Club Rally & BBQ – 5/6 Aug: UK home sailing news

We returned to Itchenor Reach this 5/6 Aug with our great format of club rally with ‘beach’ BBQ, exploring the creeks and harbours of the Solent. SYC has two rally & BBQ events each year with club members, boat owners in the Solent, including our summer party in August.

Club Rally & BBQ –  5 / 6 August


An event held since our inaugural year in 2016 visiting Newtown Creek, for our second rally and BBQ of 2017 we returned to a favourite sail cruising destination of many members; Itchenor Reach in Chichester Harbour. With 27 members and 5 boats, our largest BBQ event yet we headed off Saturday morning for a downwind sail from Port Hamble, after embarkation and a crew meal in The Victory Inn Friday night, past the forts and onto a low-water entrance through Chichester Bar into beautiful Chichester Harbour for a Saturday night away from marinas and the masses.

Weather was as forecast with F4-5 and sunshine, chance of showers about lunchtime Saturday; a 30kn squall and a drenching would be more accurate from the perspective of those still on deck at the time it came through.

We settled on using the vistor’s pontoons at Itchenor this year, the best of both worlds with all 5 club and members’ boats present BBQ’ing (fire buckets and extinguishers ready of course) on a more stable platform of the pontoon with no ferrying of heavy BBQ equipment to have to do.

More pleasent conditions on Sunday (without the squall) with boats leaving at a relaxed time in the morning to different disembarkation points; Lymington, Hamble and Southampton Water. A little fun nav and sailing skills exercise on Frolika for the ‘Sailbots crew’ sailing upto and then through the gap in the submerged barrier in two tacks setting up a nice port tack passage under sail at the predicted 300 deg. compass course. Past Portsmouth Harbour and then home through the North channel of the central Solent.

Chichester Harbour is one of the few remaining undeveloped coastal areas in Southern England and remains relatively wild. Chichester Harbour’s wide expanses and intricate creeks are at the same time a major wildlife haven and among some of Britain’s most popular boating waters.

Chichester Harbour is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The harbour is of national and international importance for nature conservation. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest,[3] a wetland of international importance,a Special Protection Area for wild birds and a Special Area of Conservation. The harbour is of particular importance for wintering wildfowl and waders of which five species reach numbers which are internationally important.

Neal Kelshaw

Vice Commodore