It's been a great 2023 Wind Season but now it’s that time of year when things start to change. As the Fall season approaches we begin to go through the annual fading & shifting of the winds. The SFBA and all our site stewards want to remind you to be extra cautious in the afternoons as it's time for the SUMMER FADE. (Photo By Nicholas Osterman)
As the days get shorter the amount of wind pressure is beginning to recede ever so slightly every day. What also is happening is that the wind begins shifting slightly to the south from its normal direction. This combination of fading & shifting is what we call the SUMMER FADE. What all this means is that it can be tough to get back to the beach! With less wind pressure, shorter days, and larger wind shadows it's easy to get tricked into staying out too long. Sometimes the FADE can turn the wind off like a switch.
Being extra aware that the weather is moving to a less stable pattern, and that reading and understanding forecasted conditions is now more important. If any instability is forecast sailors need to be more cautious than normal.
So think hard about taking the extra tack and keep your focus on making sure you can make it back to the beach under your own power. Please spread the word about the SUMMER FADE and let's keep ourselves safe. It's upon all of us to minimize the amount of rescue support we need and to be honest, it's been a tough year with some excessive amounts of risk-taking without the right precautions. A couple of key points;
- The SUMMER FADE means finishing your session earlier than normal.
- Please write your name and phone number on everything that floats.
- Carry a Marine Radio and let someone know when you plan on being back
To wrap it up please be extra cautious on your plans, always making sure you can get back to the beach. The early evening fade in tandem with the southerly wind switch could leave you swimming.
For more safety tips please see our WIND SPORT SAFETY GUIDES