I am sure that just thinking about the Christmas Jolly makes some people shudder. However, once again we were not disappointed either by the weather or the level of enthusiasm and support from members.
We chartered three yachts for this event. Appaloosa was booked for the weekend. Sea Essay for the Fri, Sat and Sun and Viola for Sat, Sun and Monday. Our pre-booked Christmas meal was on the Sat night in Hythe.
The annual Round the Island Race took place over the weekend. The BTOSC entry was Fleur de lis chartered from Fairview Sailing.
The event was skippered by Les Nicholls. The crew comprised James, Andrew, John, Mike Steve, Kevin M and Kevin S.
The weather forecast was NW3/4 and we had an early start.
It was a very different race to last year although no-less exhausting for some reason.
We finished with an Elapsed Time of 09:34:22 and a Corrected Time of 09:23:27.
We did very well in comparison to the other yachts in Fairview’s matched fleet coming 3rd out of 16 that were entered. C’EST SI BON was the fastest Fairview yacht finishing only 5 minutes before us.
Within our Class 6B we were 8th out of 29; within ISC Group 6 we were 38th out of 101 and out of all ISC rated yachts we were 309 out of 611 finishers, +38 RTD etc = 649 all told.
John Kelly (tactician) has now analyzed our performance. He reports that:
We made a good start, along with the other leading 6B boats.
Start to Needles was a reach. We all took similar tracks keeping midstream in the west flowing tide, so I guess the 4 min advantage that C’EST SI BON had on us at the Needles was down to boat speed. We had a similar advantage on MINTAKA. It’s not worth trying to compare with different boats types on a single point of sailing.
Needles to St Cats was a broad reach/run – cruising chute deployed by all. Some like us kept in for the decreased tide, and some went straight and deep. I can’t see a clear advantage either way looking at the tracks. But what worked well for C’EST SI BON, 15 mins faster than us on the leg, was a hybrid, going wide initially (to get clear wind?), and in close after Atheridge Ledge to get the back eddy in the tide. (I’d love to know if they managed to get their cruising chute flying when going downwind, and, if so, how).
St Cats to Bembridge Ledge cardinal was a fine reach (genoa, not chute). We all took similar tracks, and there were just small differences in leg time.
Bembridge to finish was a beat into the tide. We did well, making up a lot of the 20 min advantage that C’EST SI BON had at the cardinal mark. We stayed in close to shallow water around Ryde and onward, but not aggressively so, preferring to minimise tacks.
C’EST SI BON, along with HADAWAY, went across the channel to cheat the tide on the mainland side. 4th place HADAWAY was nearly up with 2nd place DODGER at Bembridge, but lost about 10 mins on the beat. So this didn’t work for either of them
For the AGM weekend the weather and tides were favourable and we all enjoyed some good sailing and some healthy competition.
We chartered three yachts this year. Rudeknot2, Empowered and Sea Essay. Sea Essay was chartered for three days 11-14 May whilst the other two yachts were chartered for two. On Sea Essay we had a brief passage to Cowes for the Thursday evening. On the Friday we had a passage to explore Bembridge and Chichester before returning to Cowes. On Saturday we visited New Town Creek en-route to Yarmouth. On the Sunday we returned to Hamble via Lymington and Bucklers Hard. Our GPS track is shown below.
Just a quick reminder that our next event is the Round the Island Race. The details for BTOSC crew are here.
Also for those who haven’t booked ahead, please make sure you have the BBQ weekend and Christmas Jolly in your diary and pay your deposits now.
The 2016 Christmas Jolly took place on the weekend of the 3rd/ 4th December, with Mike, Roy, Hazel, Chris and Roger onboard Appaloosa and James, Mick, Andy, Steve, Adele and Ed on Sea Essay heading to the Ship Inn in Lymington..
On the Friday afternoon most of the crew of Appaloosa met up at Hamble Point Marina and enjoyed a social evening in the Ketch Rigger joined briefly by Mick, the event manager, delivering a mainly cheese based quiz.
Saturday morning started cold and bright with a 15-20 knot easterly, Hazel arrived just in time to do the breakfast washing up, and fully crewed Appaloosa slipped from the marina and under full sail headed west for Lymington.
Sea Essay had spent the night in Mercury Yacht Harbour and inexplicably headed east along the Solent. Were they headed for Littlehampton, or was it a case of civil service chart failure? When pressed, a desire to make most use of the tide and visiting Osborne Bay were reasons offered.
On Appaloosa sailing downwind towards Lymington posed and answered a number of questions: main and jib faster than jib only- barely, goose winging faster than jib only-definitely, but much harder to helm.
