Spring Rally to Lymington

19 – 21 May 2023

The Rally went ahead as planned with some interesting weather predicted coming out of the N to NE. 

In total we had five yachts; Paul Jeffs skippering his new (to him) 38ft Island Packet, Jus Lymin, crewed by yours truely and new members Duncan and Sarah Southcott, Nick & Gail on NickNack, Peter Puttock skippering Magnus Tao with one of his regular crew, Perdo plus club members Richard Aust, Babs Frazer and Nick Frazer, and Stewart Coia skipping Azanti with his regular crew, Paul, Phil and Peter.  In addition we had Howard and Nikki on their new (to them) 37ft Sealine, Riptide.

Jus Lymin, Magnus Tao and Azanti took part in the “fast-cruise-in-company” on the Saturday all leaving Portsmouth for the 09.00 start, the start line being the transect between No Man’s Land and Horse Sand Forts. NickNack was otherwise committed to a charity event in Chichester on the Friday and thus could not make the start line in time due to tide and Riptide was to act as the Committee Boat at the finish to take final times over the line.  Being the Spring Rally, the Club’s Rose Bowl was up for grabs for the fastest time.

The first leg was out to Nab Tower where the three boats encountered a reasonable swell and F4 winds.  Fortunately we managed this leg with the tide which then dropped as we approach high water on the return leg back through the forts and into the Solent.  The wind and tide stayed with us for the rest of the cruise down through the Solent taking Solent Bank to starboard before cutting over to the finish line at 2F Berthon and a race buoy close by to the north, where Riptide was waiting for us to take our times.  It wasn’t a particularly challenging sail, other than the leg out to Nab Tower where the wind and swell picked up.  The only tack was round the Tower and once that was done it was effectively a broad reach and gibe down the Solent, to harden up for the finish.  However, the sun was out and as a result the three boats had fairly fast times over the course.  In fact the results were very close indeed, as follows:

Magnus Tao – 4hrs 3mins
Azanti – 4hrs 4mins
Jus Lymin – 4hrs 6mins  

Given the vagaries of the handicap systems, the handicaps provided by Azanti and Magnus Tao and that I couldn’t find one for an Island Packet, I have come up with the following corrected times (Commodore’s decision being final):

Azanti – 3hrs 49mins
Jus Lymin – 4hrs 3mins
Magnus Tao – 4hrs 9mins

So it pains me to say that Stewart’s name will be on the Rose Bowl this year, even though the Commodore was on Jus Lymin (I just couldn’t fudge the results in my favour any better and still have a clear conscious) – a Committee’s Inquiry really should be held to question Azanti handicap for future events ….

On completing the course, and with NickNack joining us a short while later, we berthed up at Lymington Town Quay, which we all through was a lovely setting and has been improved with new finger quays and reasonably good toilets and showers.  After a suitable rest we mustered on Jus Lymin for some pre-dinner drinks and nibbles before retiring to the Ship Inn, literally located at the end of the Quay.  The Ship Inn was fantastic in their organisation, having had all our meals pre-ordered which helped enormously – everything for all 18 of us come out promptly and correctly, and very good value for the quality of their food.  The bill at the end was even correct to the penny, which made my life much easier.

The Sunday was an early departure to beat the tide back down the Solent.  Jus Lymin needed to get back to Chichester and after leaving Lymington we settled down to a single tack through the Solent to Chichester as the wind was still out of the N to NE.  However, it had increased in strength from the previous day – we certainly saw a wind speed of up to 35kts. 

All in all it was a great weekend with some good sailing, no disasters and great company.

Summer Rally to Poole 5/7 Aug 2022


Thanks to the 18 members of Oxted Offshore who made it to our summer rally, we don’t usually have a rally in August as most members have holiday plans and there is already a lot in the sailing calendar, so I was pleased with the turnout. In the end we had four boats making the trip down across to Poole which is always a popular destination.

  • Azanti – Stewart Coia – Crew of 5
  • Faux Pas – Jeremy Taylor  – Crew of 8
  • Magus Tao – Peter Puttock – Crew of 3
  • Nick Nack – Nick & Gail Leaver – Crew of 2

The tide ebbed out of the Solent on Friday evening and early Saturday morning and most boats choose to set off late on Friday and spend the evening on a buoy outside Yarmouth or in our case Newtown Creek. Yarmouth only has a few bookable berths which were already taken and the remainder are available on a first come first served basis so late arrivals tend to end up on a buoy.

I had secured Faux Pas a space on a raft outside Sheppard’s Marina in Cowes so we could attend the Cowes Week festivities, however as there were no fireworks this year the crew had little appetite for it so we pushed onto the Creek instead.


