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Home / News / End of Season rally to East Cowes Marina (7 - 8 Oct 2023)
Home / News / End of Season rally to East Cowes Marina (7 - 8 Oct 2023)

End of Season rally to East Cowes Marina (7 - 8 Oct 2023)

Published 08:16 on 27 Oct 2023

Once again, HYCs end of season rally was to Cowes, with 12 boats planning to make the trip.  Most boats managed to catch the tide by leaving early on Saturday morning, although Mike Phillips in Nordlys made sure by arriving the night before. Some even enjoyed a decent sail. Unfortunately the Inskips had to withdraw at the last minute, but their space in the water was soon filled by Blue Hoolie who had not actually booked.  

The crew of Kiwi had been busy the previous evening, and we had accepted our fate to buck the tide against the westerly wind. Having visited Ryde sand outer mark a couple of times we gave up, and motored inshore along the contours as far as Wooton. We then managed to sail, fetching along inshore of the assembled throng anchored off Osborne House. We were the last to arrive, so we were invited to berth inside alongside the walkway between D & E, our lines being taken by a visiting motor boat astern of us. Some of our number had disappeared by this time to watch rugby at the Lighthouse.

HYC yachts berthed in East Cowes

The pontoon party was not really a pontoon party at all, as it took place on Bonito, hosted (once again, thanks) by Steve and Vizma. We filled the flybridge, aft deck, and overflowed into the very comfortable saloon, with our numbers swelled by the crew of Blue Hoolie.

Jem had arranged for the Cowes harbour ferry service to pick us up, and three boatloads set off in turn from the marina and were deposited on the Royal London YC pontoon. The RLYC is a venerable building, steeped in sailing history, and our ground floor dining room was decorated with pictures of magnificent yachts from the 19th century, and lit by chandeliers. The 5 round tables of 6 were laid up, white table cloths and serviettes, all organised with predesignated seating.

Anne and Julie getting into party mood.

The bar was upstairs, where the balcony enjoyed good views of the water. That was where we needed to pay for our suppers, and more importantly the source of alcohol too at a surprisingly reasonable price. The staircase was decorated with photos of the bearded Commodores that had sailed the yachts back to the 1800s, along with those of visits by Prince Philip and by Princess Anne.

The bar was where we met up with Jenni Waite, who has kindly carried out the independent review of our accounts for a while now. She and Tim had been past committee members when they kept their boat at Haslar, and as the Inskips Chicken Kiev was paid for, Jem invited her to join us for the meal. This was served after some time in a very organised fashion, and as swiftly as the servers appeared they had disappeared until time for the next course.

We were done and dusted a little earlier than anticipated, so the ferries were summoned, but not being immediately available we had time to chat a bit more as we waited on the pontoon for them to materialise.
The next day the wind was very light, and the tide favoured a later start. We decided to cross the river on the cranky ferry and shop for sailing shoes, necessitating of course a visit to the ISCs pop up bar by the waterside.
Your Commodore however set off earlier, and taunted us with photos of his cruising chute drawing nicely as we motored all the way back to base.

Until next year, then!

John Walker


Last updated 14:37 on 30 October 2023

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