18:22 on 26 Jul 2023
Bembridge Rally 21st to 23rd July 2023.
A weekend of wind, waves rain, occasional sunshine and great fun.
In total 14 boats had signed on for the Bembridge Rally the first time the Club has visited the eastern end of the Isle Of Wight for some years. Many of the boats were coming to the venue after, during or before longer cruises home or abroad.
In the end the forecast put off a number of people. The key issue being able to get home on the Sunday.
So various boats sailed over on the Friday from venues in the Solent to join those already at Bembridge making 9 in total. The first night entertainment was switched from the open air to a marquee and comprised of an extended "pontoon" party including a quiz and a bit of dressing up.
Alcoholic and chocoholic prizes went to the winners and a good time was had by all.
Saturday was the start of the Fastnet race so bad weather was on the cards. Some of Team Christchurch went to Cowes to watch the start live, others stayed on board and watched via You Tube with others bravely exploring the Bembridge area in full wet weather gear. All these activities were soured by the rising wind and horizontal rain and by early afternoon it seemed sensible to cancel the water taxis taking us across the harbour for dinner at Bembridge Sailing Club and order a mini bus. In any event the Team dressed appropriately for a mid summer dinner event.
The meal was excellent with the randomly selected seating arrangements working well and many thanks to the Sailing Club bar.
It was clear we were in for a wet and wild night when we walked bent almost double over the pontoon from the mini bus back to the boats.
In the morning the battered rallyers slowly appeared and assessed any damage to themselves or their boats. One notable casualty was the almost new Club Rally leader Burgee. It had wrapped itself around Gannets lines and a trip up the mast was required for a rescue.
For the return some boats opted on Sunday for the windy and wavy fetch and then beat up the Solent whilst others waited till Monday for the slow and wet reach all the way home.
Overall a really good Rally with a great bunch of people.
David and Celina Groom (plus John Tricker) Team Gannet.
Last updated 18:22 on 26 July 2023