The planned May rally at Southamptons’ Ocean Village marina took a sudden diversion to the left (sorry - to port) and ended up at Island Harbour Marina, the date clashing with the FA cup meant that only two boats made the trip however there was plenty of space in the marina and a good time was had by all.
The brilliant sunshine as we left Portsmouth disappeared somewhere in Stokes bay to be replaced by... well nothing really, it was just grey and not very warm.
Celeste was skippered by our Commodore Anne Hutchins and crewed by Aileen Macnaughton, Chris Furner and Rimple. Celeste immediately showed her sleek lines as she raced across the Solent followed very slowly by Brize, 40 years old and 19ft long, possibly the smallest boat in the club, a pedigree Mirror Offshore skippered and crewed (possibly because no one else will sail with him) by Paul Wood.
Both boats flew their Haslar Yacht Club burgees with pride, the first rally with burgees!
A good sail across the Solent and up into the Medina river was followed by a lot of shouting at the TV by certain individuals who shall remain nameless (Aileen) as the FA cup 2010 drew to a close.
Indeed one of the ladies (you can guess which one) was heard to say any more talk by Chris about what a brilliant manager Harry was and Chris would be walking the plank on the way back.
Toasting the days sailing with a suitable beverage, we then moved onto the Island Harbour bistro for dinner followed by “dancing on tables” at the Folly Inn. Next time we’ll all take a torch for the yomp back across the fields.
Sunday morning began warm sunny and calm, breakfast was aboard Celeste at 9.30 and was followed by a gentle morning constitutional to Newport for the Celeste crew to pick up the sunday papers while Brize slipped through the lock to get a head start for home at 11.00, by now it was colder, very grey, raining and there was a bit of wind.
Both boats had a great sail back ( I will point out that Brize arrived back first this time although she did leave nearly two hours before Celeste) and the crews are champing at the bit for the next trip !