Sail round the buoys and dinner in Cowes – 8 – 10 July 2016

Not bad for a cancelled event – four boats participating and one came over for dinner for 12 people.

This was the event that Gill cancelled because of lack of commitment. However, with a week to go she had mustered three owner-boats, one charter boat, one power boat and one boat visiting.

Plus, dinner for 12 people at the Island Sailing Club. The participating yachts, in order of size, were SOLACE (Bavaria 32) skippered by Robert with Diana as crew, STINA (Hallberg 42) with Michael on his own, APPALOOSA (Bavaria 36) chartered from Hamble Point and skippered by Gill with her Robert and Stanley and Alison as crew, and lastly, Bryan Sheinman with crew on LHASA (Oyster 435), while Nigel and Barbara looked on from Excalibur.

The fact that the event took place at all is due to Gill’s hard work in galvanizing people into action.

Although the weather forecast for Saturday was SW F4 or 5 increasing to F6 at times we registered gusts up to 38-39 kts. Fortunately, the sea was “slight”. This was not an afternoon for the fainthearted.

The route that Gill prepared started at Destination Cowes, previously Daks, just west of Peel Bank red can. The names of seasonal racing buoys in the Solent change periodically according to sponsorship. From there the route took in North Ryde Middle (red can), Roger Swinney (yellow), Peel Bank (red can), Kilchoman (yellow), Peel Bank again, North Ryde Middle again and back to Destination Cowes. Gill was first away; we, on Solace, about 3 – 4 minutes behind did not even hear the horn, time for hearing aids? We were close to the start line, but obviously not close enough for Appaloosa to see us. Solace was ahead of Bryan and Michael. Gill was now disappearing in the distance, and they sailed as far as Peel Bank and headed up to Kilchoman before retiring. The bigger boats caught up with Solace as early as North Ryde Middle. Catching them again was not even on the cards. The wind was getting up by this time, and, out of the lee of the island, rose to F6-7 with gusts to F8. Of those of us who completed the route, Bryan was quickest, followed by Michael and Robert, crossing the finish line in roughly ten minute intervals. It’s all down to waterline length, plus of course, the skill of the skipper. Whilst all this was going on, Nigel and Barbara were hovering in Excalibur.

At Shepards Wharf in Cowes we met up with everybody after our sail. Although Bryan on Lhasa came up the Medina, he did not stay and continued on to his home base on the Beaulieu. Gill got a pontoon berth, Solace was third boat out with a fourth alongside. Arnold brought over his Westerly Glissando from Beaulieu with Jane and David W. Stina played host to several of us for a pre-dinner drink, followed by a leisurely walk to the Island Sailing Club where Nigel and Barbara were awaiting us. We partook of leisurely drinks on the ISC terrace with beautiful evening views across the Solent followed by an excellent dinner.

Jane was welcomed to our midst, Michael’s presence was cheered, Gill appointed Solace as the most well sailed especially given the conditions. Bryan, sorry, you didn’t receive a mention but thank you for joining in the sail with lovely Lhasa.

In summary then, a good time was had by all, and Gill, well done and thank you for getting it all together.

For future events we do need early commitment, it saves a lot of anguish and stress.

Photo by Nigel.

Photos by Robert

Robert and Gill
12 July 2016

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