HSSC 24-27th May Bank Holiday… sailing weekend


The yachts and crews: 

'Solace', skipper Robert Falk, with Diana Bader-Clynes, and Michael Vine;


'Casco', skipper Rodney Camrass with Kirk Camrass;

'Sea Dream', skipper Avi Riegler, with Sandy Riegler and Richard Marks.

So there we all were, earlier in the week running up to the sail,  checking the weather daily. Would we be able to complete our passage to Poole as planned or would the elements conspire yet again and demand a curtailment or worse? 


Solace, a Bavaria 32 and commodore Robert's new pride and joy, together with Avi and Sandy's Sea Dream had all fingers and toes crossed  after the first bank holiday weekend had been forcefully shortened to just as far as Gosport and back. Despite the weather having turned hot once the bad stuff had blown through, we were not that hopeful for this coming weekend!

Friday was really ghastly, and Robert, Sandy and Avi, as advance party, shivered and froze all day as temperatures plummeted in the Chichester area, (8 deg C) and the wet stuff fell heavily from the skies. 

The high spot of the day was meeting Israeli Olympic  49ers sailing   hopefuls, Omer Brand and Bar Cohen for dinner. They are indeed going for Gold at the moment and training on the South Coast out of the Southampton area. These two young men both inspired and entertained us with their stories, and I know we all felt rightly proud of them.

As it turned out, a compromise with 'Weather' was reached, and although Weather claimed first points Friday,  we eventually made it to Lymington and back for a glorious three day passage. Moreover, as a bonus, we were joined for part of the passage by Bavaria 30, Casco skippered by Rodney and Kirk Camrass.

 Sat morning dawned less windy and much much warmer than the previous day, with the sun breaking through strongly. Solace left earlier than Sea Dream… Some talk of sea cocks, engines and Sea Start I believe had delayed them, and Casco left even after them! However, taking the best of the westerly stream, on a fast beam reach fully canvassed we all caught up, and after a wonderful sunny sail, all three boats sailed up the Hamble together to tie up at Mercury marina. Dinner at the Waters Edge restaurant on the marina complex was a very culinary experience with fresh and tasty food in a lovely setting. All agreed that Saturday had beaten the spots off Weather and welcomed a turn for the better.

Sunday saw a leisurely departure for a pleasant and yet again bright sail to Lymington. The Solent was quite eerily uncrowded for a Bank Holiday Weekend, and at first the winds were light, blowing up later to high force five. A spirited sail took us into Lymington Berthons marina, where we were joined for tea by the Weisfield family. Sea Dream hosted dinner and drinks aboard and yet another sunny and dry day took points off Weather! 

Some forecasts for Monday were predicting a similar blow, but as it turned out, after an early start 1hr after LW, both remaining  boats, Solace and Sea Dream, fared very well indeed. With a fast downwind sail into the Eastern Solent and carrying a favourable 3 knots of East bound flood for the first couple of hours, the roughly 30 mile passage took just on 4hrs 30 minutes into Chichester Harbour. What's more, it had been dry, and sunny all the way home! Hooray. Bad Weather definitely lost out on this weekend to more clement conditions and a good time was had by all.

As a postscript, suffice to say Tuesday dawned wet and fairly windy. We were very happy to have completed our passage in three days instead of the original five, and having remained warm and dry throughout. Well done to all.

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