Sonata Southerns and Poole Regatta
We raced in Poole bay, Chain Ferry, turn right, all windward/leeward courses, and very well organised once the Sonatas had worked out which of the three start lines we should be attending. With two races Saturday, three on Sunday and two Monday, in winds that varied from 20knts to nil, we had plenty of opportunity to mix it with the Southern boys and girls. We managed a second, two threes and a pair of fours (and a complete disaster when we were overtaken by the X Class who started behind us – but luckily that was a discard). That finished us in fourth overall, and behind the ubiquitous Cobweb. You can read Matt Glasgow’s full report here under Bulletins. Spelling is not Matt’s strong point, but he sails pretty well! The series was fairly won by Tom White’s Pizzicato, with an almost perfect scoreline of firsts. Socially, we were well entertained by each of the combined Poole Yacht Clubs in turn but getting to and from them was a taxi or, on one best forgotten occasion, a four mile stroll.
Home sweet home
Getting home to the Medway was accomplished in three hits, Poole–Eastbourne, (night passage thru Hurst Narrows and believe me, its very aptly named – scary stuff!), Eastbourne (lovely place, very friendly staff) – Ramsgate (12 knot surfs in Channel – average speed over 62miles, 8knts, is this a Sonata record?) and Ramsgate – home, a chunky Force 5 beat. Cruising tip number two: take the foul tide early at the Ramsgate end – thinking you can sneak around the ebb into your home river is a mistake in a SW blow.
We’ve now stripped Chrysalis of her cruising gear, and have just finished our own Medway Regatta which I’m delighted to say, we won.
Go with the tide
Was it worth it? Definitely, if you like offshore sailing and a few navigational challenges, and the Sonata is a very capable, fast little boat. But, South coast marinas are expensive—over week stays between legs cost more than my whole year’s mooring at MYC—count yourselves very lucky, you MYC mooring holders! And cruising tip number three? In a Sonata, the tide is your best friend if you get it right, (we grabbed tide-shelter and rest hours at intermediate ports both out and back). Outboarding to beat the tide is not really an option in Channel swell.