Created: 04 Dec 2017 13:54
Updated: 10 Dec 2017 19:05
FC3 - Finesse and Ronhilda

After a week of monitoring the predicted strong winds, inevitably we found ourselves on Friday evening looking at potential wind speeds of just 5-6 knots. After much discussion, a decision was taken to amend both the long and short courses in advance of the race and an email was sent out. The course alterations were also announced over the VHF at 10.30 in advance of the race, with a warning of a possible further shortening at Browndown for the long course. This turned out to be necessary.

There were two fleets, with 11 boats taking part. Most of those on the short course managed to sail / drift their way around the course taking full advantage of the tide, although there was some close-quarters jockeying with Norris PHM when the wind dropped.  The result was that the short course boats had actually finished in time for lunch for once! We made our way promptly up river to the Folly pontoon and rafted up ready to keep warm with a hot lunch in the saloon.

It took some of the long course boats a little longer to get round even the shortened course, although some took advantage of the light airs to hoist their spinnakers to good effect. The result was that the spring tide was unfortunately taking full effect in the Medina by the time they tried to get to the Folly. After some close (and not so close) shaves as low water approached, two boats surrendered and made their way into East Cowes Marina. Nota Bene was instructed to continue on her way up river and not to raft up on a mid-stream pontoon en route as she’d intended, only to end up in the putty just 10 metres further on. Her only option was to switch on her nav lights and wait for the tide, eventually joining us at nearly 1700.

Ronhilda, with her lifting keel was the first of the long course boats to reach the Folly pontoon c.1530, by which time the crew were feeling distinctly chilled and dusk was settling. Control boat Kioni, having taken full advantage of her recently installed heating, felt obliged to invite them on board to thaw out – and we enjoyed an impromptu cheese and wine party.

We all then made our way up to the Folly Inn for the customary pub meal, followed later by enthusiastic dancing on the tables. There were some very impressive fancy dress outfits ranging from battleship queens, gold and black costumed Egyptians (complete with Anubis mask and reeds), characters from the Marx Brothers film ‘A Night At The Opera’, various elves and Santas, and even an ‘elf and safety’ team. The crew of Ronhilda, dressed as the Ghosts of Chichester Past, entertained the Fast Cruisers with a performance of a hand-penned ditty whilst the voting on the best fancy dress took place.  Once again Nota Bene emerged as the winners, thus setting the bar even higher for next year!

Many thanks to all those who participated and special thanks to those who made such an effort with the Fancy Dress - there were some interesting contributions (all photos welcome)!

Please see the pdfs below for the full list of results on both the Club and Progressive Handicap systems.

The next Fast Cruise will be on Saturday, 20 January 2018 to Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth when dinner will be at the Loch Fyne Restaurant. Full details will be available very soon.  In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018!