is Nov through to Feb however Oct and Mar can also be ok. And there are those that will brave the Melbourne winter storms to get a sail in during the winter months.
- The bay is 360 degrees so there is a spot for every wind angle
- There are dozens of spots within 1 hour of the city of Melbourne
- The water is relatively cool in summer (around 18-20 deg C) and down-right freezing in winter (sub 10 deg C).
- The fetch in most locations is substantial generating bay swell and rather large choppy waves in most spots
- Many spots have a sizeable shore break in on-shore conditions making it difficult for those with less experience to launch.
Bayside to the SE of Melbourne encompasses a large number of beaches & points that work in most directions; apart from NE and E that are mostly off-shore and can be gusty due to land obstructions. Unfortunately the water quality at this end of the bay can vary and can be quite dirty just after a rain storm but it is mostly pretty good.
For beginner windsurfers the Sandringham Harbour is a nice sheltered & shallow spot.
Mornington Peninsula is a popular holiday & weekend destination for Melbournites. The water at this end of the bay is generally clean and blue (even turquoise blue in some spots where the shallow sand is close to white) due to it getting flushed in/out of the heads each day. This means the water is typically colder as well.
Many of the spots around the bay-side of the peninsula are good in northerlies (N, NE, NW). This is particularly handy during winter when the bay tends to get most of the high winds from the north (and a northerly wind is far warmer than a southerly blowing from Antarctica).
For kitesurfers Rosebud is one of the most popular spots.
Geelong & Bellarine Peninsula
The Bellarine Peninsula has some good flat-water and bump-and-jump spots on the bay side of the peninsula such as Point Henry (near Geelong), Portarlington, St Leonards and flat water blasting / speed sailing on Swan Bay and Lake Connewarre.
On the ocean-side of the peninsula you will find some good wave sailing at the Barwon Heads river mouth, 13th Beach, Point Impossible and the famous Point Danger where Jason Polakow started his wave sailing career.
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