Weather forecast: SW force 5 to 7 – it must be time for a Maxi rally in the western Solent!
Fortunately, Maxi owners are hardened sailors and also gifted with some forward planning so while we had a few drop outs due to weather (and COVID), we still had 7 Maxis in the Lymington Yacht Haven with boats arriving in Lymington on Friday or coming over from Yarmouth on Saturday.
Steve and Sue Harridge kindly hosted the pontoon party on Aloni moving it from her normal berth to the working pontoon which was a bit more sheltered. While we had strong winds to contend with at the pontoon party, we missed the heavy showers which were passing either side so the weather gods were kind to us after all. At the party we were joined by the Lymington Maxi owners with 4 boats represented. Dinner was a short walk away at the Fisherman’s Rest which catered for us very well. Maxi yachts alongside were: Ariam, Wild Blue, Aloni, Suive, Skerryvore, Blue Lightening, Leda of Hamble and Windhover with Lookin Foor Kloos, Morfan, Mistral and Wenimbi joining by car/foot.
For the second year running MOA held a rally on the River Yealm over the weekend 3rd and 4th September. A combination of unsettle weather forecast and unhelpful tides for heading west from the Solent , resulted in 5 boats signed up for the rally. In the end 3 Maxis came together on the visitor’s pontoon, AmyLou from the Solent, Reflection and Skyfall both from Plymouth.
The obligatory Saturday pontoon party was held on aboard AmyLou.. Asante attended as a “wheels rally” driving down from the Solent and were dinghied out to AmyLou. Afternoon rain meant the Pontoon party was held under the protection of cockpit tent.
Just in time the rain stopped, and the sun shone, suitability lubricated inflatables headed for the harbour office, pontoon, making the walk along the river path to the Dolphin Inn at Newton Ferrers. The Pub provided a thoroughly enjoyable evening dinner. The return to the dinghies was challenging with no moonlight, a return along the river path was abandon in favour for the streetlights of the road.
Many new friendships were made, with another member enjoying their first rally with the MOA.
The overnight rain dried out Sunday morning, allowing Reflection and Skyfall an easy return Plymouth. AmyLou had the week to return to the Solent and opted to stay in Dartmouth for 3 nights while the worst of the wind blew through.
After two years absence due Covid, the beginning of 2022 provided the opportunity for an “in-person” AGM, returning to Marchwood Yacht club. AmyLou being club member and hence having the dual role of YC club rally Officer Of the Day and MOA rally organiser. A pleasant spring weekend saw 9 Maxi’s moor up on the club pontoon, with 5 other boats crews partaking in a “wheel’s” rally. In all 27 people attend, after a couple dropped out last minute of covid.
Due to the later afternoon chill the obligatory Saturday pontoon party was convened in the club house, with MOA providing an arrival a drink for everyone. Marchwood YC bar prices are renown around the Solent and never disappoint! With much to discuss, the formalities of the AGM were timed perfectly ready to adjourn for the evening meal. Over the winter Marchwood YC had engaged new caterers and this was the first visiting club test for Mairi and her team. The initial nervousness was unfounded and Mairi provided an excellent rally menu, with good selection of dishes, for each of the 3 courses. All of which was served effectively and efficiently by her team.
After the meal on behalf the MOA Gary thanked MYC for their hospitality and warm reception. Many returned to a chilly night onboard and the “wheels” rally attendees returned home. Being the first MOA get together of the year it is always a pleasure to catch up with old friends and new, making plans and checking diaries for the rest of the year’s rallies.
Sunday morning once again saw pleasant but chilly weather with all 9 Maxi’s returning to their home ports. The AGM attendees were AmyLou-car, Asante- car, Blue Lightening, Lookin Foor Kloos, Suive, Ariam, Blue Rider- car, Lapis Lady, Amazing Grace, Aloni, Caribou-car, Cava, Leda of Hamble, Lady Penelope, Good Time Girl-car.
The weather again smiled on us for the annual MOA rally at Shepards Wharf, hosted by
Pam and Andy Verdon. Sunshine and a Force 3 – 5 in the Solent made for some excellent
sailing to and from the event. Early booking ensured that the MOA rally again had pole
position inside the northern basin; conversely the several boats rafted up outside suffered
from an uncomfortable chop overnight in the northerly wind. The decision was made to
have dinner at the ISC again rather than at UKSA, as had been the choice in previous
years. The ISC exceeded expectations, providing great value for money and excellent
service. A minutes silence was observed there, in memory of The Queen followed by a
toast to King Charles III. Boats taking part were: Ariam, Blue Rider, Good Time Girl, Walk
of Life, Lookin For Kloos, Windhover, Huggy Bear, Ruby Max, Maxi Magic, Iona and
The MOA managed to choose one of the hottest weekends of the year to hold the 2022 mid-summer rally. Despite the hot dry weather some managed to sail using the mid-afternoon solar breeze. Royal Clarence proved to be a popular venue.
Watched over by the Royal Navy’s two aircraft carriers, eleven boats attended the rally on Saturday, including three berth holder boats; six boats came on Friday to make a weekend of it.
Attendees were: Eye of Horus; Pell Mell; Leda of Hamble; Genepy; Blue Lightning; Asante; Amazing Grace; Lady Penelope; Out of the Blue; Zuma Blue & Suive.
The hot weather resulted in one of the yachts taking time out whilst on passage to Gosport to anchor off Hillhead, to allow time for the crew to cool off with a spell of Solent swimming. Brave souls!
The rally hosts, Lorraine & Richard Sams of “Suive”, provided a pontoon party, helped by Sarah (Pell Mell). Twenty six people managed to gather on the pontoon to demolish nibbles and liquid refreshment.
The evening dinner was held in the upstairs room of the “Bakers Bar & Kitchen”, just by the marina. Despite the windows all being open, with even better views of the two aircraft carriers, the temperature continued to stay hot. This did not quieten the overall hubbub of sailing adventures and future plans.
Attendees were reminded that there are three more rallies this year: River Yealm (Sat 3rd Sept); Shepards Wharf (17th/18th Sept) and Lymington (Sat 15th Oct)
Sarah Horwood (membership sec) advised us that the MOA membership has increased to 123 and that the MOA “Whats App” group is proving a great success with 84 members participating currently.
On behalf of the participants, Peter Sands gave a vote of thanks to “Suive”.
At this point we all successfully negotiated the spiral staircase down to the ground floor without any mishaps and returned to our respective berths to try and cool down.