Cruiser race foiled by low tide


Sunday May 10, and with high water at 3.59pm, six boats from the cruiser division of Rye Harbour Sailing Club lined up for the Sunday afternoon race. The winds of preceding days had moderated to a sedate force 3 – 4 and with only a 3 metre tide the boats were going to be quick off the mark if they wanted to ensure there would still be sufficient water for them to reach their berths after the race. The penalty for failure here would be a night stranded in the river, waiting for the next tide.

The first marker was Rock Channel Marine buoy and after a slightly disorganised start (this seems to becoming a habit), all boats made the mark, close hauled but without having to tack. The next mark, the Fairway buoy caused a few anxious moments with wind and tide pushing boats down on to the buoy, but all rounded safely and with the wind dead astern goose-winged towards the harbour mouth. The wind had now started to die reducing boat speed down to a mere 3 knots resulting in a signal from the O.O.D. shortening the course.

It suddenly dawned on the 3 skippers with the berths most vulnerable to low tide that they might find themselves stuck in the river until first light on Monday morning and they abandoned the race, started their engines and headed for home. Of the three brave enough to continue, all beat the tide to reach their (deeper) berths safely.

The results were: 1st, Rick Elliot’s Roxanne in 59:56 (corrected time); 2nd, David Preston in Limbo Girl, just a minute behind; 3rd, Bill Lewis in Close Encounters. The full detailed results are on the RHSC website.

Sunday May 18 sees the Club’s Push the Boat Out day in conjunction with the RYA which hopes to encourage anyone who has wondered what it would be like to sail a boat, to come and have a go.

The winning crab cake

The RHSC charity Bake Off day on Saturday May 9 was voted a great success and raised£440.00 for the Bombolulu Workshop project in Mombassa, Kenya. There were over 20 delicious cakes submitted (the judges are now all on a diet) but  it was unanimously decided that the creativity of nine-year-old Hettie Rankin’s crab cake was unsurpassed and she was awarded first prize.

Photos: RHSC

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