Race to Lymington

For mid-September the weather was superb with a clear blue sky providing warm sunshine. Unfortunately there was also only a gentle breeze and even that was not reliable.
The CCRC race started in Hayling Bay with a short windward leg back towards the Chichester entrance before we turned west and the downwind sails emerged to take best advantage of the gentle breeze. After rounding a buoy off Gilkicker we had another short windward leg back towards Portsmouth and then the downwind sails were out again as we headed towards Lymington in the western Solent. Our boat speeds were increased by the strong west-going tide and by the time we were passing Cowes most boat speed was actually the tide. The course was shortened at East Lepe and some boats managed to round it while others were in the wrong place and with too little wind to get across towards it so they failed to finish.
Then we gathered in Lymington Yacht Haven in their rally area before our sociable dinner in the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.
Next morning it was an early start to take advantage of the last of the east going tide. The lack of wind at that time meant a change of plan to motor east to Portsmouth for the start. We motored through a smooth and silky sea in bright sunshine, passing through a patch of fog off Cowes. Outside Portsmouth the start proceeded smoothly for a windward leg followed by a downwind leg (during which the wind backed) into Hayling Bay and a few turns around the racing marks there before a finish as Chi.

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Bramidge Trophy and Wooden Spoon Races

Saturday saw some 30 yachts gathered on the start line for a single race but with numerous results to be calculated. CCRC was racing in an inter-team race against Chichester Yacht Club, and separately against Channel Sailing Club. Then there were to be the normal CCRC handicap results and an overall result for each boat. Something of a challenge for the Results Officer!
The weather was excellent with a little sun and a gentle northerly breeze; though that breeze had frequent shifts and gusts to keep us all alert. With the number of boats and a reliable breeze the Principal Race Officer was able to set an excellent course which after an initial shortish upwind leg, took us on longer down-wind legs south-west to Winner and then along the shipping lane to Horse Tail and New Grounds before a long beat back to Rizzi and finish at Chi. The Race Office ably handled the start and finish with the number of boats which included many we were not familiar with and/or had no sail number. It was three hours of enjoyable sailing where each wind shift or adjustment showed whether you were gaining or losing against your competitors.
After the race we headed into Chichester for a sociable drinks and excellent supper at Chichester Yacht Club before the results were announced and trophies awarded. CCRC won the Wooden Spoon trophy against CSC; while CYC won the Bramidge Trophy (after a “recount”) against CCRC.
Altogether an excellent day.

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CCRC Autumn Racing

Chichester Cruiser Racing Club events starts again for the Autumn in just two weeks time with the opportunity to take part in Emsworth Slipper SC Regatta on the Saturday, and then a Club Bay Race on the Sunday. Details at www.ccrc.co.uk/programme.
As always, guest boats are welcome in CCRC races to get an experience of these events and we also have a crew list for details of both see www.ccrc.co.uk/membership.

Cherbourg

We spent the Friday evening sampling the various free music performances around the town. The range was huge and the town buzzing.
Then, on Saturday, some rested, some shopped and some cycled on the hydrogen e-bikes westwards for lunch and a tour of the coast, villages and then back through town.
In the evening the Commodores’ pontoon drinks party and then dinner at L’Equipage.

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Cross Channel Race

Friday 21st June saw the start of the Club Cruise with the cross-Channel race to Cherbourg. We had changed the rules to increase the chances of actually having a race result since the last couple of years a decreasing wind, with no little chance of moving the start or finish, had meant an incomplete race.
The start was at 0530, just before dawn, at Chi and there was a south-westerly gentle breeze giving just enough time to clear the south of the Isle of Wight before the tide turned against us. Different competitors made different choices as to the best course to get across so we gradually parted company. As dawn broke the wind increased a little and good speed was achieved but as the morning wore on and we reached mid-channel the wind was dropping. Eventually it was decided that to ensure a result within time for all participants the race should be shortened and a time for finish positions to be reported announced. Engines then went on.
Inevitably within a couple of hours the wind had increased again and veered so it was back to sailing. By the time we got to Cherbourg there was a stiff breeze but still a flat sea and we cruised into Cherbourg in the early evening. We rafted up on the rally pontoon near the office and were soon ready to hit the town for the street music event.

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Race to Marchwood YC and Back

Even though mid-summers day is just a week away the weekend was mostly grey, quite windy and with rain showers. And additional complications included Hayling Island being blocked by a burst water main on Friday, the M27 being closed on the Saturday and some boats being lifted in late! Nevertheless CCRC racing proceeded.
Saturday’s race to Marchwood started with a beat toward the shipping lane then a long leg reaching past Ryde (passing the other race which had started at Chi 15 mins before us) where we then sailed a triangle including a downwind leg, but no downwind sails appeared in the 20-26 knots of wind. Then a final reach up to the finish at Coronation, from which we sailed up Southampton Water to Marchwood Yacht Club.
At Marchwood there was less wind and the sun made a few appearances so all had drinks on deck while watching the container and cruise ship movements a short distance away. Then it was dinner in the Yacht Club before an early night in preparation for an early start the next morning.
At 7am most were leaving their berths and heading back down towards the race start south of Hamble Point. The wind rapidly built again and the showers made further appearances before a start beating south-west. Then a very long leg back to Chi with the wind sometimes gusting up to 27 knots. Once out of the Solent there were more waves to contend with but all finished within sight of each other at Chi in the late morning.
Well done to the PRO and ROs given the conditions.
A windy weekend but a good time was had by all (I think!).

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Summer Mini Series

Saturday’s race was to be the first of the Summer Mini-Series but Storm Miguel produced winds gusting around 35 knots so the race was postponed to Sunday. Despite the winds the crews of some 9 boats still gathered in Northney marina for the barbecue.
Next day the forecast was for only gentle breezes, which increased slightly as a sea breeze rose and ten boats turned out to race in a day of sunny spells.
Our Acting PRO/RO used a RIB to squeeze in the full three races for the mini-series each lasting an hour to an hour and half with varied start and finish points. Each start was quite competitive with some close quarters manoeuvres; a couple being squeezed out and one touching the mark. There was a good mixture of upwind, downwind and reaching legs so plenty of opportunity to test downwind sail launches, drops and packs.
Another great CCRC weekend.