Well we had to delay our departure to Cherbourg, no gentle sail to Lymington Friday night due to strong winds and chucking it down with rain. Instead we had a nice meal, early sleep at 8pm and then up for an early departure at midnight and plenty of night sailing to Cherbourg.
We had a great passage over though a bit lumpy and exciting out of the Needles and arrived in France for an afternoon siesta.
With strong winds forecast to build for the return passage the crew decided to make an early departure back to Southampton aiming to arrive as the tide turns at the Needles. However we had a super fast sail back averaging 8-9 knots and got back a bit too soon – experiencing some turbulence with wind over tide at the Needles. All survived with fab photos and great conversations over dinner that evening.
An unusual wind direction this year meant a feisty downwind start before settling down to a gently breeze as we made our way down the Solent towards the Needles.
At this point the wind was shielded by the cliffs and we floated backwards out past the Needles until we drifted into the breeze for a beat against the tide round the South of the Isle of Wight.
All was looking good and set to bear away from Ventnor up towards Bembridge….but alas no, the wind had backed and we were still beating slowly as it slowly faded away and once again we were becalmed.
A few more puffs of wind enabled us to creep up to Bembridge at which point after 10 and half hours of racing with only a slight chance if the wind picked up that we would make it to the finish line at Cowes we decided to retire and make our way under engine for dinner and drinks.
The only consolation is only 257 out of over 1200 boats actually finished the race this year.
What a great weekend – just perfect conditions there and back for our first trip to Cherbourg in 2019. Leaving early in the morning with the sun rising over the Needles and a nice F4 all the way arriving in time for afternoon tea French style!
PurelySailing will be entering the RTIR on the 28th – 30th June 2019 and we are looking forward to welcoming guests aboard CETO for this annual race which never fails to excite no matter the weather. This iconic race annually attracts in the region of 1500 yachts from around the globe.
We have now SOLD OUT all our berths
Practice day sailing Friday
On board overnight accommodation Friday and Saturday
We can now sail down wind with our Blue Water Runner! Our Christmas present from ourselves to ourselves. A test run in the new year in light winds 4kn we managed to peak nearly 3kn in boat speed. This sail can be used in up to 25kn of wind, hoping to give this a go on our Cross Channel trips in 2019!