Frostbite Rally – East Cowes March 23/24 2019


The first HYC Rally of the year gets our Sailing Season off to a good start.

There were 11 boats booked on the Rally and we all made it, which is a record for the Frostbite Rally!  It was a mixture of Power and Sailing boats, which is always good to see.  Some boats arrived on the Friday or even earlier(!), but most arrived on the Saturday morning.   The weather was fine with very little wind, so most boats motored across to Cowes.  For one of the Power Boats, who was new to the club and the area, this was their first trip across the Solent – very exciting!

All of the 19 people booked on the rally thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon visit to the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC) in East Cowes.  Glyn Ellis, opened up the ILC just for our visit and gave us a fascinating 90 minute tour of the facility.  We had an excellent explanation of how the inshore Lifeboats are made, from cutting out the patterns on a laser cutter, gluing them together, testing for leaks and fitting out the lifeboats with consoles and engines.  As well as this, he gave us an inspiring talk on the ‘LEAN’ philosophy that underpinned the management style and ownership that was given to each team that ensures a lifeboat leaves the building every 59 hours!  It was a great afternoon and everyone commented how much they enjoyed it.   A collection was taken and £98 was given to the RNLI.  More details of the ILC including webcam pictures can be found here.

In the evening, we had two water taxis to take us from the pontoon in East Cowes to West Cowes.  Due to the unusually low tide, one of the ferries had to leave from a pontoon nearer the centre of the river.   The ferry dropped us off at the Island Sailing Club, where we had a very good meal in the ‘Beken Room’.   It was great having the room to ourselves and helped form a great atmosphere.

We returned by Ferry after the meal and some joined Arvid on his catamaran for a late drink.  Others headed for bed!  In the morning, most boats left mid-morning on Sunday to catch the tide back to Haslar.   It was a great weekend and many new friendships were made.

Brian Masters

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