Solent Branch

Beaulieu River rally – 13th May 2017

Coordinators: Neil and Elaine O’Connor

In spite of some changeable weather either side of the Beaulieu weekend we were blessed with favourable conditions for the Saturday and Sunday.

The rally started a few weeks before for Elaine and myself ordering scones and clotted cream and sorting out the list of boats and people for the weekend.  We were delighted to get an email from David and Carmel Radbourn from the Australasian Chapter of the MOA asking is they could come to the rally.  We invited them to join us at our berth in Chichester and sail with us to Beaulieu.

Friday 12th saw our Moody 31 Sea’Scape loaded to the full: four crew, a fridge full of clotted cream, a box of 48 scones, 3 bags of charcoal plus firelighters, matches,  jam, trays etc. The weather was overcast but we had a fast sail to Beaulieu leaving Chichester at 11 and arriving at Beaulieu at 4.

Most boats arrived on Friday evening and found a place on the mid-stream pontoon in the middle of the river.  Arrangements were made between boats and most people disappeared off into one boat or another for an evening meal.

There was a heavy downpour on Saturday morning, but then the skies cleared to a lovely sunny day.  There can’t be any better spot on the South Coast than on the River Beaulieu in the sunshine.

blankAfter a discussion with the harbourmaster and a slight shuffle of boats we made space for all the attendees: 18 boats in all and 45 people.  Everyone arrived in time for the cream tea at 1500 giving time to chat over a tea or coffee and a scone, jam and cream.


At 1730 we went over to light the barbeques at the bottom of Bucklers Hard.  People started drifting over in their tenders hoping to cook meals.  However, the barbeques took a while to get hot so we didn’t start cooking until seven.  Luckily the weather held and everyone enjoyed themselves over a drink or two.  We were also entertained by a wedding party – I’m not sure the bride will appreciate being photo bombed by MOA members at a barbeque.  All the food eaten we returned on our tenders for a nightcap.

Sunday was another fine day with a Southerly breeze, so we all had a fine sail back to our marinas.

All in all it was a great weekend.  And it was particularly good to be able to welcome MOA members from the other side of the world showing how these events can promote the MOA worldwide!