Created: 29 Oct 2017 10:58
Updated: 29 Oct 2017 12:10

The First Fast Cruise provided a challenging start to the 2017-18 season.

The combined Frostbite Rally / First Fast Cruise of the 2017-18 season provided challenging conditions for the sailing participants. A number of Club members saw fit to warm up for the rally in the tap room of the Fallen Acorn Brewery in Gosport on the Friday evening. The rest of us headed for local restaurants or opted for takeaway fish and chips on board for a more sober start to the weekend.
Saturday dawned fair and we all got off to a good start, some initially the wrong side of the starting mark, others holding back to see the effect of the tide and keep out of the melee. Graham Broadway had set a course which saw us heading westwards in the Solent towards Cowes, including the traditional rounding of ‘Browndown’ early in the day, and with the option of a convenient course-shortening just outside Cowes. The shipping in the Solent provided the usual inevitable challenges of avoidance in the Solent, more exciting for some than others.

The bigger and faster boats managed to complete the course but unfortunately for the smaller, slower yachts the wind gradually died during the afternoon (albeit offering the opportunity for a leisurely lunch mid-race) and we found ourselves slowly but relentlessly drifting backwards. The wind was no match for the tide, so the majority of the fleet had to surrender and retire - some stalwarts did hold out for a little longer before finally giving in and heading for port.
The lucky ones arrived early in Cowes Yacht Haven in the early afternoon, in time to be greeted on the pontoons (we jealously understand) with rum punch and a steel pan band. Fortunately for those of us who arrived later there was still plenty of punch and entertainment available and we were welcomed on to the veranda of Cowes Yacht Haven by the organisers liberally distributing an excellent rum punch (complete with Del Boy cocktail umbrellas) and lei / flower garlands, all accompanied by the fabulous steel pan band. Yacht crews got into the spirit of the event sporting a wide variety of ‘Caribbean’ attire – bright shirts, shorts, sunglasses, and rasta wigs.
Suitably warmed up by the welcome reception, most of us retired to our boats to get ready for the evening activities at the RORC clubhouse (although some found it necessary to go via the Cowes Ale House, others enjoying drinks in the cockpits of club yachts). The excellent 3-course Caribbean-style meal at RORC was followed by a highly amusing Calypso competition. This required participants to form competing teams to write and perform additional verses of the well-known calypso banana boat song accompanied yet again by the steel pan band, with the rest of the room providing the backing choruses. There were some excellent and very amusing entries. The evening finished with some lively and enthusiastic dancing to the band.
Huge thanks are due to Graham and Judy for the organisation of the event and the entertainment, which was greatly enjoyed by all.



PDF icon Fast Cruise 1 Results 14 Oct 2017.pdf45.79 KB