The Nelson Yacht Club is based on the eastern side of Nelson Harbour, which is a naturally formed harbour protected from Tasman Bay by a 13km long Boulder Bank.
The Club is located at the southern end of the harbour and almost directly opposite “The Cut” which is the local name for the harbour entrance, enabling quick exit from the harbour out into Tasman Bay.
This entrance is a 150m wide man-made channel that has been excavated through the Boulder bank that is maintained at 10m depth that carries the majority of the 2.5-3m tidal flow in and out of the 20-25km2 Nelson Haven and can flow at up to 5kts during spring tide conditions.
The competition sailing area is moved 1 – 1.5nm outside of the cut to the west to mitigate the effects of tidal flow from both the Cut and the Waimea estuary to the south.
The “normal” summer breezes in Nelson are a heat generated sea breeze from the North; this will build from around lunch time to around 10-12kts and starting to dissipate in the late afternoon or early evening.
This normality of hot clear days, with accompanying sea breeze can be disrupted by either Northerly gradient breeze that often brings rain and changeable breezes, or southerly blast that normally follows a front, clears the sky’s and can be upwards of 15-25knts, not normally lasting more than a couple of days.
Tasman Bay out in the sailing area is around 10-12m deep and the sea breezes are normally has a wide spaced 1-1.5m sea swell, perfect length for an FD to sit in, sometimes with slight wind chop on top.
Sea state for Northerly gradient breeze is changeable, sometimes confused and from multiple directions, and as Southerly’s are off the land these normally just have a slight wind chop associated with them.