Itchenor dinghy cruise …or 15 knots of fun!

We had a good turnout for the scheduled Itchenor Dinghy cruise on Saturday the 15th July, with seven boats poised for action. Unfortunately cruise leader Jon “Sanchez” Wilburn was unable to lead at last minute, due to problems with his inflatable. However a few phone calls and money changing hands led to the appointment of Mark Moranne as deputy.
The wind was SW at around F4 gusting F5 with a gentle mist of rain on occasion.

Following a short briefing, which was attended by nearly all of the participants, the gallant crews departed from Dell quay at around 15:40 hrs, apart from one boat who delayed their departure due to a misinterpretation of the concept of time keeping. It was noted that the same skipper also retired from the Dell Quay regatta several years ago… due to irony.

The safety boat Alfie, provided cover, ably crewed by Dave & Neil who, almost as soon as the boats had departed, were called into action at DQ4  to assist Keith who was solo in his Wanderer.
Mark, sailing a Wayfarer, by this time was with the rest of the fleet nearing Copperas West, also on board was the owner & two charming ladies who were enjoying the salty offerings that the day provided.

It soon became apparent that the beat to Itchenor would be quite taxing in the conditions & the decision was made to divert the fleet to CYC for safety, the promise of coffee & ice cream being a much more agreeable prospect. Keith, however was unable to join the rest of the fleet due to a slight case of water ingress, so he returned to Dell Quay.

The remaining sailors by this time had safely moored up at the floating pontoon at CYC only to be treated to an impromptu close quarters demonstration of a classic downwind capsize to windward, skilfully executed with seasoned precision by Phil Scott. We all learned a few things from this and are grateful to Phillip for sharing the experience with us.
Coffee, Ice cream & biscuits were enjoyed, courtesy of The Boathouse followed by a lively return sail to Dell Quay on a broad reach for most of the way in a stable 15 knots. Jean in her scow took the record for the speedy return trip in just under 15 minutes. All returned safe & sound by 17:50 hrs.