Not to Oman, obviously, where it's nearly always hot and sunny and a 12 knot southerly cuts in like clockwork in the afternoon, though the weather for the 49er training camp last week was mostly of that order. Hashim Al-Rashdi and Musab Al-Hadi were guests of Weymouth Sailing Club last Thursday with their trainer Alain Champy, former head of logistics at the French Sailing Federation and an old friend of WSC since those pre-Olympic training years. WSC member Jez Rees was able to both reminisce with Alain and chat to Hashim and Musab about Omani sailing venues, which Jez knows well.
Congratulations to club members Sam Pascoe and Sam Mottershead for winning the Merlin Rocket Silver tiller open meeting held at Rutland Water on Monday 4th May. They won with an emphatic 3,1,1 score line from a fleet of 30 boats which included some of the brightest names in UK dinghy sailing. Sam Mottershead who has progressed through the club YOBs programme, gamely stepped in to join Sam P as his normal crew, sister Megan, was otherwise engaged in a ISAFF event on Lake Garda.
On Sunday the scheduled Cimbri Trophy was postponed owing to the forecast of the wind dropping in the afternoon, which would have made for a challenging race against the tide both ways! However a new course was set which allowed those competing to get some practice in for the upcoming Shambles Trophy.
Over eighty members of Cherbourg and Granville Yacht Clubs arrived in Weymouth on Friday evening as the weather rapidly deteriorated; the start of the annual YCC Transmanche was brought forward to try to avoid the worst of the blow, though there were stories even so of very strong winds off Portland.
Weymouth Sailing Club volunteers were first on the scene to assist a Maxi 1100 Amy Lou who had gone ashore on the Mixen. Struggling to drop their kite and with a fouled propellor, the two man crew sent out a Mayday to Solent coastguard.
Video of them being pulled clear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XLkvpUAEPo
22 boats turned out for the Tony Bennett pursuit race. 13 dinghies 4 squibs and 5 cruisers.
Conditions for my second trip to Cherbourg this year were an improvement on the first, with a not quite so chilly NE 4-5 to blow me there, and a 100% coefficient spring tide meant I could get a long way east before the ebb, in case the wind veered into the east as per the forecast.
It already seems an age ago that Saskia VII was picking up the Frostbite Trophy on Boxing Day. After suffering a foresail failure and having to do a head sail change bare headed on the final beat they hung on to take the trophy under NHC.
It was only 3 months ago yet so much has changed in the keelboat class. With the majority of Weymouth Sailing Club boats taking the opportunity to get an IRC ticket, club racing this season sees a new era of keelboat racing starting at Weymouth SC.
Having slept on board, I found the cold and Condor made me get up at 0430 on Saturday morning, put on an unlikely quantity of clothes and set off into the blackness beyond the harbour mouth and the serious chill of a brisk nor-nor-easterly. Masochism or what? The wind did at least mean that I could bear away and get sailing just beyond the stone pier – destination France, at last!
In the course of my studies I happened upon this account of a weekend regatta in Cherbourg in 1831, which illustrates the beginnings of the warm friendships between English and French yachting folk, after centuries of national disagreements, which have since been expressed far more creatively in the keenest competition in yacht racing.