Newtown Creek was busy; all the buoys were taken however after some circling and aware of the falling tide we managed to anchor in a clear spot behind a row of other sailing yachts. I would love to say I managed to draw a tidal curve with secondary port adjustments to work out a safe low water anchoring depth given our 2m draft, however a quick Google search was far quicker. It was tight though and as the remainder of the tide ebbed out of the creek that evening the land became worryingly close.

The calculations were fine and we spent a peaceful night in the creek having dinner (thanks Fran) and numerous sundowners. The sunset was particularly spectacular that night.

Next morning I heard from Peter Puttock on Magus Tau that they were leaving very early from Portsmouth to make maximum use of the tide and would potentially meet us coming out of the creek. We decided that would not be acceptable and left around 08:30 to ensure they were behind us and not in front. Peter later confirmed however Magus Tao had managed to reach 9.5knots (SOG) with the tide and had shot past Newtown Creek earlier than expected.

Leaving the Needles behind we headed straight for Studland Bay were we hoped to catch a spare eco-mooring and have lunch as it seemed too early to head up the channel into Poole. Anchoring in the bay is now frowned upon as the eel grass is home to a population of long-snouted seahorses. We managed to find a buoy on the south side of the bay and shortly after jumped in the water for a swim.

The water was cold, but the weather was hot and it didn’t take long to acclimatise. After swimming we soon dried off, had a very pleasant lunch (Thanks Bill) and headed into Poole for showers, shopping and Commodores Cocktails which was set for 18:30.

For dinner I had booked the Guildhall Tavern which has an excellent reputation and although expensive brought out some very tasty dishes.

Over dinner the now well lubricated crews put together plans for a race back to Portsmouth. The forecast however was for very light winds fading to nothing in the afternoon and given Faux Pas was a charter boat that had to be back at its berth for 16:30 we opted not to take part.

After the restaurant some of the crew headed to go back to Magus Tao for an afterparty where Peters 1st Mate Pedro dished out copious amounts of Dark and Stormy cocktails.

Many thanks to Kevin Roberts the next morning for cooking up an excellent Full English. We were washed up and ready to leave at 10:00 and set off after Magus Tau who had made race plans with Nick Nack and Azanti.

Magus Tao

With the winds dying and a favourable tide we motor sailed most of the way home only slowing down for lunch on the go.

Faux Pas Crew

As mentioned, Faux Pas didn’t have the luxury of time in order to take part in the race however I did receive an uncorroborated email from Peter Puttock claiming victory for Magus Tao.

Jeremy Taylor

Spring Rally to the Itchenor 23/24 April 2022

The April Rally to Itchenor was a very windy NNE F5/F6 and that among other factors led to several boats pulling out of our fast cruise in company.   In the end only three boats took part in the fast cruise: 

  • Jumunu – Lesley Brooman,
  • Magus Tao – Peter Puttock,
  • Tres Jolie – Jeremy Taylor

Many thanks to our Vice Commodore John Taylor who helped setting the course and provided two options, the second being a shorter course should the conditions worsen. Although challenging I made a decision to go with the longer course (Alpha).

2022 Itchnor Rally Route

The routes were as follows:

Route Alpha. 21.8NM.
Start at line between 5F North Sturbridge (North Cardinal, 50 ˚45’33N 01˚08’23W) and motorboat Rip Tide. First start at 1000 BST, take your GPS time as you cross the line. If Rip Tide is not on station take your time as you pass due North of North Sturbridge within 200m.

  • Mark 1 6A No Man’s Land Fort (bloody big round thing, 50˚44’40N 01˚05’70W), leave to Starboard
  • Mark 2 6K Horse Tail (Green channel marker, 50˚43’23N 01˚00’23W), leave to Port
  • Mark 3 6L Winner (South Cardinal, 50˚45’45N 00˚56’59W), leave to Starboard
  • Mark 4 Pullar (West Cardinal, 50˚40’47N 00˚50’90W), leave to Port

Finish Between West Pole (Red tripod, 50˚45’45N 00˚56’59W) and motorboat Rip Tide; if Rip Tide is not on Station take your GPS time as you pass within 200m due West of West Pole.

Route Bravo. 15.4NM
Start at line between 5F North Sturbridge (North Cardinal, 50 ˚45’33N 01˚08’23W) and motorboat Rip Tide. First start at 1000 BST, take your GPS time as you cross the line.

  • Mark 1 6A No Man’s Land Fort (bloody big round thing, 50˚44’40N 01˚05’70W), leave to Starboard
  • Mark 2 6K Horse Tail (Green channel marker, 50˚43’23N 01˚00’23W), leave to Port
  • Mark 3 6L Winner (South Cardinal, 50˚45’45N 00˚56’59W), leave to Starboard
  • Mark 4 6P New Grounds (West Cardinal, 50˚41’84N 00˚58’49W), leave to Port

Finish Between West Pole (Red tripod, 50˚45’45N 00˚56’59W) and motorboat Rip Tide if Rip Tide is not on Station take your GPS time as you pass within 200m due West of West Pole.

