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Coyote Point
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Coyote is easily the most luxurious sailing site in the Bay Area. Lawns, pea gravel rigging areas, and many family activities are at hand. Unlike many sites, it is fairly warm in the rigging area. The swell and wind outside are world-class. Because of all of this, it can be very crowded in the parking area and in the inner waters. However, the sailing area is vast outside and you can easily get away from the crowd. Good ramps and nice swell for slashing. Watch out for the wind dying inside while you rip outside.

Coyote has one of the longest seasons in the Bay Area. The peak season is April, May, and June for clearing winds (NW, WNW), and then July, August, and September for the more westerly thermal winds. But, the transition months of March and October can also have some great days -- so keep checking the wind!

The launch is right next to the pea gravel rigging area and parking area. On higher tides you walk down concrete pavers to a dark sand beach and launch. At low tide there will be a bit of mud slogging until you can get on the board. On West winds, the wind is light near shore. On NW winds, it will be pretty well filled-in to shore. In the Spring, the wind is more likely to be NW while in the Summer it is more WNW to W. This can make for side-offshore winds with holes and turbulence for the first several hundred yards.

As you get outside the light zone the wind becomes steady in most conditions. The water is somewhat muddy but better than many Bay Area sites. In strong wind there can be some of the biggest swell seen anywhere inside the S.F. Bay. Only 3rd Avenue and Davis Point show bigger swell. In the most common wind conditions, swells range from 2-4 feet but when the adrenaline is running, it looks far bigger. The swell is great for jibing and endless slashing!

In the Spring, sails in the 4.2 to 5.0 range are common with occasional days much stronger. In the Summer thermal winds, sails in the 5.0 to 6.0 range are more common. Racers love Coyote, and tend to rig much larger sails - with 7.5 and 8.5 sails not uncommon.

The side-offshore winds can make this site tricky for beginners. Since the land mass of Coyote Point is downwind you have to be able to point back to the sailing site to safely sail at Coyote Point. Intermediate and advanced sailors can enjoy the swell miles outside while less experienced sailors can stay in the first half mile or so. Since the sailing area is vast, breakdowns are serious. A full wetsuit is necessary in Spring and even on warmer Summer thermal days. A full suit may get you through an overnight drift if you break down. An emergency kit with, at a minimum: a whistle, a couple lengths of line, and a strobe is recommended. A marine radio is a great idea (modern ones are the size of a cell phone).

Tide is not an big issue at Coyote Point, unlike at Third Avenue and Palo Alto. You can always launch here -- even at tides as low a -1.5 feet, but depending on how low the tide is, you may have to walk in shallow mud for several minutes. There are a few obstacles below the surface near the markers for the swim area. There is a ton of parking, but it can get crowded on holidays or on weekends when the wind is good. Arrive early and kick back in the park.

Coyote is a decent place to people-watch although the windsurfing action is usually too far offshore for good viewing -- except in true NW winds where the action can be right offshore. There is a large park to explore: hiking, biking, golfing, museum-strolling, and much more.

Embassy Suites is located in Burlingame about a half mile to the north of Coyote Point in a tiny bayside park surrounded by hotels. The wind is strong right at the rip rap launch site. Tricky entry into the water. There is large lawn and extremely limited parking.

Oyster Point, located in South San Francisco, offers a good launch and winds late into the season, but serious offshore winds translate to "expert only" conditions here. To get to Oyster Point, get off the 101 Freeway at Oyster Point Boulevard. Follow Oyster Point Boulevard toward the bay and make a right at Marina Boulevard. Keep going past the entry booth, the OP Yacht Club, and you'll find a place to park near the windsock and big grassy rigging area. Great wide launch ramp. Sharp rocks, so wear booties.

San Bruno Point, otherwise known as the Genentech launch, is located at a public park in South San Francisco next to one of the Genentech buildings. The Point is the rock outcropping visible just south of the Oyster Point launch. Entry into the water at Genentech is very difficult and bathrooms are not available, so it's not everyone's favorite launch. Serious offshore winds. Experts only.

Flying Tigers - which is a state of mind more than a specific location - can be reached these days by exiting the 101 Freeway on Grand Avenue / East Grand Avenue in South San Francisco. Take East Grand east toward the Bay. Go several blocks and make a right on Haskins Way. Park at the dead end. You'll then walk toward the Bay (east) for minute or two until you get to the rigging area on the beach and the main point of entry to the Bay often demarcated by the numerous footprints going into the mud. No restrooms. This is a warehouse area, and is not-at-all pretty for non-windsurfers. Serious offshore winds, so again: Experts only.
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Shops, Schools, Clubs, Events, Food, Lodging, More,
 Season: March-October 
 Water: Bit muddy, big swell 
 Ability Level: Beginner-Expert 
 Familiness: Lots to do! 
 Parking: $6 Fee. Paved lot. 
 Launch: Pavers to sand to mud 

From: North Bay and northern East Bay:</B> Go south across the Golden Gate Bridge: Take 19th Ave off ramp 1 mile past bridge. Pass through Golden Gate Park and later past San Francisco State and then merge onto Hwy. 280. After several miles take the 380 off ramp heading east. Merge with Hwy 101 heading south and pass SFO airport. Drive until you see Coyote Point jutting out into the Bay Then look for the Poplar off ramp. Go west on Popular Watch carefully for signs to Coyote Park. Turn Right on Idaho or Humboldt. Go one block then turn right on Peninsula Ave heading east back towards freeway. Pass over freeway. Then carefully follow signs into the park. At the entrance, pay then make a left turn and head towards the beach to park From Sherman Island and central East Bay: Go across the Bay Bridge then merge with Hwy 101 heading south and pass SFO airport. Then follow the instructions above. <BR><BR> <B>From north of Santa Cruz:</B> Go north on Hwy. 1 to Half Moon Bay Go east on Hwy. 92 over the coast range and at Hwy. 280 go south. After a few miles take the Hwy. 92 off ramp going East. Continue on Hwy. 92 until you near the Bay. Before the San Mateo Bridge take Hwy. 101 north. After several miles take the Dore Avenue offramp and follow the frontage road just until you pass the golf course, then turn Right. Follow the signs into the park. From Santa Cruz: Go east on Hwy 17 then north on Hwy 280. Then east on Hwy. 92. Continue on Hwy. 92 until you near the Bay. Before the San Mateo Bridge take Hwy. 101 north. After several miles take the Dore Avenue offramp and follow the frontage road until you pass the golf course, and then turn Right. Follow the signs into the park. You're there!

The sensor is accurate for winds near the beach in the typical WNW to NW winds. The sensor doesn't generally equate with the windspeed way out in the channel. The SFO sensor at the airport is good to watch also.

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