The first MOA rally of the season took place on the weekend of 14th/15th May 2022. Earlier in the week the forecast had promised a mini heatwave but true to form, as the weekend approached the weather forecasts were less optimistic for the Sunday. Nine boats gathered in a sunny Bembridge on the Saturday; some having arrived the day before to make the most of the weekend. The tides dictated an early arrival and so all boats were tied up in the harbour before midday. Our boats were spread out along the marina and it was a little disappointing that, having booked as a rally, the harbour didn’t berth us all together.
A treasure hunt was organised with clues spread out around the Duver. Crews set out in search of the clues and an enjoyable couple of hours were spent walking around in the sunshine. As quizmasters, we on Asante were able to relax in the sunshine and sneak in a quick pint at Steve’s Bar (Bear’s Vest clue 18!!)
A pontoon party kicked off at 6 o’clock alongside Asante, the answers to the treasure hunt were read out and scores taken. There was some friendly rivalry and questioning with some crews feeling rather hard done by, but the judge’s decision was final and in any case, we had clear winners with Chris and Margaret Bulleid (Cava) getting correct answers to almost all of the clues, thus vindicating the judge’s decision.
Following the pontoon party, a safari supper was held with crews spread around different boats for each course. A great evening was had with delicious food and drink and great company.
Sunday morning dawned grey and breezy. Julian and Carolyn on Looking for Kloos were the first to leave, sneaking out across the bar as soon as the tide allowed. By the time other boats made to leave the rain had well and truly set in leading to Aquarius Ventures, Cava and Suive sensibly electing to sit it out in Bembridge for another day. Meanwhile Ariam, Blue Lightning, Moondust, Wild Blue and Asante braved the elements and ‘enjoyed’ a wet and breezy sail back to home ports.
Looking for Kloos
For the first time MOA held a rally on the River Yealm over the weekend 4th and 5th September. Initially the harbour master suggested restricting numbers to 5 boats but there was so much interest in attending this great location that 10 berths were arranged and 8 boats attending. The rally was perfect for bringing maxis from the Solent and the West Country together. Unfortunately, not all the Maxis could be accommodated together, half were on the visitor’s pontoon and other half on visitor buoys.
The Solent boats arrived in advance and made the most of the fine weather, giving some the opportunity to explore the wonderful coastline on foot. With all 8 boats on the River to enjoy the warm sunny Saturday afternoon, the obligatory pontoon party was held on the visitor’s river pontoon and aboard AmyLou.
In the last of the sunshine and suitability lubricated, a fleet of inflatables headed for the harbour office pontoon, making the walk along the river path to the Dolphin Inn at Newton Ferrers. With Covid plans in place we had the Pub to ourselves and had a thoroughly enjoyable dinner. The return to the dinghies was slightly more challenging with no moonlight and the remoteness of the River, the river path was interesting to negotiate in the dark. With the low tide, some returned to find their dinghies aground even though tied up on the dinghy pontoon! The final hurdle was to find your Maxi in the dark, oh the benefits of mobile phone torches.
Many new friendships were formed, with local members enjoyed their first rally with the MOA.
The weather on Sunday continued to favour us, allowing some an easy return for the local ports, other to continue with a few days cruising and the remainder a couple of days beating back east to the Solent
Maxis attending were AmyLou, Asante, Cava, Genepy, Lookin Foor Kloos, Reflection, Skyfall, and Vouvray.
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