Lay-up Rally 2019 Report

Scheduled for 2 days, 15th and 16th October, the lay-up rally is the final sailing rally of the season.  At the end of the summer, achievable destinations become scarce due to many local marinas filling up with boats settling in for the winter.  A popular and readily available target is Bembridge Harbour which was selected a couple of weeks prior, with the long term weather forecast suggesting that there might be a weather window to give a pleasant finale to the season.

Six boats registered for the rally:- Fairwind, Frith, Harami, Mandaly, Parity and Opus IV.

Unfortunately the forecast became increasingly pessimistic in the days before the rally with significant uncertainty, and over the weekend the outlook for the Tuesday was a pleasant fine day with F4 winds, but a very wet and windy Wednesday with F5 to F7/8 gusts forecast until late afternoon, making a safe and timely return to Dell Quay quite uncertain.  A circulation of emails amongst those registered led to agreement that Bembridge was too risky, and an alternative destination was agreed, allowing for a later departure and earlier safe return.

Tuesday dawned damp and murky (not a nautical term) but later reports from a member enjoying life in Port Solent indicated a fine sunny afternoon.

map Five intrepid crews (one having dropped out due to illness, a speedy recovery  wished by all) set out well after high tide towards our reserve destination,  approximately 30o  magnetic and 6.13Nm from Dell Quay.  Reliance on GPS navigation did result in one member navigating a interesting course.

???  Yes, we had agreed to head towards the source of the Lavant River, which of course (thanks to the Roman hydraulic engineers) runs into Chichester Harbour above Dell Quay to form our channel.

fireArriving at our destination after dark, five crews relaxed in the comfortable warmth of a fine log fire and great company for a pleasant dinner.  Later, filled with the warm glow of good food, wine (beers) and company, we departed to safely weather the forecast stormy conditions (which didn’t materialise! just grey and damp).

Thus ended the Lay-up Rally to the Fox Goes Free at Charlton.