Thanks to John Roberts and Steve Thorp for the info below.

From John

So....I've spoken to Bill at Topmark in Barrow and another regular who has clocked 40 kts down the channel.

The consensus seems to be that a) the channel will be in operation and b) its should be fast.

The other thing that I had forgotten about is this. A couple of hours after high tide the exit back to Roa Island can be "exciting" as its effectively dead down wind nd the tide comes hooning back up the channel against the wind and kicks up a nasty chop if its running strongly. Given the neap tide the flow should be less so you'd get  2 hours before the low tide and perhaps 2 hours after too without having  to  make a suicide run home.

For those who haven't sailed here,  there is parking/rigging  at the end of the road by the Lifeboat station and  opposite the conveniently sited Cafe. Alternatively park on the pavement just before Roa Island Boat, rig on the down wind side of the causeway and then slog your way out across the sand to the channel. This has the advantage of being a more comfortable walk across sand rather slimy rocks and mussels by the RNLI.

The Boat Club also has a rather handy weather station online. Its generally pretty reliable but does freeze up sometimes.

From Steve

No epic times, but this was such a fun sail! 

Imagine Southend but a MUCH longer run, and with NO walking, and NO mud!

Add to that a very steady 25mph wind and wall to wall sunshine, and I was having a ball. Had the place to myself too, bar about 20minutes when one of the local lads turned up. (apparently it gets mega busy with no parking spots in summer..)

It was one of those days when you feel like you're flying but then you gybe and the sail backwinds, you stand waiting to go holding the rig with one hand enjoying the sun on your face..  cracking day, but way too easy sailing. Was pretty square as you could sail back along the bank, which was lucky as it was hell of a long way! Think it was WSW direction.

Plenty of time to dial the new gear in and feel things out, I reckon I was reaching for 2km with constant wind and angle! (much straighter banks than google maps suggests). Mast foot is a good 2 inch futher back with the Hotsails, felt really nice. (bottom hole, downhaul as per settings)
I think I managed to sail for about 5hrs too, despite arriving later than I should have to hit the 2hr pre low window. Could almost have managed 8hrs I reckon with the bank showing (if I'd been 4hrs pre low..)

Just needed more wind really


Stats for Steve’s session:

Low tide around 11:30 am @ 2.8m

There is also a high tide option along the back of Foulney Island, the gravel bar/spit to the left of the causeway as you drive out. Works on a either side of SW, like the main channel, but needs a decent tide to give you depth right into the carpark.

There is also a run along the inside in an NE/E which still needs high tide but not necessarily a big one.

They don´t call it Luderitz in Furness for nothing.....

Sailed on a westerly with occasionally a few degrees of north it today and not pretty. Plenty of chop and very broad. Least that´s that answered...

So just to confrim the best wind direction for Roa Island is SW to WSW, can John Roberts please confirm this?

Yes Alastair, that´s right. This is for the channel on any low tide.

On the same direction, if the high tide is bigger than 9.0m then there is an option down the northerly side of Foulney Island. This is only a fairly short lived option but gives you something to do before the channel appears.

Also an option on a NE at low tide along the southerly side of Foulney Island ( the left hand side as you look out from the Lifeboat station).

Thanks John, now i'm living back in Ireland want to make sure i know the ideal direction so i don't make a wasted trip over. Still dying to try the spot out, just a bit further away now but if i can get a job in Dublin, i won't be to far from the Dublin-Liverpool ferry for trips over to Roa Island and West Kirby smiley