Reading Offshore's Yarmouth Rally May 6th-7th 2017 by Ed Davies
A great turn out with 21 members attending pre-dinner drinks aboard Skippers’ Rhapsody.
The weekend started with an interesting weather forecast of F5-F7 from the E/NE. Well at least it would be behind us we thought as Skippers’ Rhapsody set off from Gosport on the Saturday morning.
The crew of six (Bernie, Margaret, Kate, John, Tim and I) were well wrapped up for the weather as we rolled our way from Portsmouth Harbour towards Gilkicker.
To those who have yet to venture in or out of Portsmouth this year – take note particularly of the position of Portsmouth Bar 4 buoy! Also note the two groups of three tall navigation posts a little further towards Spitbank Fort!!
Anyway, once we had rounded Gilkicker and settled on our course (towards Cowes and Yarmouth) we enjoyed a pleasant breeze from behind and made an average SOG of around 5 knots under the genoa alone. Occasionally we saw 6 knots but this was not a race.
The wind stayed steady for the entire passage to Yarmouth and we enjoyed a really pleasant sail.
Naturally, as we approached Yarmouth, so too did a Lymington to Yarmouth ferry so we held back, doused the genoa and motored into the harbour, watching the cross tide still ebbing at 3 knots.
We were met by a friendly harbourmaster’s dory and, having let them know we had reserved berths at Harold Hayles, continued around the harbour to the reserved pontoon. With over 50 yards of empty pontoon ahead we had no problem mooring! Harold Hayles staff had neatly noted the reserved positions for the five boats so we were soon tied up and had the kettle going.
During the afternoon a further three boats (Kaprys, Agape and Pentangle II) arrived with their crews. Shorelark’s crew came on foot.
With Geoff, “sans-bateau”, having made the passage courtesy of the 12:00 ferry from Lymington, he and Jenny led the field on the afternoon’s activity, a Treasure Hunt, organised by rally Host Bernie.
No less than 4 teams took part in the Treasure Hunt which posed a range of questions, some obvious, others less so, and some devious. Only one crew failed to read the instructions that stated “answers to all clues will be found East of the River Yar” being seen searching for an answer to the West! But everyone seemed to enjoy themselves including the “find” of the Tea Rooms at the old railway station. This was definitely a place to consider for a cuppa or lunch when next in Yarmouth.
The rally re-convened later aboard Skippers’ Rhapsody for the obligatory ‘drinks & nibbles’ before venturing across the bridge once again for our dinner at the Royal Solent Yacht Club. No less than 21 people had boarded Skippers’ R for the aprés-Treasure Hunt get together - a record number (it was just 18 for the on board BBQ at Newtown Creek in 2015 ). Can we improve on 21?
At the Royal Solent YC we were welcomed by their Treasurer and, having placed our drink orders at the bar, were soon seated in the dining room which had been nicely prepared for us by the RSYC including a personalised ROSC Menu and Place Name cards all sporting our club logo. Very well done.
Part way through our excellent dinners, Bernie announced the results of her Treasure Hunt - a win for Team Kate, Margaret & John who achieved 100%. Well done.
All too soon the evening had to conclude as some had to make their ways home towards Reading on the ferry and others to a local B&B. The remainder continued to enjoy the evening until, to avoid overstaying our welcome, we returned to our moorings for coffee and a good night’s sleep so concluding a really enjoyable day.
Sleep was to be broken early (06:00) aboard Kaprys, Agape and Pentangle II whose skippers elected to take the early tide back to Southampton and Gosport. Not so those aboard Skippers’ Rhapsody who “slept in” and, after a relaxing brunch, took another leisurely sail back to Gosport on the later tide.
And no sign of that F5-F7 all weekend.
Dont forget to take any photos during the Summer season that are of interest to yourself or the club as there will be a show board to display them at the AGM in November.. .
ROSC EVENTS IN AUGUST Early Attention needed
It seems a long way ahead but it would be extremely helpful if you could express your interest in either of the two August events to your commodore in the next week or two please. This is so that he can get a rough idea of numbers for booking and costing.
