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South Coast: Race from Lymington to Poole
28th May 2017
The weather on Saturday was not good. South-westerly winds forecast at force 6, with thunderstorms giving a wind over tide in the western Solent made for a hard passage. Two boats did not make it to Lymington because of the weather, and one of the boats that did, recorded 40 knots over the deck on the way down!
Busiris, Flycatcher, Brassed Off and Shahin had arrived at the Dan Bran pontoon by 7pm, with two boats still on the way. Dinner at the Lymington Town Sailing Club went ahead as planned, and we were joined during the evening by Slaney V and finally Merlot. Each boat was given its starting time for the race on the following day.
On Sunday morning, six boats were present at the start line. The wind was a light NE’ly and the earliest starters were pushed back behind the start line by the flood tide. The last starters, Unity and Busiris headed inshore and started close to the Pennington outfall beacon, and were able to make some slow progress over the weaker tide there, making use of the inshore eddy which forms on the flood behind Hurst Spit. The others also came inshore and as the flood tide slackened, all began to progress down to Hurst. Unity was the first boat to round Hurst, closely followed by Busiris. Unity, Flycatcher and Shahin took the North Channel, while Busiris, Brassed Off and Merlot took the Needles Channel.
At this point, the wind died away and rain came in. For the next two hours, the winds were very light and fickle. By about 3pm, Busiris was still leading the southern offshore group, with Brassed Off and Merlot not far behind. The wind then began to fill in from the North East, and with genoas poled out, the boats began to make progress across the bay. By about 4.30pm, about 5 miles from the Bar Buoy, the inshore group were seen converging from the north. Unity and Flycatcher, passed ahead of Busiris, taking first and second places, as they rounded the Poole Bar No 1 buoy. Busiris was third, closely followed by Shahin, Brassed Off and Merlot.
All boats then made their way up to Parkstone Marina, where we were joined by Petrel. Everyone assembled on the patio, outside the clubhouse, where drinks and nibbles were provided, and meals were cooked on the Club’s BBQ, which had been rented out for the occasion. Prizes for the first, second and third boats across the line were awarded during the supper. The photograph shows the organiser, Dick Leedham presenting the First Prize to Richard Truscott of Unity.
The weekend was otherwise notable for an outbreak of Beta Engine water pump virus. Of the seven boats present, no less than three had problems with their water pumps or cooling systems! Busiris also had a water pump problem, but that was her domestic freshwater pump.
Monday was a return to the Solent for us. With nothing more than very light airs, we ended up motoring nearly all the way back, in poor visibility and the cloud base almost down to the sea. The promised SW 3-4 did not materialise until we were almost back at Hamble, by which time the spring ebb was running hard against us. At least we were able to fix the water pump on the way back across Poole Bay, by cannibalising an old one for spares!