Arriving in Itchenor
Our berth for the night was a river pontoon to the East of Itechnor which due to the direction of the wind was a struggle to tie up to. After expending a lot of energy getting onto the pontoon we were then instructed by the ISC Commodore that we were on the wrong pontoon and we had to move to the 2nd pontoon further East!

Commodore’s Cocktails
After another struggle we finally settled down on the correct pontoon where we were joined by Graham Blake on his boat Boomerang and a few others from shore who had managed to convince the ISC boat man to give them a lift.

Jumunu took line honours and was 10 minutes faster than the competition on corrected time, I have therefore invited Lesley and her crew to join us at the Annual Dinner on Saturday 19th of November to award them the coveted Rose Bowl trophy.

Many thanks to the 29 members who joined us at Itchenor Sailing Club where we had a hearty meal, great conversation and enjoyed the amazing vista that their clubhouse has of the river. 

I’m also pleased to announce we managed to raise £100 from members towards the http://www.ntc.org.uk/

2022 Spring Rally to Itchenor Sailing Club – April 23/24

I have made a provisional booking for dinner at the Itchenor Sailing Club for the evening of Saturday April 23rd. We last visited the club in 2018 when we had an excellent meal and a magical experience later that evening sitting in the channel.

Itchenor Sailing Club
Itchenor Sailing Club

Highwater times for Itechnor below:
* Saturday 23rd  – 17:52
* Sunday 24th  – 19:04

The late highwater time affords an opportunity for club members to compete for the OXO Rose Bowl trophy have lunch and then cross the Chichester Bar on a rising tide that afternoon.

The club has mooring bouys out in the river which are maintained by the Chichester Harbour Conservacy, once I have an idea of numbers I’ll contact them to arrange a group booking. The ISC also have a water taxi available.

The ISC Club House also has accommodation available for those wishing to attend but unable to make it via Yacht.

Itchenor Sailing Club

More details to follow

2022 Visit to the Little Ship Club 25 Jan 25 moved to 22 Feb

UPDATE: Due to the rampant spread of Omnicron I have pushed back our visit to the Little Ship Club to Tuesday February 22nd, On Tuesday nights, the LSC have their regular club night and on this occasion they have a talk scheduled by Miles Featherstone Deputy Harbour Master of the Port of London Authority.

By kind invitation of the Little Ship Club Commodore Barrie J Martin, Oxted Offshore have been invited to pay a visit to their club. The LSC is the only sailing club by the Thames in the City of London and has been providing unique entertainment to sailors since 1926.

Little Ship Club London
Little Ship Club London

The LSC run regular events at the clubhouse, please see the following link for a full list: https://www.littleshipclub.co.uk/events/club. The LSC is equipped with a full bar and kitchen and are able to provide dinner which is usually a fixed menu (main course with vegetarian option and dessert or cheeseboard) for under £20/head. Please note the kitchen needs to know if your planning to stay for dinner a week before the event.

More details to follow…

To find out more about the club, please visit https://littleshipclub.co.uk/

2021 Freezer Rally 10 December 10

With little on the sailing calendar in December OXO members have been tradionally getting together for a nautical day out and usually a long lunch. Excursions in the past have included the Island Sailing Club on the Isle of White and the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Mayfair which Founded in 1775 is the oldest continuously operating yacht club in the world.

This year we visited Greenwich for a tour of the National Maritime Museum to be followed by Lunch at the aptly named Trafalgar Tavern, situated next to the River Thames. An OXO freezer rally of course would not be the same without some sort of water based transport and so we got to Greenwich on the Thames Clipper just in time to see a Tower Bridge lift.

Most of us arrived at the Museum at 11:00 in time for the now notorious tedious group photo.

The National Maritime Museum – Greenwich

After working up an appetite at the museum we wandered down the road to the The Trafalgar Tavern where we had the the Hardy Suite reserved. This is one of their upstairs private upstairs dining rooms which have great views across Greenwich and the River Thames.

The food was excellent, the quiz tricky and as you can see from the faces of our members it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

2021 Trafalgar Tavern Festive Menu
2021 Trafalgar Tavern Festive Menu
The Pickle Room at the Trafalgar Tavern
Example Room at the Trafalgar Tavern

October is Boat Jumble time


With the end of the sailing season quickly approaching its time to cast overboard all those gadets that you never used and make more stowage for all those other things you have have your eye on.

One Mans Junk is another Man’s Treasure

Yotam Ottolenghi 

With that in mind I am officially designating our October meetup on the 20th of October 2021 at the Carpenters Arms as a “Boat Jumble” so take a peak in those lockers and fish out anything you no longer want.

