After Nick Beany’s insight into Kimmeridge last week we move west along the Dorset Coastline past the spectacular Durdle Door into Weymouth Bay to a slightly less well known spot, Overcombe (‘Overs’). Slightly sheltered by the Isle of Portland it provides a little oasis of relief from the winter storms. For such an area we thought it was only right to get a local to tell us all about it, Marcus Gay gives us the low down.
What wind and swell direction should we be looking for?
The best directions are South West, South, South East and East. West south west can work for clean down the line wave riding but gusty wind.
Any Wind directions we should avoid?
North and North West (dead offshore), however in a strong Northerly a lot of fun can be had blasting on a big floaty slalom board parallel to the shore – but beware its bang offshore and the next stop is Spain.
What works on what tide at Overs and at the ‘Bandstand’? (a spot just a little further West towards Weymouth).
Low tide is best at Overs for waves in a South Westerly, Bandstand is pretty similar over all tides.
Where exactly is Overs and how do you get there?
From Weymouth town centre head towards Preston on the B3155, keep your eyes open for cafe oasis restaurant and you are there.
Where do you park and how much change do you need?
Parking in Cafe Oasis car park – MAKE SURE you purchase a ticket from ticket machine (get a free token for coffee in the cafe) 80p per hour or £6.40 all day, also free parking in the road but it does get very busy; there is also a large Pay and Display carpark across the road near the pedestrian crossing; but beware no parking for campers with trailers
Where is the best spot to launch from?
ASK A LOCAL but outside the cafe oasis carpark is ok at mid/high tide, take care at lowtide due to the reef.
What is launching like and any top tips?
Shore dump at high tide can be tricky and so launching in an onshore South or South East wind is easier at the Bandstand.
Anywhere we should avoid on the water?
There is a small reef at Overs at low tide going East towards Bowleaze Cove, but that is easy to avoid if you keep upwind, there are plenty of clear areas to launch from outside the car park. The Rocky reef is visible at spring low tides, ask the locals, me if I’m sailing! The Bandstand is clear of hazards but beware of very shallow water on a spring low. There are a few flat rocks to the East from when the old pier was removed – but these are not really an issue and are usually hidden by sand.
What does my sailing ability need to be before I venture out?
Look for a nice South West wind which is cross shore and easy to blast out; it is slightly trickier when onshore (South, South East and East) and also somewhat tricky in a West as it can be very gusty on the inside but can also produce very good clean waves.
Mast snaps… how much trouble am I in?
It is a very safe location in most wind directions – except bang offshore so you will just get blown back to the shore.
What are the local vibes like?
There are usually plenty of other windsurfers and kiters on hand, worth joining the Weymouth windsurfing Facebook page to see when the locals are heading down, and expect some ribbing if you make a fool of yourself!
Any inside secrets?
Well worth waiting for low tide for better waves, but sometimes the waves come through at high tide. You can get pretty classic conditions here.
Toilets: Toilets in Cafe Oasis and Public loos on the corner outside car park, also public toilets at the Bandstand
Van camping: The road up from Overcombe has no nigh time parking signs
Showers: None-there are cold water taps on the beach at the bandstand
Food: Cafe Oasis on the beach at Overcombe open 7-days a week from 0800 onwards, Harvester 100 yds up the road and local convenience shop across the road
Kit Hire: None – closest is OTC Portland Harbour.
Instruction: None – closest is OTC Portland Harbour.
Post windsurf pint: Cafe Oasis (check alcohol hours) Harvester 100yds up the road
Windsurfing shop: 109 Watersports
Next week we jump to the the north and get the legend Farrel O’shea to give us the low down on Speed and Freestyle heaven West Kirby.