Solent Cruiser Race and Easter Rally 2019

The weather forecast was looking good for the Easter weekend which meant that there were considerable number of members entering the race and rally at the last minute.

Apr 25, 2019
The weather forecast was looking good for the Easter weekend which meant that there were considerable number of members entering the race and rally at the last minute. With a warm sunny and fairly windless day 8 boats came to the start line at Coronation buoy. The course sent the competitors to the east round the first few marks. Luckily these were near the mainland shore where there was some wind. It had been decided by the race committee (Annette Newton and Maggie Widdop) to adapt one of the set courses and finish the race at Royal Thames to avoid taking the boats towards the Island shore near Gurnard, where there was no wind.



Apart from Watermark that had engine problems, everyone got to Beaulieu and joined up in Bucklers Hard with the 8 boats that were rallying. With high pressure and a very low tide several boats were aground on the mid river pontoons but luckily our 3 deepest boats had opted to go to the marina. The results were given and the ducks awarded at the pontoon party in the evening sunshine.
(Leg 1 - 1st Ayaya, 2nd Dino Volante, 3rd Kasara)
With the sound of the birds and the tapping of a woodpecker in the trees the crews woke up to wall to wall sunshine. As it was the Queen’s birthday many of the fleet were dressed overall for the occasion. After a leisurely breakfast and deflating of paddleboards the racing contingent set off down river to start the race at Sevenstar Yacht Transport just outside the entrance to Beaulieu River. The Race Officers were a bit concerned, as they had heard on the VHF radio that racing had been abandoned at Cowes and there was a force 1 at Bramblemet but luckily just enough to start the race. The main problem was the increasing ebb tide before the boats got to West Ryde Middle but again our luck was in as all the boats completed the course at Royal London before the tide got too strong. That is one thing that is so fortunate about the Cruiser Race style of racing you can use your engine for half of your elapse time on each leg. We were all crowded in to Shepards Wharf and again joined by those rallying. The venue for the results announcement and duck of the day award was the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club where we met up with some of the South Island members. Then we made our way up to the Island Sailing Club for supper with over 40 of us sitting down to a delicious meal.
(Leg 2 - 1st Dino Volante, 2nd Ayaya, 3rd Lady Penrose)
At last on Monday there was a good breeze from the east and so the longest course was chosen by the race committee starting to the west to Lepe Spit buoy against the flood tide. They had a good beat back after rounding Lepe Spit and Royal Thames to Goodall Roofing near East Bramble and then a zig zag course down wind to finish at Bald Head. The final results were announced back at the club.
(Leg 3 – 1st Dino Volante, 2nd Lady Penrose, 3rd Ayaya)
Overall winners were Dino Volante, 2nd was Ayaya and 3rd Lady Penrose. The Sailing Prize went to Dido with the least percentage of engine time.
It had been an excellent weekend and in spite of there being little wind on 2 days everyone managed to finish each leg. Thanks go to Angus and Annette Newton for the use of Kuutar as Committee boat and helping with the running of the racing.

Maggie Widdop

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