Monday 7th August:Curry Night and Short Walk.
The proposal is to meet in Caversham for a circular walk around Reading's waterways, the Thames and the Kennet, passing a few locks and historical/industrial sites along the way. The walk is likely to take about 90 minutes so an early start of 6.30 p.m. would be required. After the walk we could eat either in the River Spice restaurant (Indian) or across the road in the Moderation (Thai) at 8 p.m. The cost of the meal would depend on numbers but not likely to be expensive in any case (probably no more than about £15). Members could bring friends and turn up for just the walk or just the meal or both (just like Christmas all over again!).
Saturday 22nd August:Rally to Lymington.
There being no official organiser for this event Ian will agree to do so informally depending on availability of boats. If boats are available and willing to find a berth themselves then we could organise a meal ashore in town, depending on numbers, and find suitable entertainment for the day/days.
30 May...... Better Day For Sir Ben and Land Rover BAR
Land Rover BAR secured a much needed victory in the final race of the afternoon (race 3) as they overcame Artemis Racing with a 30 second advantage at the finish line.
Having won just one race in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers Robin 1, also over Artemis Racing, the pressure was on Sir Ben Ainslie and his team heading into the encounter.
However, that pressure was not evident out on the water as the British team made a better start than their Swedish rivals, who were also racing for the second time on the day.
In a much improved performance over the previous two days, Land Rover BAR, who hit the highest speed of the competition so far, recording a top speed just over 43 knots, maintained a comfortable advantage throughout the race as they kept the Swedes at bay.
Despite a slight touch down by the British team at mark 4, they recovered quickly to ease over the finish line 30 seconds ahead of Nathan Outteridge’s team to seal a much needed victory. That win moves Land Rover BAR onto four points in the standings, and more importantly, two points clear of bottom-placed Groupama team France.
News to amuse
Costa Concordia Captain Heads to Prison as Italy Upholds Conviction -- Final ruling May 12, 2017
The former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Friday by Italy’s highest court for his role in the 2012 shipwreck, which killed 32 people. Francesco Schettino was originally found guilty in 2015 of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his passengers. Friday’s ruling marked the end of the appeals process, with the court upholding the initial verdict.
Free during the prolonged legal battles, Schettino, 56, reported to a Rome prison to start his sentence as soon as he was told of the verdict, he had waited for word of his fate alone outside the prison gates rather than stay at home with his family in southern Italy.
The Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, when it hit rocks off Giglio on a chill January night, tearing a hole in its side and eventually keeling over.
Schettino was lambasted by the Italian media and branded “Captain Coward” for leaving the stricken ship while a chaotic night-time rescue operation was in full flow. Critics accused him of bringing shame to the whole country through his actions.
At his first trial prosecutors had asked for a 26-year term. Schettino admitted some responsibility but denied blame for the deaths that occurred during the evacuation and said he was not solely to blame.
His lawyer said he might appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. “I think there have been serious abuses here, I never give up.”
Investigators severely criticized Schettino’s handling of the disaster, accusing him of sailing too close to shore to perform a spectacular “salute” to Giglio for the benefit of the ship’s head waiter, who came from the island.
Schettino was also accused of delaying the evacuation and abandoning his ship prematurely. He said he had been thrown off the vessel as it tilted and had landed on the roof a lifeboat.
Humiliatingly, a furious coast guard official had to order him to return to his ship and take charge of the rescue.
He was left alone on the stand to answer for the disaster after the ship’s owner, the Costa Cruises subsidiary of Carnival Corp, paid a fine of 1 million euros ($1.3 million at the time) and prosecutors accepted plea bargains from five other officials.
The massive, rusting hulk of the Costa Concordia was left abandoned on its side for two-and-a-half years before it was towed away in the most expensive maritime wreck recovery in history. The last body was not recovered until 2014.
Schettino’s defense team contended that he prevented an even worse disaster by steering the ship close to the island as it sank.
