The Wider View: Surfing the swell of the Severn Bore

At 220 miles in length, the River Severn (Afon Hafren in Welsh) is the longest river in Britain, flowing through both Wales and England (the Thames is the longest river wholly in England), though in international terms it is a tiddler - there are probably hundreds of rivers that hardly anybody has heard of that are the about the same size in places such as the US, Canada and Russia. The Potomac River, America's twenty-first longest river, is substantially longer than the Severn.

From its source in Pynlimon in the Cambrian Mountains in west central Wales, it flows through the English counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and their respective county towns (capitals) of Shrewsbury, Worcester and Gloucester, before flowing into the Bristol Channel between south Wales and south west England.

It flows through the Shropshire rown of Coalbrookdale, where it is spanned by the world's first iron bridge, built in 1779.

The name "Severn" is supposedly derived from the name Sabrina (or Hafren), based on the mythical story of a nymph who drowned in the river.

Sabrina is also the goddess of the River Severn in Ancient British mythology.

The river is also famous for the Severn Bore, the world's second highest tidal bore after China's Qiantang River.

This makes the Severn a mecca for surfers, who love riding the bore at speeds of up to 20mph.

The Wider View: Surfing the swell of the Severn Bore

By Mail On Sunday Reporter
23rd August 2009
Daily Mail

Far from the ocean waves, past churches and fields, surfers ride the swell of the Severn Bore, one of Britain’s few truly spectacular natural phenomena.

Tidal bores are high, often dangerous, waves formed as incoming tides filter into a narrow channel, increasing the height of the water.

The power of the surge is clear in these pictures, taken yesterday near the village of Hempsted, south of Gloucester, where surfers met for three of the biggest bores in recent years.

Surfers on the Severn Bore, on Britain's longest river, as it passes through Gloucestershire

Boats follow the surfers, ready to collect them when they fall and carry them down the estuary so they can catch the swell again.

The Severn Bore is the second highest in the world; it has been known to top 6ft, with an average speed of 10mph. Large bores happen on about 25 days a year.

Surfing the Severn Bore is now a competitive sport and hundreds vie to record the longest ride. The current champion is Steve King, from Saul, Gloucestershire, who rode for more than seven miles at up to 20mph.

But the bore could soon be destroyed by the proposed Severn Barrage, a £15billion plan to dam the estuary and generate electricity. Critics of the barrage say it will destroy local wetlands and rob us of a unique part of our landscape.

The Severn Bore is the second highest in the world; it has been known to top 6ft, with an average speed of 10mph
Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 23rd, 2009 at 11:31 AM..
I'm not sure about tidal bores but the highest tides in the world are here:

Tidal Bores What are Tidal Bores Tidal Bore Research Society Tidal Bores and the Bay of Fundy Highest Tides in the World World’s Highest Tides and Tidal Bores – Tidal Bore Rafting Park, Nova Scotia, Canada (external - login to view)
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