News Desk
2017 Solent Cruiser Race

Ten boats came to the start line near Coronation buoy on Saturday 29 April. Unlike the starts of most Cruiser Races everyone got away quite quickly.

Claire Dresser in Lady Penrose experiencing this event for the first time was too keen and proved to be OCS as the hooter sounded. The course took them first to Royal Southern in the light easterly wind and then round the east side of the Brambles to other marks and then to Royal Thames off the beach at Calshot, and Party off Egypt Point, back to the mainland shore at Needs Ore and thence to the finish off the Beaulieu River entrance.

It was a grey day at first but the sun came out in the afternoon as everyone motored up to Bucklers Hard to be joined by the 5 boats that were rallying. It was a very high tide and much of the salt marshes were covered. At 1800 there was the customary pontoon party and John Rutherford the CRO announced the results. Ayaya was first followed closely on corrected time by Watermark and Kuutar. The 'ducks of the day' was presented to Claire for being OCS and Dino Volante (no names - Ken) for flying their motoring cone upside down.

Sunday dawned rather windy and the decision was made to do the shortest course and for the competitors to take their own time at the start and finish so they could decided when it was best time for them to leave. It proved to be quite rough off Cowes with the wind against tide although the wind had dropped to just over 20 knots by lunchtime.

Everybody got safely to Cowes and tied up in Shepards Wharf where tales of mountainous waves were told over a late lunch.  We all made our way to the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for a drink where we were joined by the Commodore, her husband David and parents Barry and Ann, the Thoms and the Goughs.

Again John announced the results of the second leg. This time Alaris won with Dino second and Ayaya third. There was only 45 seconds on corrected time between the first three boats. Giuliana's crew had decided to stay longer at Bucklers Hard and had walked along the river to Beaulieu and leave for Cowes after lunch, so they were the winners of one of the ducks and the other went to Sally Dick. Her father, Peter Turner, had taken a liking to him on a Solent Cruiser Race in 2008 and we felt it only right that the duck should have a sail on Sea Rose again. The Island Sailing Club provided a very good carvery meal for us all and we went back to our bunks replete.

Unlike the usual May bank holiday Monday the weather was quite benign. The CRO decided to set the 9.4 mile course, as the wind was quite light and there was a strong flood tide. Everyone was keeping well back to avoid an OCS situation and Chatterbox was first over the line. Many used their spinnakers or cruising shutes as there was some long downwind legs against the tide. First to finish at Bald Head was Ayaya.

When everyone had sent in their declarations the CRO announced the results in the Club bar. Again it was a very close result for leg 4 with the first 4 boats finishing on corrected time within 33 seconds. They were in order Dino, Watermark, Lady Penrose and Kuutar. John commented that perhaps the handicapping system wasn't as bad as members had thought!

All in all a very enjoyable weekend in spite of the rather cool weather.

Maggie Widdop

Results - please see below.   More images from this event can be found here.

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Click to scroll previous 2017 Galleries
Our Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams was recently interviewed by Sasha Twining on BBC Radio Solent's H20 slot.
Karen was asked about her childhood and how she got into sailing with her parents, how she progressed from dinghies into keel boats and about her role in helping to develop youth sailing at the Club. She explained her current role as well as her stewardship of the Royal Southern as only the second lady Commodore in the Club's 179 year history. Karen also discussed her aims and objectives for the Club going forward. It's a great listen, and we hope you enjoy it.

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