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What is a tide race? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Phil Clegg   
Thursday, 29 March 2012 08:51

A tide race is an area of fast tidal flow created when the tide is forced around an obstacle, such as a headland, resulting in the formation of fast flowing water, eddies and potentially waves. To create the waves a tide race needs more conditions than just fast flowing water; it needs wind and or swell to generate the waves. If the wind and or the swell are in the same direction as the flow they will do little to generate waves. The more their direction is against the flow the higher and steeper the waves they will generate. Also the stronger the wind, the larger the swell and the faster the tide, the bigger the waves. Due to the friction created by the sea floor the generated waves will always run up against the flow. Similar conditions can also be found in river mouths and on large volume, slow flowing rivers.


A tide race (North Stack, Anglesey)



Text and pictures reproduced by kind permission of the author and copyright holder, Phil Clegg of Sea Kayaking Anglesey.