In the past two weeks, Storm Babet has swept across the UK causing disruption in Dorset.
This has caused difficulties for watersports in the area. GB sailor Cameron Sword spoke about how this weather can be “a safety concern and a danger” for all involved.
“It is something we have to spend a lot of time on studying as we can’t control the weather, and we never are going to know for certain in competitions.”
Cameron, who braved the “punchy” conditions last week, explained that even the best sailors were battling with the conditions.
“Even the top guys who are going to the Olympics, James Peters and Fynn Sterrit, were struggling out there with the conditions we have at the moment.”
In the past week, there have been flood alerts put in place across the coast in Dorset alongside an amber level warning of wind, exceeding speeds of 70mph.
Cameron explains how his coaches try and mitigate the dangers that could arise at sea: “When we train in Weymouth we have rib support with us, meaning if there are any injuries or issues, we minimise the risk as much as possible.”
On top of sailors, surfers have also had to put up with the stormy weather. Will Mort, who is a part of Bournemouth University Surf Club, labelled the conditions extremely challenging.
“It has been treacherous! The bad weather has brought about an increase in powerful waves meaning a higher number of wipe-outs which raises the chance of injury.”
Will, who surfed as recently as this weekend, explained how vigilant he must be on the water in these conditions: “We have to take even more care in this weather as strong rip currents and the unpredictable wind makes it challenging to predict the ocean’s behaviour.”
In a faster and more adrenaline boosted watersport, Simon Caird, a licensed RYA Level 2 Powerboat Handling operator, explains how communication is the most important factor in staying safe at sea.
“It is vitally important you have contact with lifeguards and people onshore in case of emergencies. I commence a VHF radio check to contact the local coastguard before operating a powerboat.”