'Training' Rally, 14-15 May 2016

Northney - Pontoon Party 14 May 2016

Training’ Rally  14-15 May 2016

The weather this year was relatively kind for the traditional ‘training’ (i.e. for training students) and new members’ rally. In keeping with the ethos of the club a number of skippers yet again stepped up to the plate to take a bunch of complete strangers (to them) on their boats for a club rally. 4 boats headed out on Saturday morning for a passage from Gosport to Northney in Chichester harbour (one having started earlier in Southampton and another 26 foot yacht coming up from Chichester to Gosport the previous day to take part – true dedication). The keen crew carried out a number of exercises en route, involving passage planning, calculating the depth of water at the gap in the submarine defences and over the bar at Chichester, identifying the maximum number of different nagivational and special bouyage marks (yes, there was a competition with a prize for the most marks plotted and photographed), as well as general trimming and sailing practice including the obligatory anchoring experience just outside Chichester harbour for lunch (including the 2nd instalment of lunch for some!).

Brian Humber, our HPO for Chichester, was unfortunately out of the country for the weekend and so was unable to participate but provided excellent local knowledge and advice in advance of the rally regarding the timing of the crossing of Chichester bar and the depth changes since the winter season. In the absence of Brian, Andy and Di Chatterton, who are based in Northney, proved to be an excellent shore team, arranging for us to all be berthed on the working pontoon, making the pontoon party easily accessible for all, and providing all of the necessary codes in advance of our arrival – and even threw in a guided tour of the progress of the work on their boat, Seychelles II (watch this space!).

A jolly time was had by all at the pontoon party in the evening sunshine (the Speckled Hen proved to be particularly popular), followed by a quick walk over the bridge to the Ship Inn for dinner. The very helpful waitress managed to track our orders per boat, even though we had by then successfully mingled! A number of prizes were awarded for the more traditional navigational feats, with a new suggested prize (following the traditions of the Calais rally) thrown in by Blustery Day, (a disinterested party naturally), for the boat with the highest number arrived at by calculating the combined height of the crew divided by the waterline length of the boat – not the average height of the crew, much to the disappointment of Snoek who looked to be on to a winner! The skipper’s suggestion earlier that they should be measured laid end to end on the pontoon having received scant support from the crew, as this would have seriously impeded their ability to partake of the Speckled Hen and wine!

Many thanks to Blustery Day, Oxygen, Snoek and Kioni for their vital support in making this a fun and successful rally.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Note to all participants, please feel free to add your own comments and photos, all feedback welcome!



Jill Moffatt, 15.05.2016 | More from Jill Moffatt’s blog