Picking up a buoy outside Yarmouth for lunch was abandoned due to the 30 knot wind and resultant swell, but a quick reef and a short battle with the tide bought us into Berthon Marina in Lymington. And as the sun set, we were joined by Sea Essay in an adjacent berth.
Mulled wine, cheese related questions and showers occupied the crews before we headed to the Ship for dinner. A number of non-sailors, joined us for the festivities and having wined and dined well the evening finished with a port or two and a vast selection of cheeses on board Sea Essay.
After some early morning pontoon bashing courtesy of the frost and with all trousers located, we followed the IOW ferry back into the Solent. 35 knots of wind necessitated 3 reefs but with tidal assistance we tacked back to Hamble in a reasonable time. Sea Essay saw a bit less wind for some reason but was back in Souhampton Water by 13.30 and dropped anchor for a leisurely lunch on deck in the sunshine near Netley before heading back to Mercury Marina.
With great sailing, good food and company, it was, all in all a very enjoyable weekend. Thanks to Mike and James for skippering and Mick for the organization.
It is time to book your berths for next year’s Round the Island Race which is to be held on 1 July 2017. We are planning to charter a 37 ft yacht from for this famous race. The big question is: Can we improve on this year’s performance?
Further details of this event are on the BTOSC RTI 2017 event page.
Congratulations to the BTOSC team (Skipper Mark Gaastra; Crew David Pettengale; Roy Cullers; Peter Kinsella; John Kelly) who returned from an enjoyable week (25 Oct – 2 Nov 2014) in Greece, well pleased with their racing results – overall 3rd in class, and a cup to prove it.
The Blue Cup is organised by Vernicos Yachts, now a member of Dream Yacht Charters. The event involves some 50 boats racing from town to town down the Saronic, with meals and partying organised for us on 3 nights. A feature of the event is the large number of Norwegians who come annually, and take both the partying and the racing seriously (well, some take the racing seriously, some really appear to be there just for the partying).
The weather was not altogether kind – cool and grey quite a bit of the time (and in sharp contrast to the UK, which enjoyed record breaking high temperatures for the period). But in compensation, there were reasonable winds much of the time, with racing every day.
Here are some photos from the Round the Island Race on 21 June 2014. When you click on one of these you should enter a carousel viewer.
How to register your interest in taking part in the RTI in 2015
Whilst there was ample sunshine and merriment one key ingredient was missing from the RTI this year – the wind. The BTOSC crew in Laita, retired shortly after Bembridge when it became clear that it would not be possible to finish within the time-limit. However, on the plus side we had a good opportunity to fly the Cruising Chute whilst drifting with the tide. It was rather like a game of Poo Sticks most of the time. Many thanks for all the good wishes we received prior to the event and special thanks to our Commodore Andy Shrimpton for coming down to support us.
This weekend could so easily have been a washout. Everyone had expected it to be windy having seen the forecasts earlier in the week. Our objectives were not ambitious. The club had chartered 3 yachts for the weekend. One these yachts was the yacht we have chartered for the forthcoming RTI- that crew were hoping for some practice in preparation for the big race.
The passage to Cowes was uneventful. We were encouraged -no instructed, by our charter company to motor across given the expected conditions; however, as a precaution, we elected to rig the Storm sail so that it was ready for use if we had needed it. All 3 yachts had a safe and uneventful passage with the only real challenge being to get along side in about 25kts of wind. Suffice to say, this provided good learning opportunities for all with no harm done. The following photo was taken a little later when the wind had eased somewhat.
The AGM was held in the the Classic Boat Museum in East Cowes. This provided an opportunity to inspect the Chain Ferry close at hand. The museum is located in the old sea plane hanger that you cannot fail to see when looking across the river from West Cowes. The museum had some interesting displays and looked like it deserves a return visit one day.
At the AGM the Chairman welcomed our new Commodore and expressed thanks to John Wells for his support to the club during his tenure. The Chairrman then presented a review of the club’s activities, the Treasurer presented the club accounts and a number of cups were awarded. See minutes for details.
Following the awards ceremony we all adjourned to the top floor of the Red Duster for an excellent meal, some rather good Merlot if memory serves, in fine company.
After a leisurely start, the return passage saw the three yachts go their separate ways. We had a brief diversion to Osborne Bay and took the opportunity to sail with the Storm Sail.
All in all, although we didn’t do as much sailing as we all would have liked. However the company and some choice victuals made up for this and I certainly feel that we made the most of it.
The Christmas ‘Jolly’ event took place in weather conditions that you would never believe possible in December—particularly given the gale condition earlier in the week. The writer wore gloves for less than five minutes over the whole weekend!
