… for the Max from your sailing!

Rally Reports

Boats attending:- Aloni, Asante, Blue Lightning, Cava, Lookin Foor Kloos, Wild Blue

The first rally of the season after the AGM was a mid week rally to Bembridge on the 16th and 17th April. Neap tides with low of 1.8m at 12:20 and a high of 3.8m at 18:40 were, in retrospect, not ideal but with a dry day with fresh westerly breeze meant a fairly easy passage for boats from the west and we all managed to get in without too many mishaps at around 1600.

Aloni on passage to Bembridge

Being early in the season we held the drinks party in Asante’s cockpit tent rather than on the pontoon and managed to squeeze 10 of us in. Rob and Julie on Moondust had to cancel unfortunately at the last minute having had their launch and re-rigging delayed, which meant a bit of re-jigging of the safari supper arrangements but everyone mucked in and a great evening was had by all.

Wednesday morning was still a little fresh but mainly dry and we split into two groups, one walking to the Mermaid Gin distillery near Seaview and the other across the harbour and around the coast to The Crab and Lobster for lunch. Those of us who walked to the distillery managed to resist to gin tasting session in order to stay alert for the walk back.

We were joined in the late afternoon by Chris and Margaret on Cava who managed to creep across the bar in time to join us for dinner at Brading Haven Yacht Club. The harbour taxi kindly stayed on a bit late to take us up there although again the low spring tides caused a few issues with some interesting manoeuvring in the water taxi. All was well and we had a delightful evening hosted by Brading Haven YC. The commodore was there to welcome us and we had an excellent meal served by very friendly and helpful staff.

We had arranged for a land taxi to transport us back after the meal but unfortunately we were let down. They didn’t turn up and we’re not answering the phone. Very annoying! Fortunately the bar manager at the yacht club was able to provide us with the number for Bembridge Taxis who kindly agreed to pick up 6 of us at the last minute. The walk back for the rest of the group was slightly complicated by the fact that the footpath along the harbour causeway was closed for repairs but we managed to negotiate our way over and around the barriers and all got back safely, just as the taxi arrived with the others.

Given the tidal restrictions, there was much discussion during the evening of when/if we would be able to get out. It was agreed that with HW at 08:20 a departure at around 07:30 would be feasible and give us a bit of rising tide should anything go wrong! Having organised the rally we felt obliged to head out first on Asante, followed by the remainder of the fleet at a respectable distance, all eagerly watching our depth gauges. In the end the passage out was uneventful and we all had a good sail back to our home ports.

Andy Horwood


This was the first Poole rally for some years. It was good to be back there.

Five boats attended:

Zuma Blue with Bob Miller and Nicky Hinde

Eye of Horus with Kevin Manville and Andrew

Leda of Hamble with David and David

Blue Lightning with Peter and Sarah Sands

Aloni with Sue and Steve Harridge

In addition, Rob, Frankie and Jamie who joined for the Saturday evening but, being local, their boat stayed on her mooring.

Various crews had lively passages to Poole, some with gusts up to Force 7, but all seemed to have enjoyed the trip even if was bordering on type 2 fun (the sort one enjoys after the event rather than during it).

Kevin and Andrew had arranged some excellent Asian nibbles for the pontoon party (on a newly purchased picnic table, subjected to some strong winds during the evening) after which we retired to Da Vinci’s Restaurant who looked after us all very well.

The wind was generally gentler for the trip home on Sunday, something of a relief.

Blessed with beautiful ‘Indian Summer’ weather over the weekend, the last rally of the season took place at Cowes on 7 Oct.   Notwithstanding the sunshine, the Force 5 gusting Force 6 on the way across was a bit of a surprise!  Very early booking ensured that the fleet had pole position inside the South bay at Shepards, which was otherwise rammed with boats, some rafted 5 deep outside the marina in the Medina.  All other marinas in Cowes were turning away boats, sadly including a last minute Maxi participant.  Despite early planning our usual dinner locations (ISC or UKSA) were unavailable, but the adjacent Duke of York pub across the road turned out to be an excellent alternative, providing really good food and exceptional service.  We will be back!  Early departures to catch the tide going west on Sunday were achieved, despite the logjams in the harbour, but the wind had dropped away to nothing, so Mr Volvo was needed to get participants home.  Maxis taking part were:  Aloni, Ariam, Asante, Blue Lightning, Eye of Horus, Leda of Hamble, Lookin’ Foor Kloos and Huggy Bear.

Brilliant sunshine but no wind was the weather for the Lymington rally but everyone agreed it was preferable to wet and windy!

The rally was well attended with 13 boats participating; 8 alongside the Dan Bran pontoon, Lookin Foor Kloos alongside the Royal Lymington Yacht Club pontoon as host boat for the pontoon party, 3 other local boats (left on their moorings) and the Sams who arrived by car.

The pontoon party was attended by 28 crew in lovely evening sunshine before moving into the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

As we had a private room, I twisted Andy and Sara Horwood’s arms to give a talk on their summer cruise to Northern Spain and back.  It was very well received with some excellent pictures and included accounts of two crossings of the Bay of Biscay and what to do when your propeller falls off in Spanish waters!  Many thanks to Sara and Andy for sharing their experiences.

Dinner followed with some excellent catering from the club.

On the Sunday, fine weather continued for the journeys home.

Boats participating were:

Lookin Foor KloosLeda of HambleAloni
MorfanBlue LightningMistral
CaribouOut of the BlueZuma Blue

Julian Trimming

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.

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