Hartwell FTW

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webguy
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Joined: 12/31/2000 - 22:01
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Hartwell FTW

(For The Win)

After years of driving over it, today I had the chance to sail at Hartwell. I'd been up in NC visiting family and friends and stuffed a board and sail into the van (and a bike, too). The forecast didn't look that good and with the seats, space was limited so only the 82cm FreeFormula and 9.5 made the trip.

As it turned out, the NE wind up in NC was forecast to be 15-25 which was pushing the range of my gear but it looked as if I kept on driving south, the wind would be a bit less yet still hold up in the afternoon. Using the directions off our wiki, I drove up Old US 29 from Hartwell, GA until it deadended at the lake at, appropriately named, Long Point Recreation Area. I'd never been there before so I took some time to scout around and take pics. The description was that it was a site good on almost any wind direction, and it is. It's a long peninsula and there are spots on just about every direction to launch. The only caveat is that the dam is 2.75 miles downwind on NW so if you aren't confident in either your equipment or ability, choose another spot in that direction or keep within swim-able distance to shore.

So, I parked at the best place for NE which turned out to be the first area to the left as you enter. It was puffy for about an hour with the wind cycling about 10 min 12-15 where it was easy to plane then about 10 min of waiting. As the water and air was warm, I was happy just to be out given the paucity of planing days this season. I came in and let off the downhaul to the minimum which is, naturally, the time when the breeze fills in. And, it did to a pretty solid 15-20. Fun was had.

Note that Hartwell is a "shallower" lake than Lanier so it can be and is shallower off points than we are accustomed to. It's best to get away from shore, especially when it's cloudy and shallow areas are harder to see. This was only important to about 20 yds. out since I had an onshore breeze. Further out was no issue. The wider beaches would make this a good launch for kites although I'd hate to see the weasels clutter up the water. Wink

Wiki page: https://windsportatlanta.com/wiki/Hartwell_Lake
Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/X7pB1VNqAr42
Pics are below. They'll be added to the new version of the wiki that will be coming out shortly. In order: Pic from car. White caps from NE. View to W/NW. View to NE. View to SW. View NW from end of point.

Edit: W is probably the only weak spot for Long Point. Just around the lake over the dam is this spot: https://goo.gl/maps/xfymwn8SYzj which faces SW, W, NW and has a 3+ mile fetch for anything westish.

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I Rigged Wrong's picture
I Rigged Wrong
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Joined: 04/04/2014 - 15:06
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Re: Hartwell FTW

Very Cool Dirol

Mike Prazak

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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
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Re: Hartwell FTW

Interesting article. Thanks for posting - makes me think of making a day trip sometimes. Easterly winds seem to be stronger as you go further east (pot of gold at the end of the rainbow effect?). I've driven over Hartwell a couple of dozen times on the way to OBX but seldom see much evidence of wind, though I suspect those spots are largely wind shadowed.

There is no off season.

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webguy
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Re: Hartwell FTW

I was surprised by how open it is towards the dam; rather, how long the fetches are because the arms can align with the wind directions. I'd never seen much driving over on 85 but many years ago we picnicked for a lunch stop on a park a little further down and it inspired me to try it some day.

It does pay to leave the immediate vicinity sometimes for Hartwell, West Point and even Augusta if not for wind then for temperature. I sailed at West Point when there was a "wedge" from the NE. It was 37 degrees at Lanier and 54 or so down there. I'd say that was worth the extra 20 minutes. Barrett and I drove from Nags Head to Rodanthe last spring and scored big and that's only, what, 30 miles?

Glad you guys found it worthwhile.

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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
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Re: Hartwell FTW

I drive at least 25 miles just to get to the closest spots on the lake Lanier. About the same to Galts. Vann's is 35; Van Pugh or Old Fed are close to 40. Nags Head to Rodanthe is usually a much quicker drive, scenery more interesting and of course the wind is usually better (assuming you need to leave Nags Head in the first place.)

There is no off season.

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