After the weather and COVID cancellations in 2019 and 2020, the fortunes smiled on the MOA rally at Shepards Wharf on the 25/26 September.
Early morning drizzle gave way to dry conditions and autumn sunshine by the afternoon, to welcome (a record?) 22 boats and 47 crew to Cowes. The pre-eminent status of the MOA allowed us to raft up in the inside bay, while other rallies bobbed about outside overnight.
UKSA could not host us this year due to their large building programme, so the splendid location of the Island Sailing Club became the venue for the dinner. Many old friendships were renewed and several members enjoyed their first rally with the MOA.
The weather on Sunday continued to favour us, allowing some good sailing back to home ports in sunshine and a fair breeze.
Maxis attending were Aloni, Amy Lou, Aquarius, Ariam, Asante, Blue Lightning, Blue Rider, Cardellino, Caribou, Enshaillah, Eye of Horus, Good Time Girl, Lady Penelope, Leda of Hamble, Lookin’ for Kloos, Neroli, Out of the Blue, Ruby Max, Suive, Walk of Life, Wild Blue and Zuma Blue.
Having enjoyed a brief period of summer weather, the clouds returned just in time for the MOA rally to Yarmouth. Light winds meant a gentle sail to Yarmouth under overcast skies but at least it stayed dry……. until the pre-dinner drinks party on the green, when the rain returned and a feeling of deja-vu set in with memories of the previous get together at Island Harbour. Nevertheless, we soldiered on and gathered together for snacks and drinks, much to the amusement of passers-by.
Suitably fed (and watered) we packed up and moved on the main event, dinner at the Royal Solent Yacht Club where an excellent evening was had by all. The club, in it’s prime position overlooking the Solent, greeted us with a warm personalised welcome and a delicious meal, served by friendly and helpful staff.
Crews woke on Sunday morning to cloudy skies and low visibility. Poole based boats left first to catch the tide out of the Solent, whilst others enjoyed a lazy morning chatting and drinking coffee before motoring home in the very light airs.
Eye of Horus
Leda of Hamble
Walk of Life (by car)
The first MOA rally for over a year took place at Island Harbour on 25th & 26th May, having been rescheduled to avoid Covid restrictions. Nervous eyes watched the weather forecasts, hoping against ever decreasing odds that we were going to be blessed with some fine weather. A strong breeze meant a brisk sail for many in the Solent, whilst Eye of Horus battled up from Poole, encountering some difficult conditions in the Needles channel.
Crews gathered together for the evening’s barbecue on the green just as the skies opened. Luckily Peter and Sue Stonestreet came prepared with a gazebo. With lots of differing opinions on how it should go together, the wise amongst us stood back and watched proceedings and eventually it was up and doing a sterling job keeping the food dry. The barbecues were lit and in true British barbecue style, food was grilled, wine and beers were drunk while we all sat around in the rain in full wet weather gear.
Typically the next morning dawned fine, the sun came out and we were all able to enjoy a more pleasant sail back to home ports.
Despite the weather, a fun time was had by all and it was good to meet up with friends, old and new. The marina staff did a great job allocating berths and making sure we had all we needed. Particular thanks to our hosts, Peter & Joan Lloyd who organised everything as well as providing salads and nibbles, pre-dinner drinks and the hire and coals for the barbecue.
Walk of Life
Eye of Horus
Looking For Kloos
Leda of Hamble
The plans were great, there were 9 MOA boats and 20 people participating and an Indian safari supper awaiting our order from the local restaurant. Then, as so often this year, the weather stepped in!
The weather forecast was for force 8 SW winds for Friday night and Saturday morning/early afternoon. We hope that it would pass through earlier but it was not to be. Gradually boats dropped out and we ended up with only Richard and Lorraine Sams on Suive making it to Lymington having arrived Thursday for a repair. Peter and Sue Stonestreet in Blue Rider sailed to Cowes on Friday and tried to head west on Saturday but the winds were too strong. Below is the wind chart for Saturday 26th at Hurst showing what they were heading into!
Undaunted, the rally continued but in another form. Richard and Lorraine kindly hosted the pontoon party aboard Suive which saved me getting Lookin Foor Kloos alongside in the strong winds. We were joined by Peter and Sarah Sands from Blue Lightning, Peter Blade from Lapis Lady and Gary and Carole Heward from Amylou, all of whom drove down for the rally making us 5 boats and 9 people.
In view of the weather impact on numbers, and it being challenging to do a safari supper on one boat, we changed plans and went to Lal Quila, the local Indian Restaurant for a very good curry dinner. Thanks again to Richard and Lorraine and to all who made the effort to participate.
Sadly the proposed rally to Cowes on 28th September had to be cancelled due to bad weather but a few of those who had been scheduled to attend the rally suggested that perhaps we could try again the following week. Shepard’s Wharf confirmed they could accommodate a few boats so a flurry of emails went out around the original attendees to see who was around.
Five Maxis in all convened at Shepard’s Wharf on the Saturday afternoon. Aloni (Steve & Sue Harridge), Asante (Andy & Sara Horwood), Moondust (Rob & Julie Powter), Moonshine Blues (Robert & Sally Ledger) and new members, Peter & Deborah Wykeham-Martin on Wild Blue. Light winds meant that most boats had to motor most of the way and the drinks party had already got underway by the time Moonshine Blues arrived from Chichester.
Eleven people crowded on board Asante for drinks and snacks before dinner. The original rally was for dinner at the UKSA but given the reduced numbers it was decided that somewhere a bit closer might be more suitable and so at the suggestion of Peter Wykeham-Martin, a table was booked at the Duke of York pub, just up the road from the marina. The meal was deemed a great success by all and at £30 a head for two courses including (plenty of) drinks, a bit of a bargain!
Crews wandered back down the hill to the marina just in time to avoid the heavy overnight rain that set in minutes later. The wind veered west and increased with the front and it was a different day on Sunday when we all awoke. Aloni wanted to catch the tide back to Lymington so we had a quick shuffle of boats to let them out, with Moonshine Blues deciding to head out to Osborne Bay for breakfast and to wait for the tide to turn east. Those remaining had a lazy morning chatting and drinking coffee, with the added entertainment of watching the race fleet extract themselves from the crowded marina.
We left late morning on Asante and enjoyed a very brisk sail back with two reefs in the main. A north westerly wind and gusts approaching 30 knots over the deck got us back to Hamble in plenty of time to clean up and have a snooze in the cockpit before heading home.
Andy & Sara Horwood