Created: 13 Nov 2017 14:42
Updated: 14 Nov 2017 09:00
A Day At The Races

In spite of the very variable weather forecast for the weekend, 13 boats signed up to take part in the November Fast Cruise.

There were two fleets, the larger and faster boats sailing a long course of 16.03 nm and the smaller / slower boats a short course of 11.62 nm. Out of the original 13 participants, two were unable to take part on the day and two retired.  

We set off in very poor visibility and grey and murky conditions, with no sign of the Isle of Wight. As we approached Cowes, the visibility cleared and we almost had blue sky. Anticipating predicted gusts of 30 knots, the majority of boats rigged varying degrees of reefs in the sails.

In the event we mainly had a consistent 20 knots or so with only the very occasional gust. The wind then went through a full 90 degree shift from the West backing to the North following a brief squall and torrential downpour. The wind then eased off to a much more moderate 15 knots and eventually dropped to 10 knots, which found us all shaking out the reefs as we headed up Southampton Water to the finish.  

9 boats successfully completed the race and Solid Air was the overall winner on the Club handicap system as well as on the progressive handicap system.

Please see the pdfs below for the full list of results.  

After some fun and games in Port Hamble marina, which provided a good lesson in how to warp a boat round 180 degrees, we all set off to meet in the bar of the Boomerang restaurant in Hamble High Street.

Those who were unable to sail or had to retire nevertheless came round by car. Andy and Lula gave us a very warm welcome and managed to serve 47 people efficiently and pleasantly, the lamb kleftiko proving particularly popular. We then retired back to our boats for some convivial nightcaps.

A number of boats left early on Sunday. The wind in the marina picked up to a fairly stiff 20 knots, which made leaving quite interesting.

We then had a cracking downwind sail back to Portsmouth on Kioni under reefed genoa only, surfing most of the way and with gusts reaching 35 knots.  

Many thanks to all those who participated in spite of the forecast – we’re clearly a hardy lot!   The next Fast Cruise will be the traditional early Christmas visit to the Folly Inn on the Medina on 2 December 2017, fancy dress and dancing on the tables encouraged!  

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