Hayling windsurfer Andy Gibbs has written in to warn us that from May 1st through September Hayling beach is now zoned, with the windsurfing zone sandwiched between a swimming zone to the east and a kitesurfing zone to the west. The zones extend for approximately 500 metres into the sea (due south) from the mean low water mark and the windsurfing zone is just short of 500 metres across, from the Inn on the Beach car park to the end of beach huts by the golf club. Once beyond the 500m buoy it's a free-for-all area.

Andy's 100 per cent for zoning and providing a safe beach for all, but he can't see how Hayling is going to work. "Given that most windsurfers sail on the beam reach track and end up going downwind of it with a few missed gybes, etc., this zoning scheme makes things kind of interesting. In a southerly we now have to get upwind 500m beyond the low water mark before we can get more than a 500 metre run! (Or most will be crammed into the same 500m run.). In a SW, to be sure of missing the swimming zone, we really need to launch in the kitesurf zone. In a SE , to miss the kitesurf zone (you guessed it) we are starting in the swimming zone. So we better hope summer is full of easterly and westerly winds!

"After talking to the office at beachlands they say the zones are voluntary for this year, and will be enforced if they deem it successful, but it got me thinking now what would an insurance company say if something terrible happened and an accident involving a windsurfer occurred in say the kite or swimming zones?

"With all the recent press about lottery grants and making Hayling a national windsurfing venue, something just does not add up here. I would encourage all who use Hayling Beach to explain the implications of these zones to the staff at the Beachlands office where you buy car park season tickets from. I have also written to Havant Borough council at customer.services@havant.gov.uk, asking for clarification on zone enforcement and pointing out what the zones really mean (more danger in my opinion) I am sure we would get more response if more also expressed a considered opinion."