Ronhilda's St Wilfrid Challenge

Brian Humber's picture
Submitted by Brian Humber on

After what must be described as a disappointing summer when the weather was rubbish – and on top of that I had to fit another propeller to Ronhilda - August and September came as a relief and she has seen some sailing at last.

Last Saturday saw calm seas, clear skies and east winds which was good news as Ronhilda was entered into the St Wilfrid's challenge which sees a wide range of yacht sizes and shapes sailing from Chichester Bar to Nab and back to raise money for the hospice.

This year saw four classes, A being the slowest and C the biggest/fastest. Class D was for the Sunbeams from Itchenor Sailing Club and the weather was ideal for them. I suppose we had about 50 of us on the water so it was a good melee at the start line. Being class C we were third class to start (no surprises there then) and duly crossed the line near the rear of the class having mucked the approach up.

No matter, we soon started to overhaul class A and B even though a lot of them had raised spinnakers and were grimly heeled over.  A rather nice Swan in our class then raised his and we started to lose ground. This could not be alowed to continue unchallenged so Ronhilda took stock and put the bacon on for lunch time sandwiches. The smell of cooking bacon should upset the helmsman's concentration nicely we thought.

Approaching Nab we met coming back the two Dragonfly trimarans who finished first and second. We rounded Nab and set off back for Chi Bar. By the time we got to the line we had overtaken most of the Class A and B fleet but the Tri's and the Swan had long since finished in front of us. It was ideal for the Sunbeams and they had spinnakers up both legs which the larger yachts could not do on the home leg. They were noted as closing on us whenever the wind dropped off a bit. Ah well it had been a glorious late summer sail and we were well fed with sausage and bacon which on Ronhilda is considered to give  the equivalent buzz to winning.

I think the event raised around £20,000 for the Hospice (actual places are a combination of place in the race times the amount of money pledged) and it has raised £100,000s over the years.

We all enjoyed it and will try to do it next year. 

I was left wondering if the LSC has a house charity and could we do something similar, perhaps on an East and South coast event?