Created: 26 Oct 2015 11:48
Updated: 12 Oct 2017 20:15

The first Fast Cruise of the 2015-2016 season was held on Saturday 24th October with winds of F4 from the southwest, occasionally gusting F5 and under an overcast sky always threatening rain. A number of new members joined the fleet and one brought a new boat as well.

Only one Fast Cruise will be held this season and the start was set at Browndown. Before anyone complains about the position of the start, just have a thought for the course-setter who has boats arriving from Chichester marina, Lymington Berthon Marina and from Deacons at the top of the Hamble as well as boats more centrally placed at Gosport and Cowes. At least those coming from Gulag Chi had help from the tide.

The slower boats initially headed to SE Ryde Middle whilst the bigger boats had a beat to Peel Bank. After the first marks the short course fleet beat downtide to W Ryde Middle and then a short run to N Ryde Middle, followed by S Ryde Middle before turning back to Norris and its associated flukey winds under Castle Point. Meanwhile the long course had a reach across to E Bramble followed by a beat to W Bramble then a run to SE Ryde Middle and a reach to Hill Head. They were not subjected to the frustrations of Norris.

The 2 fleets met again at NE Gurnard, the long course fleet travelling via Bourne Gap whilst the short course fleet travelled via S Bramble.

Both fleets proceeded down the W Solent with the slower boats turning back to the Beaulieu Hamstead Ledge and the faster boats carrying on from Hamstead Ledge to turn at Solent Bank. The turning buoys were reached at slack water and a spinnaker run back to East Lepe with a now flooding tide was enjoyed by all boats.

Once again the course designer had done a very good job. The majority of yachts reached the furthest west turning mark very close to slack water between the ebb and the flood and ensured that there was nearly 3m of water over Beaulieu bar as boats were finishing, despite some concerns expressed by some of the deeper draft yachts.

The rain, that had been threatening all day finally arrived after all boats were tied up and so the drinks session was held in the bar with the rugby on the big screen.

The results using both LSC handicap and Progressive handicap are here