Dunkirk: How the RNLI took part in one of the biggest rescues of World War Two
In total, over 338,000 men were rescued between 26 May and 4 June,
76 years ago the British Navy attempted an audacious wartime operation. It would change the course of the Second World War - and challenge our lifeboats to tackle a very different kind of rescue.
It's barely 6 months into the Second World War and the soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force in northern France are hemmed in on all sides at the French port of Dunkirk. The soldiers have only one escape route - the beaches to the east. But big ships can't get close enough for a mass evacuation. Hundreds of thousands of troops fear for their lives.
Across the Channel, an improbable rescue fleet is rapidly assembling for a secret mission. Under the codename Operation Dynamo, hundreds of pleasureboats, working barges, motorlaunches, schooners, fishing boats and other craft are converging on Sheerness Dockyard in response to an urgent request from the Admiralty.
Twenty miles up the Kent coast, there's another type of vessel preparing to launch. RNLI Coxswains Howard Knight and Edward Parker and the crews of the Ramsgate and Margate lifeboats are about to face their sternest test.
A fleet of lifesavers
On the afternoon of Thursday 30 May 1940, the Ramsgate and Margate lifeboat crews - at the behest of their naval-officers-in-charge - set sail for France. They packed some unfamiliar equipment onboard: steel helmets, gas masks, grass towing warp, and extra supplies of fuel and fresh drinking water. Their orders? To bring the soldiers off the beaches and into the safety of the rescue ships waiting offshore
The sky was black and visibility zero
Towing a row of small Thames workboats, known as wherries (ideal for getting close in to the shore), Ramsgate's Prudential arrived at Malo-les-Bains, 2 miles east of Dunkirk. The conditions were dire. 'It was black as Hades and visibility was nil,' recalled Coxswain Knight.
Battling strong tides and dodging enemy fire, boats and wreckage, Ramsgate's lifeboatmen helped row the wherries to the beach to collect soldiers, while Knight and the rest of his crew held the lifeboat steady. The crews faced a tough row through the surf to get the soldiers out to the lifeboat, which was used to ferry them to the motor vessel Rhian further out to sea.
By daybreak the visibility improved - but the sea conditions worsened. With the wind now coming in off the sea and oars weighed down with oil, it became impossible to row the wherries through the surf. So, instead of fighting the elements, the crew used them to their advantage. They allowed the wherries to drift inshore, propelled by the onshore wind, then hauled them back to the lifeboat using ropes.
They kept going for 30 hours until the last of the wherries, battered by the surf, was too damaged to continue. Even then, the work of the lifeboat didn't stop. After a long trek back cross the channel to Ramsgate, the crew were in action again, bringing injured troops ashore from other vessels
In total, over 338,000 men were rescued between 26 May and 4 June, of which over one third (98,000) were evacuated by Dunkirk's 'little ships'. The original target for Operation Dynamo had been to evacuate 45,000.
Coxswains Howard Knight and Edward Parker were awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for their gallantry and determination, and all crew members received the RNLI's Thanks on Vellum.
The 'spirit of Dunkirk' has been commemorated regularly since 1940 by flotillas of little ships crossing to Dunkirk for services of remembrance.
(extract from RNLI magazine)
Float to live: Fight your instincts, not the water
You fall into the water unexpectedly. What do you do?
Many people would fight the effects of cold water by swimming hard or panicking – two potentially life-threatening instincts that can quickly lead to drowning. Floating until the cold water shock passes could save your life.
As part of our Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign, we’re urging you to fight your instincts, not the water, and remember one simple skill – floating. See how to float in our short film and interactive guide, then please share with others to improve their chances of survival too.
We have regular meetings the first Monday of the month at the Upper Thames Motor & Yacht Club (UTMYC) in Sonning. If you would like more information on any aspect head to our website or if you would like to discuss any point with a committee member about our sailing club or visiting us on a Monday to say hello, click here to email Linda, our publicity officer, who will be happy to answer any questions.
ROSC was established in 1971and continues with regular meetings. You don't have to own a boat as many rallies are available by land, meals in a local hostillery are arranged with pre-meal drinks often on one of the attending boats.