Following a social get together in The Ketch Rigger on the Friday evening, three yachts set sail in sunshine with a good wind on Saturday. We followed a competitive course that kept us busy with lots of tacks and gybes, whilst at the same time trying to solve a 25 question quiz based on pounds, shillings and pence, together with some Cockney rhyming slang. We finished at Cowes mid-afternoon. Congratulations to Mike Griffiths, Hazall Bagnall, Roy Demery, Andrew Hemphrey, Roy Cullers, Allan Goodfellow and Chris Webber on Loxley B who crossed the finish first. We motored up the Medina and moored at The Folly Inn in time to see the sunset, finish off the quiz and meet up with Alan and Lynne Franklin who had sailed up earlier, ready to join us for the evening celebrations.
The Tenacious Buchaneers, (Brendan Hanvey, Derek Underwood, Roy Evans, Steve Hamilton and David Bartlett), didn’t get the quiz until they moored at The Folly, but their wisdom shone through and they completed it in record time.
There were twenty one of us eating the meal at The Folly in the evening. The quality and quantity of the food was excellent, as indeed was the company and it was great to meet up with so many old friends. When it got to the stage where the other tables were being used as dance floors, we made our excuses and slipped back to our yachts for a nightcap.
We woke up to another perfect day for sailing and sailed round to Osborne Bay, where we anchored for lunch before returning in stronger winds to the Hamble.
Steve Webber reports on this cruise to the Scillies 3-10 August (2012)
Lunch-time on a sunny Friday seemed like a good omen when four of us – skipper Nigel Watsham, Mike Griffiths, Roy Cullers and myself Steve Webber – assembled at Queen Anne’s Battery in Plymouth. A leisurely lunch in the bar while waiting for the boat, Ocean Whisper – a Sunfast 37 – to be prepared was marred only by a torrential downpour. But by hand-over, the sun was out again.
Then it was off in a SWly F4 for a quick familiarisation sail to Newton Ferrers. Interesting approach using two sets of leading marks to negotiate the dog-leg. Tied up on a pontoon for the night, electing to eat on board rather than get the dinghy out.
Next morning, with the continuing SWly, we sailed out to the Eddystone lighthouse, then turned to head towards Falmouth. Sailing close-hauled on the port tack gave us the heading we needed, and we were able to settle back and relax for the next 30nm, watching the downpours happening all around us but never on us. Engine on and sails down as we headed up to Mylor, only for the engine alarm to go off as we were within sight of the yacht haven. An anxious half-hour sailing around on the jenny while we failed to find out why there was no cooling water coming through. Having decided that now it had cooled we could run it for long enough to get into the marina, it promptly decided to work normally.
A day of mixed sailing and motor-sailing with distant views of St. Michael’s Mount as we crossed Mounts Bay brought us to Penzance dock. Rafted up next to a much larger yacht which turned out to be operated single-handed by a 76 year-old. Just time to shin up the quay ladder, dash to the shops and replenish the beer supplies.
The forecast was for continuing S-SWly F4-5, so the decision was made to go for it. Out to Wolf Rock, then another long port tack, pausing only to put the 1st reef in, brought us in sight of the Scilly Isles. Wisely, the skipper decided to put the engine on early – no water again. An hour spent dismantling the inlet filter and impeller to no avail, then at the third time of asking it worked. Into Hugh Town harbour and pick up a mooring buoy, inflate the dinghy, and into town. Managed to find a restaurant with a free table before the deadline of 9pm, and enjoyed a welcome steak to celebrate our arrival.
A dodgy engine and manual anchor was agreed to make the option of exploring more of the islands unwise, so next day we headed back. While piloting the channel to clear the islands, we passed a tall ship on its way in – made us grateful that our rigging wasn’t quite so high. On a broad reach with a following moderate sea and occasional F6, we made good progress – the prize for speed going to the skipper who briefly achieved 9.94 knots with the 1st reef in. Into Falmouth and raft up for the night.
Off to Fowey on a calm sea with no wind in time for a cream tea and a glass or two of wine, then dine on board. Next day back to Plymouth, again mirror sea, no wind and sunny. A prize was offered for the first person to spot a yacht motor-sailing with a cone up, but of the many we passed, not one (including ourselves!) were conscientious enough to comply. We obviously passed the quick inspection by a naval patrol vessel as they didn’t board us, so back into QAB and relax.
An interesting week: several brief sightings of fins – possibly porpoises, enough light-houses to lose count, some drama and even some good sailing. But don’t assume that because an engine looks brand new and has just been serviced that it’s going to work!
All in all, very pleased to have made it to the Scilly Isles.
Quotes of the week:
Nigel – boats are better when you’re sat on a patio with a glass of wine.
Roy – you always do what the skipper says.
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