Cherbourg-bound yachts windbound in Yarmouth

Leading the 2007 RYA Cruise is Windsinger, a Dufour 385 from Hamble School of Yachting, On board her are Les Parsons (66), Cruise Yachtmaster Instructor, Carol Paddison (34) RYA Cruising Officer, Helen Waterhouse (30) RYA Cruising Information Co-ordinator, and Yachting Monthly’s Photographer Graham Snook (32) who will be reporting the news from the fleet this week.

Yesterday 17 boats made it to Yarmouth for the start of the RYA Sail Cruise 2007. Two more yachts were expected, but with strong Westerlies on the preceding days, the yachts from the East coast only got as far as Brighton.

The cruise is designed to give a rally atmosphere while taking skippers and crews safely across the channel, many for the first time. The itinerary was to leave at 06:00 this morning for the crossing to Cherbourg, but with F7 gusts swiftly blowing the rain clouds over Solent this morning, it’s easy to see why the fleet is safely tucked in Harold Hayes Harbour pontoons, at Yarmouth Harbour.

With F8 forecast for the channel later today, the decision to postpone was made last night by Les, Cruise Yachtmaster Instructor. The skippers were told of the postponement in the pleasing surroundings of the Wheatsheaf, at last night’s skipper’s briefing. After the briefing the skippers were joined by their crews and a buffet dinner served, with a complimentary drink. Conversation continued until the bar closed, safe in the knowledge the yachts weren’t going anywhere the next day.

The forecast looks promising for a crossing tomorrow, that is of course if the current weather system blows over. If it does, and the 20 knots from the West arrives, we could have a cracking sail to France?Fingers crossed.