Hayling Ferry Sailing Club is a small, friendly club, superbly located at the western tip of Hayling Island. From our well equipped club house, our fleet of catamarans and monohulls enjoys some of the best sailing in the Solent and the south coast of England.
New members are always welcome whether you own a boat or not.
A very unpromising forecast may have put a few people off but 6 boats signed on for some light-wind short course racing on a glorious warm sunny day.
Some patience was required and the wait saw one boat drop out but eventually the first race commenced with a beach start at 13:10. From the club start line, the fleet headed for a triangle - sausage - triangle course around marks expertly laid off Fort Cumberland (and the nudist beach) by Rene and Felicity on the support boat.
Making the most of a full spring tide, a harbour pursuit race was the order of the day. Following a similar course to race 1 back in May, part of the challenge was finding the 3 course marks - Salterns, Rod, and North West Sinah - all channel marks making for a broad triangle in the widest part of the harbour. The downwind leg from NW Sinah to Salterns was the shortest and with Salterns to Rod being too beamy to hoist a kite, the course in theory favoured the 2 sail boats.
Lighter than expected winds called for a short inshore course to ensure the fleet didn't end up stranded out in the middle of the solent and so 2 race marks were laid beyond the outfall for a course of 5 sausage laps. On the whole it worked out well but a 180 degree wind-shift half way through the race, which was marked with a 5 lull minute followed by a unexpectedly strong gusts, proved challenging for all.
A decent F4-5 blowing from the west meant more chop than expected for a seafronts race, following (or attempting to follow) the traditional course upwind around Fairway to the "Castle" channel marker (just off Southsea Castle), downwind all the way to West Pole just off Chichester Harbour entrance, then upwind again around Fairway back to the club finish.
The long upwind slogs against short period chop were uncomfortable for some but downwind for the entire length of Southsea and Hayling seafronts was a blast for the spinnaker boats.
F4-5 forecast cross offshore (but mostly blowing straight up the solent from the west) and low-tide presented a good opportunity to run a 3 forts race following the traditional course of Horse Sand to starboard, Spitbank to port, No Man's Land to port, then passing Horse Sand to port on the return to the club finish line. We tend to think of this as a big race but even with limited chances to fly the kite, Richard and Charlie (F18) completed the race in just over 1 hour and 6 minutes.
It's always a shame when we don't get to race especially after making a real effort to get to the club. But if there's any doubt that it was a bit too "heavy" yesterday please have a look at the graph below. Back in 2020 I plotted the wind speed, gust, and direction as recorded by Chimet for a couple of windy races both of which were at the limit of what any of us were OK to sail in. I hoped to get an idea of what we'd experienced for comparison and for future reference.
Another memorable race, this time in the harbour with a blustery and shifting WNW F4-5 providing a challenging sail. The course was set for 2 laps of NW Sinah and Bridge channel marks with the usual club start/finish. Technically, 4 boats were out although in practice 3 boats raced, with Ian and Amanda happy to cruise on their sensibly reefed Pacific. Kieron and Brent on a club SL16 were blasting along and would have finished well if they'd sailed the right course while Dave gave a masterclass in singe-handing a club Dart 16 in the testing conditions.
A glorious warm, sunny, breezy day. The course was set for 3 anticlockwise laps of Fairway, Outer, Inner with a final port turn around Fairway. Conditions were pretty good with a steadily building F4-5 S veering SW, although it was heavy going at times on the upwind leg from Inner to Fairway. Three laps was hard-work but satisfying and the race time was within our usual target or 1.5 to 2 hours. Despite a slow start dealing with technical issues, Richard and Justin made short work moving up through the fleet and beating the other 2 F18s convincingly.
A good year for the Island Cup! A great turnout of 11 boats enjoyed a reasonably warm NE F4-5. The course was set for an anti-clockwise first leg along Hayling seafront around Fairway and West Pole and up Chichester Harbour to the bridge.
Paul and Charlie (Dart 18) got the best start but the downwind speed of the spinnaker boats helped them get to the turn around Fairway first and leave the flood tide in the channel holding the rest of the fleet back.