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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
This rally was originally scheduled to be held on the buoys at Itchenor, but forecasts of strong winds and heavy rain rather put the damper on this plan, so at the 11th hour the rally was relocated to the marina at Royal Clarence, Gosport.
In the end only 3 boats actually sailed to Gosport (Moonshine Blues, Blue Lightning, and Amy Lou), but there was a good turnout for the pontoon drinks and dinner with 16 people attending (Peter and Sarah Sands, Blue Lightning; Robert and Sally Ledger, Moonshine Blues; Gary and Carole Heward and guests, Amy Lou; Richard and Lorraine Sams, Suive; Peter and Sue Stonestreet, Blue Rider; Kevin and Annie Brown, without their Good Time Girl; and Andy and Pam Verdon, without their Ariam).
The wind was brisk but it stayed dry on Saturday (very nice for those coming down wind), and after a peaceful night it picked up again by the middle of Sunday but nothing that Maxis couldn’t readily handle (though making tea was a challenge).
Drinks were held in the cockpit of Moonshine Blues (a cosy crush), followed by dinner at Artys in the marina, who after an early wobble coped very well with a late booking for a large group.
The photographer sadly forgot his duties, until Gary Heward thankfully managed to get a snap of the hardcore remainers on Sunday morning.
Overall the consensus seemed positive on the late switch from Itchenor, and a good time was had by all!
Robert and Sally Ledger