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23rd October 2014 | Today's High Tides | 00:45 - 4.93m | 13:03 - 4.96m | Full Tide Tables

How will the Wallasea Project Affect Sailing / Racing?

The Burnham Clubs have prepared a ‘Shipping Management Plan’ which has been incorporated as a condition of the Planning Consent for the Wallasea Project. This sets out certain periods during Burnham Week and also on summer Weekend Mornings when ship movements must be avoided. There will also be a Navigation Safety Management Plan prepared by CHA in consultation with clubs, contractors and relevant stakeholders, compliance with which is a condition of the works Licence for the project.

  • This website includes an AIS Display of commercial vessels as they make their way into or out of the river, to assist race organisers in planning race starts,courses etc.
  • Commercial vessel movements will be supervised by a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) operated on the unloading pontoon. Recreational craft will not be required to report to VTS but will be required to comply with its directions (communicated via the Harbour Launch). Race Officers will be able to keep aware of forthcoming movements.
  • There will be warning lights on the unloading pontoon to warn of imminent vessel movements. Recreational craft will be required to keep clear of the facility and of vessels manoeuvring when these lights are on.
  • Supervision/escorting of movements by the Harbour Launch will be closer/ more frequent than hitherto.
  • The ships' swinging area (between Horse Shoal and the lower end of the moorings) will be marked by buoys and anchoring in that area will be prohibited.

The answer to the question how the project will affect racing however is “It depends how sensible the yacht racers are going to be”. It is CHA’s hope that it will not be necessary to establish exclusion zones around the pontoon or swinging area. Certainly there will be a greater need to maintain a proper lookout in these parts of the lower estuary, but we hope that common sense, good seamanship and self preservation will triumph over the racing instinct so that we do not have to rely on stronger byelaws, regulations and exclusion zones. If that does not prove to be the case then yes, there will have to be more rules and more enforcement. Lets hope not!