With the ever-changing Covid related restrictions, nobody was sure the Autumn Rally would definitely be possible until a few days beforehand. Although it wasn’t ‘business as usual’, we were confident that enough elements of the Rally spirit could remain, whilst still enabling us to be safe and compliant.

Our Rear Commodore – Offshore had been kept busy looking at how we could make the Rally possible, and seemed to take his eye off the ball slightly in regard to the weather. Forecasts were variable, but had one element in common – we weren’t going to be lacking in wind. Those travelling from the East had the more challenging journeys, with descriptions of ‘lumpy’ and ‘bouncy’ to describe the sea state. It was questioned as to how nautical these terms were, but it was clear they weren’t being used positively. Despite the somewhat unenticing wind conditions, it didn’t prevent nine boats arriving as planned at East Cowes Marina. Mooring with the wind and tide that we were presented with was perhaps more challenging than ideal, but everybody was safely tied up in the end.

Communal tea and cakes on the pontoon was a no-go, so we substituted with having refreshments in our pre-allocated ‘social bubbles’. A cake competition was arranged, with each ‘bubble’ presenting their best cake for judging. This was a tough job, but one group had to make the sacrifice and try each offering. There was some questions as to whether all cakes were homemade, but that reflected the quality of the samples provided. Ultimately, Rosina’s lemon slice won the day, and she was the proud recipient of a Newbury Yacht Club burgee’d apron.

The evening saw us eating within our pre-allocated bubbles, which was a contrast to the usual single large gathering, but no less enjoyable. The food was delicious, and the company was excellent as always, even if we did have to miss out on the party-boat ending to the evening that is always such fun.

The morning began with bright sunshine, and the same level of wind as at the start of the weekend. Navy Blues was first to navigate out of the marina, with lots of pairs of eyes watching on to ensure Uncle Albert was kept informed of any relevant activities. Fortunately, cameras weren’t needed, and the stiff winds were utilised for a sail back to the Hamble.

26th-27th September 2020