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.