Here are some examples of things you may no longer want:

  • Anchors
  • Bouys
  • Books
  • Charts
  • Electronics
  • Fenders,
  • Guidebooks
  • Nets
  • Oars
  • etc. etc.

So do bring them along, or let me know and I’ll pick them up from you, and lets see what we can do to get them into new hands.

Force 9 South Coast Lutine Charter

Last October we were able to charter Lutine from Lloyd’s Yacht Club for an out of season four day weekend which proved to be quite eventful due to the weather. Working through the weather windows we managed to get to Weymouth via Poole from Gosport.

The trip was enjoyed by all and so early in 2021 I booked Lutine again with the plan of getting to the Chanel Islands. Due to Covid it was decided that the Chanel Islands wouldn’t work and Dartmouth would be our destination.

With the weather closing in and the forecast looking grim we departed Gosport and had an uneventful sail down to Yarmouth.

05:30 Saturday 2nd of October. After a lovely meal in Yarmouth involving hot rocks and raw meat we were up before day break in order to reach Weymouth before 12:00 at which point 55kn gusts were predicted.

Lutine berthed in Yarmouth

Safety tethers were issued to the crew partly because of night sailing but also because of the poor forecast.

Five hours and 38 miles later after a very wet, windy and bumpy sail into 30kn of wind we arrived in Weymouth around 11:00. With two reefs in the main Lutine managed the conditions with ease and reached speeds upto 12kn. Special mentions go to Bill who had prepared Marmalade rolls for breakfast and also to Peter who navigated us safely around the live firing range in Lulworth Cove.

Mark looking after the Starbord Winch

Weymouth wasn’t very busy so managed to secure C2 berth which is located right in front of the Harbour office and facilities. The afternoon was spent catching up on sleep and drying out our gear.

Drying out

After a lazy afternoon and several pints in local hostileries we had an excellent dinner in Ming Wha, although 9 hungry sailors in a Chinese restaurant is always a recipe for confusion as you can imagine.

We have been using the Splitwiseapp app to divi up the bill between us, if only we could work it out.

After a tot of navy 100% proof rum we headed to our bunks for a good rest.

Next morning we woke to the smell of bacon and sizzling sausages being prepared by Kevin R who gets a special mention as odly enough he doesn’t eat meat.

Breakast for Hungy Sailors
The perks of being Commodore – Coffee in bed

We departed at 11:00 and set sail downwind for Lymington in what promised to be another fast sail in strong winds.

We were not disappointed, sailing under a reefed jib alone we reached speeds of 15 knots surfing down building seas in severe gales that gusted 45 knots.

Back in Lymington we strugled to find a restaurant open late on Sunday until eventually striking lucky with an excellent Sunday roast at the Ship Inn

After more heavy rain overnight we set sail East back to Gosport making the most of the persistent 27kn winds blowing in from the West.

OXO Lutine Crew back in Gosport

20th Anniversary

The 22nd of September 2021 was the 20th Anniversary for the club and so to celebrate our monthly meeting was turned into a special gathering. 20 years is an incredible milestone for a club as many fall by the wayside well before.

The celebration was held at The Crown Inn, Old Oxted where the 3 founding members of the club used to meet on an monthly basis and organise sailing trips.

Celebrating 20 year of Oxted Offshore

The event was well attended and we enjoyed plates of nibbles laid on by landlord Alan who remembers the first meetings taking place. Henry and Roger, two of the founders of the club entertained us with stories from when the club first started and we finished with a toast to Oxted Offshore and here’s to another 20 years.

The Crown Inn - Old Oxted
The Crown Inn – Old Oxted

RYA Day Skipper Practical Motor Course

I took a wander over to the dark side earlier this month and joined three other OXO members on a four day RYA Day Skipper Practical Motor Course. Being a yachtman I’ve never shown much interest in motor boats however our club does have an active motor boat section so I though it time to dip my toe.

202109 RYA Day Skipper Practical Motor Course
202109 RYA Day Skipper Practical Motor Course

The course was run by Mendez Marine and our instructor Monty took us through the RYA sylabus from engine checks through to nightime navigation. Based at Swanwick on the Hamble river our time was spent on Fenlad Dancer a Princess 368 fitted with two very large Cummings engines which could power the boat to 20 knots.

As well as covering the standard elements such as man over board, the course was very practical and focused heavily on building skills maneouvering the boat into some very tight spots taking into account the effects of wind a tide. Fortunately with our existing sailing experience we were able to tick off a lot of the RYA sylabus quite quickly and this allowed more time behind the controls.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned a lot of new skills along the way. My biggest take away was discovering just how maneoverable two engines can make a yacht when applied correctly.

View from the Flybridge