Solent Branch

Chichester and Langstone rally – 29th April – 1st May 2017
preceded by Nab Tower Race


Coordinators: Simon and Sarah Stevens

At last year’s Bembridge rally Neil O’Connor and I were chatting about ideas for rally events in 2017. So I suggested a curry evening at the Bombay Bay restaurant in Southsea Marina, Langstone Harbour. “Great” says Neil, “I will put you down to coordinate that one then”.

I heard nothing more until the committee had agreed their 2017 programme and Neil rang me to say they would love to have the curry evening at Southsea, but would like to combine it with the Nab Tower race over the first May Bank Holiday weekend.

So we agreed a plan. Run the Nab Tower race on Saturday morning then meet in Chichester for pre-dinner drinks followed by a safari supper.  On Sunday, we would sail round to Langstone Harbour and into Southsea Marina, followed by drinks in the Marina Bar and then a group meal in the Bombay Bay.  On Monday we could then all sail back to our home ports.

But it didn’t quite work out exactly as planned.

5 yachts entered the Nab Tower race with perfect sailing conditions with Alchemy taking line honours.

10 yachts made it to Chichester, although White Whisper did have some fuel problems in the Itchenor channel and had to pick up a buoy. Ian called Sea Start and they were able to identify the issue and escort him and Sue into Chichester. That left them just enough time to prepare the main course they were hosting at the safari supper.

Very kindly the skippers of Alchemy and Seascape had earlier both offered to dinghy out to White Whisper and bring Sue and Ian ashore with the ingredients of their main course to be cooked on Seascape. Interestingly both Seascape and Alchemy were due to be eating their main course on White Whisper. I wonder if that had any influence on their eagerness to act as water taxis!

Unfortunately, the forecast for Sunday was not looking good so we agreed to review conditions over coffee on the Sunday morning. With the weather forecast predicting force 6-7 several yachts decided to stay in Chichester and the larger yachts decided to head for home ports. However, everyone agreed that we should all meet at Southsea marina on the Sunday evening for the meal at Bombay Bay.

blankFortunately, we had enough cars at Chichester to transport 11 of us round to Southsea, the crew from Ocean Strider caught a ferry and Taxi from Haslar, and Time Out drove round from Haslar.  An intrepid Mike and Carol on Gannet who had not been in Chichester, did actually sail from Portsmouth round to Langstone and into Southsea marina. I think they described it as ‘rather lumpy’ and ‘we wouldn’t want to do that again!’

In the end we had 12 yachts & 30 crew at the Bombay Bay for what was a very good meal with great service.