LCSC Summer Rally
Published 16:52 on 7 Aug 2022
With the temperatures hurtling towards the high 30s centigrade and the sun high in the sky LCSC timed its annual Summer Rally to perfection, as frankly the only place to be, says author Francesca Fearon, was on the water if not in it.
This however was a Summer Rally with a difference as we were heading to Chichester Harbour and the Itchenor Sailing Club with whom we have a spanking new reciprocal arrangement and a big party to celebrate the exchange of burgees between our club president Beverley Beach and Itchenor's Commodore Andy FitzGerald was planned.
While London Corinthian's dinghy sailors enjoyed the generous hospitality and expansive array of dinghies and keelboats to sail on at Itchenor in this idyllic, sheltered harbour (of which more later) a small fleet of bigger boats was heading out of the Hamble. Navionics apps, tide books, and the Central Solent Racing Chart in hand, and with an eye on the wind we motored to the virtual start line to follow a timed course.
The passage plan was to navigate to, around, or at least close enough to get photographic evidence (zoom lenses sadly were banned) of buoys that included different points of the compass in their names. I had visions of a nice quick circuit around Ryde Middle, but that was dependent on wind, (from the north-east and barely 5 knots at the start) and incoming tide. So, there was a bit of a timing practice to hit the line spot on 10.25 and all the weight (us) to leeward to get the boat moving. Skipper Steven Gear-Evans set a course that took us to West Ryde Middle and a zigzag across all those helpfully named buoys before heading east and rounding West Pole (the last mark) before negotiating the sand bar into the Itchenor Channel.
Luckily the breeze filled in from the south-east up to a lovely 12 knots and we had skipper Mark McConway and his crew well within our sights. Little did we realise that well out in the distance and securing his win was skipper Richard Pettifer and his crew on C'est Si Bon. I feel the joke was on us given our boat was named Apres Le Vent. Never mind, a swim at West Wittering was the refreshing consolation prize before heading up the scenic Itchenor channel, ducking and diving dinghy racing fleets en route to the sailing club and their swish new pontoon.
The sailing club, with its beautiful white clubhouse, laid on a splendid party with delicious food (compliments to their chef) for members of both clubs to celebrate the new relationship, for which we must thank Chichester's RC of Cruising and Boating Philip McDanell for organising and hosting.
A peaceful night and slap-up English breakfast and then the crews slowly headed down the channel to the Solent looking back enviously at the dinghy sailors were heading out for another day in Chichester's waters.
Thank you to our Rear Commodore Offshore Cassie Gleeson for organising a great weekend with Philip McDanell.
Last updated 12:51 on 18 January 2023