2018 TYC Solent Weekend

On the last October weekend of 2018 with the clocks changing, eleven Twickenham sailors congregated at Hamble Point Marina on Friday evening for the annual TYC Solent weekend.  Fandango, a Maxi 1100, had sailed with her crew from Southsea earlier in the day to meet up with the crew of Loxley B, a Sun Odyssey 37.

 

After settling in, eating dinner and sleeping onboard, the crews awoke Saturday to a crisp, clear blue sky.   Originally, the plan was to head to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. However, after breakfast of the obligatory bacon sandwiches and whilst mulling over cups of tea, a review of the weather forecast, which mentioned an occasionally Force 8 gale for Sunday morning, changed plans. The destination would instead be a more comfortable ride to Gosport.

 

The crews slipped their lines and headed up Southampton Water. Sailing close-hauled with reefs in the main sails, the yachts raced each other northwards. Fandango was faster and left Loxley B in her wake.

 

Fandango continued  towards the Southampton Container Port and Loxley B headed south out to the Palmerston Forts that encircle Portsmouth, built in response to the 1859 Royal Commission dealing with the perceived threat of a French invasion. The forts were intended to defend the Dockyard in Portsmouth. Most are now abandoned; however, one is a hotel should you fancy a night there!

 

With the tide pouring out of Portsmouth Harbour, it took a little longer than anticipated to moor up for the evening in Gosport. With a strong north wind and a full flowing outgoing tide, it made the berthing quite a challenge!  Luckily, both crews managed to help their skippers park up for the night with ease.

 

After showering and having an aperitif onboard, the crews made their way to a local pub where dinner was booked.  After an enjoyable meal, the crew of Loxley B hosted Fandango’s, where further tales of the day were exchanged as the wine continued to flow!

 

Bed beckoned and all took advantage of the extra hours sleep with the clocks falling back. The Force 8 Gale did arrive in the early hours. It re-affirmed the decision to sail to Gosport rather than Yarmouth.

 

The yachts left Gosport marina Sunday morning at 10am. On leaving Portsmouth Harbour, and open to the full wind exposure, both yachts put three reefs in their main sails. Loxley B made her way back up towards Southampton dodging container ships, the Portsmouth Hovercraft and passenger ferries, with winds quite often registering 25 knots! Fandango sailed upwind and in more exposed waters saw 30 plus knots over the deck on the return journey!

 

After berthing up for the last time, cleaning down the boats and having a cup of tea, the crews departed tired but happy after a fun if rather windy weekend of sailing on the Solent.  More to come in 2019!!

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