Ready, steady… not quite go

There was bright sunshine in Gosport yesterday (18 August) as yachts and crews assembled for the start of the first ARC Channel Islands rally, in association with RYA Active Marina, Hamble School of Yachting and PBO Magazine.

The new cross channel cruise has attracted entries from boats based far and wide for a week-long exploration of the Channel Islands of Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney. Three crews have sailed up from the West Country, two from Scotland and one boat from Guernsey joining the 29 strong fleet marshalling at Haslar Marina, Gosport.

Crews were able to enjoy the sunshine during a drinks reception hosted by Haslar Marina on board the Haslar Light Ship to launch the rally. The top-deck was full of friendly chatter as crews got together for the first time, exchanging stories and getting to know each other. During the cruise there will be a mix of socials, organised tours and free time, as the route takes boats to Cherbourg and onto the Channel Islands.

Marina manager Rachael Foster was joined by the Mayor of Gosport to welcome the rally crews to “God’s port”, where due to a fast moving weather front, the sailors will have an extra day to explore.

Currently the front is expected move through during Saturday, with a rescheduled start from Gosport likely for Sunday morning.

Undeterred by the weather, crews are setting out to make the most of their bonus day ashore. The naval history museums – Explosion and Submarine – in Gosport are proving popular.

A trip to the cinema to see the “Swallows and Amazons” movie was a “must-do” for the crew of Mouflon Noir, one of whom, Als Boden, has a walk-on part as a movie extra in the sailing adventure story.

For the ARC Channel Islands sailors, their sailing adventure will be on hold for 24 hours.

A case of ready….steady…. not quite go.