argaret River is not a sailing spot for beginner wave sailors. The beaches can have large swell that breaks on to a reef. It can suck dry, and it requires good wave riding skills. Also the area can get quite crowded, there being one main sailing area where most people sail. The locals can also get quite aggressive, especially if you break the wave sailing rules. These rules are accepted world wide, so they will not come as any surprise to a wave sailor. It is necessary that they are strictly adhered to in this area, due to the size and speed of the waves and the number of people sailing here. They are really an augmentation of the basic surfing rules, which are also strictly adhered to in the Margaret River area (as they should be everywhere). This is a picture of the surfing rules as depicted on a plaque at Surf Point.
The main sailing spot is called Surfers Point, down Surfers Point Road. The car park is on the cliff above the sailing beach, and a wooden ramp/steps leads down to the beach about 70 ft below. the beach is relatively limited here, and most people rig on the grass as the top of the hill, and carry the gear down to the beach.
This picture is taken from the Surfers Point car park, viewing the boards on the beach. It should be noted that the beach has eroded somewhat recently, and rocks have been uncovered in this area.
This picture shows some of the swells at Surfers Point. As can be seen, there is reef inshore, and it is necessary to corner left or right on the wave. Most seem to go left (right in the picture). Again a picture of the swells at the point.
Getting out into the break can be interesting. It is usual to go out through the keyhole, pictured here with reference to the waves out the back, and here showing the key hole explicitly.
If you know what you are doing, you can sail both in and out through the key hole. Most regular sailors of the spot do. You can also go in / come out upwind and downwind from this spot, as some sailors do, probably for safety.
South of Surfers Point there are also other breaks. They are sailed by fewer people, and the usual launching place is by the boat ramp. I would suggest that the first time sailor to the area only sail these reefs when someone else who (hopefully) knows the area is already sailing there. Due to the cliff to the south of the area, sailing from the boat ramp is best when the wind has some on-shore component, otherwise it can be hard to get out from shore.
The mpegs below were provided by Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org). His original mpeg page has some great shots of sailboarding and skiing. Well worth a look. There is a great video of a loop as well. These mpegs show some of the wave action at Margaret River. Beware that the mpegs are quite large (4 mb) and may take some time to load.
Surfing action at Surfer's Point
Sailing action at Surfer's Point
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