Passage Races to Hamble

This weekend’s races had some interesting challenges for participation including, for some, getting sufficient fuel to get to the boat (which prevented one entrant) or to sail (which was solved by a fuel transfer at sea!).
The forecast for Saturday for the passage to the Hamble was for hardly any wind in the morning then building a little in the afternoon. A course was set to start from Chi but the lack of wind resulted in the start being moved to outside Portsmouth. After a short beat the passage up the eastern Solent was aided significantly by the tide, but this proved to be the undoing for all but one boat because when the wind dropped we were unable to pass the correct side of one buoy. Hence only one boat managed to continue on and finish; but we all had a good and challenging sail in such light airs – though we could have done without the drizzle at the start.
Those staying onboard overnight at Port Hamble had drinks together (courtesy of the Commodore) and then dinner at Banana Wharf restaurant where we sat outside warmed by patio heaters.
Sunday dawned with a little more wind and we were able to start where planned with a short beat and then a long downwind passage all the way to Chi. The question was whether to use the main channel or Dolphin Passage and at times the wind dropped to keep the question open (for the back markers). But the wind filled in and all went between the forts and then had a more speedy sail in a triangle in Hayling Bay. The finish was slightly confused by the addition of another round yellow buoy near Chi – but fortunately it did not have “Chi” written on it.

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