Maxi Owners Association Rally – Easter 2010
The season got off to an early start with the MOA Easter rally taking part over the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Easter break. The early season weather took its toll on numbers and, due to a combination of a poor forecast and a cold winter delaying launch dates for some boats, the number of boats attending fell from 8 bookings to 5 making it on the day, although some members did join in for the first part of the rally at Gins Farm, Beaulieu by car.
Five boats rafted up on the RSYC jetty at Gins Farm on Saturday afternoon and were quickly joined by the Stonestreets (Blue Rider) and the Sey family (Second Rebellion) for drinks on board Asante. With the Easter weather somewhat changeable, we were thankful for Asante’s cockpit awning and were able to squeeze 23 people on board for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles – probably a record for a Maxi 1100! The wine flowed and tales were exchanged, in between the gas alarm being set off by mulled wine, then it was time to move on to the RSYC clubhouse for an excellent meal and continuation of conversations.
Sunday morning dawned bright and mainly sunny, if a little breezy and a skippers briefing was held to issue the course and instructions for the passage race to Yarmouth. A course was set with various turning marks tacking down the western Solent with Magewind of Roke acting as ‘gate boat’ for the start allowing everybody to compete. The start mark was East Lepe, with Peters & May the first windward mark. Magewind set off on port, with the rest of the fleet passing between her and East Lepe and we were off! Boats set off on various directions, with those staying inshore out of the tide finding some advantage. Good racing was had by all, with Asante first round the mark and the rest of the fleet in pursuit. On reaching the penultimate mark (BWM) we discovered that both this and the final mark (George Hotel) had not yet been laid for the season. Fortunately a large ship was anchored close to the expected location for BWM and a wreck buoy was spotted close to where George Hotel should have been, so a quick call on the VHF informed the fleet and Asante was able to take finish times for the rest of the fleet. Corrected times for handicaps showed the first three boats to be very close, with Vertigo first, beating Asante on Corrected time by about 15 seconds and Magewind of Roke following closely behind. Shearwater finished about a minute later, whilst Blue Lightning made the undoubtedly sensible decision to retire from the race and get into Yarmouth as quickly as possible.
After some delay, berths were allocated at Howard Hayles jetty in Yarmouth – time for a clean up and rest before the safari supper commenced at seven o’clock. Peter and Sarah hosted 14 people for starters and drinks on Blue Lightning, supported by contributions on the catering front by John and Alison from Magewind. After the presentation of prizes for the race, crews split off onto Shearwater and Vertigo for the main course, with everybody reconvening on Asante for desserts and coffees – plus a few more drinks!
Mooring up at Howard Hayles
Easter Monday dawned bright and breezy again and crews slowly set off for home ports. A downwind sail for all (except Vertigo) meant a relaxing sail back for most under headsail alone, with the fresh breeze clearing a few heads from the excesses of the previous evening! With the promise of the wind backing South Easterly later, Vertigo were considering their options of a later start back to Swanage to take advantage of the wind and tide, or possibly staying another night to enjoy the hospitality at Saltys bar on Monday evening….. Despite the obvious temptations, they opted to leave after lunch on Monday and enjoyed a good sail home in the sunshine.
Andy & Sara – Asante
Peter, Sarah, Hannah & Tim – Blue Lightning
John, Alison & Ellen – Magewind of Roke
Steve, Jane & Dan – Shearwater
Graham & Wendy – Vertigo
Peter & Sue Stonestreet – by car
The Sey family – by car