Cruising

Welcome to the Cruising Section of the RSYC. We offer events all year round, both local and distant, for a mixture of power and sail, great social gatherings plus the opportunity to enhance your skills. All members of all experience levels are very welcome to join in!

For all queries related to Cruising please contact cruising@rsyc.org.uk

Crew Register

Upcoming Events

2022 Events

Bembridge Rally 03 and 04 September

A perennial favourite. Come and join is at the newly refurbished Duver Marina on Saturday night. Depending on numbers, we may go to a local restaurant for dinner, or we may have a pot luck supper onboard. The tides are ideal for a leisurely  arrival on Saturday, and after a stroll or chill out, depart Sunday after lunch when the tide allows.

Laying Up Supper – 29 October

Our traditional end of season dinner. Meet old friends and make new friends whilst reliving your adventures and discussing your plans for winter and 2023. We will also be announcing the winners and runners up in the photo competition.

Newtown Creek Rally – 12 November

Come and join us for an autumn trip down the picturesque Newtown Creek, a stones throw from Beaulieu River. If the New Inn is open, we will have dinner ashore, before settling in to a quiet night and waking to the calls of the wild birdlife.

Rally Reports

2022

Royal Southampton YC and Rival Owners’ Association Rally to St Vaast

We were invited by the Captain of Cruising to re-initiate a rally to St Vaast after a couple of years of COVID enforced absence.  Mindful that we also needed to arrange a rally for the Rival Owners Association, our cheeky request to combine the two events was kindly accepted.

Aware that St Vaast was not a Port of Entry, but that advice from the Cruising Association (CA) suggested Normandy ports might show some flexibility, we contacted the Harbourmaster at St Vaast (who is also the CA HLR) for guidance.  He confirmed that it was possible to arrive directly in St Vaast from the UK, providing an emailed form had been submitted in advice to both the Police Aux Frontier (PAF) and the regional ports agency.  This made the event viable for those without the time to sail via a Port of Entry such as Cherbourg.

With a fair weather forecast, 3 RSYC and 4 ROA yachts (making 6 in total 😊) headed for St Vaast, 5 arriving on the Friday evening, in time to avail themselves of the extensive Saturday market and to explore this very pleasant port and the surrounding area.  A sunny evening and a Rival 41 foredeck provided good surroundings for pre-dinner drinks.  It also saw the arrival, just in time, of our 6th vessel, before we all headed to La Marina restaurant, where we had an enjoyable meal and managed to avoid the temptations of joining the locals in a 1980s karaoke night!

Sunday saw 1 boat depart back to the UK and the rest continue with the convivial gathering, comparing notes on each other’s boats, helping one another with maintenance and further explorations of the local area.  It was interesting to compare a 50 year old Rival 34 with a 4 year old RM 1070, but both designed to sail well and be efficient passagemakers! One boat stayed on Monday to explore the neighbouring island of Tatihou and its Vauban fort (by amphibious bus), whilst the remainder moved on, to either return to the UK or continue explorations in Normandy.  Monday morning also saw a visit by the PAF to the harbour office, to stamp passports as required.

We carried on, to Grandcamp-Maisy, Port en Bessin and Courseulles sur Mer, before returning to St Vaast and a subsequent swift passage back to Poole. 

This corner of France is as welcoming as ever, with fine restaurants, great sea food and pleasant sailing, and the new bureaucracy seems entirely manageable!  Of note, the CA is now reporting that the Brittany ports of St Cast and St Quay, whilst not formal Ports of Entry, are now offering similar arrangements, which might open up cruising options for the summer.  We look forward to returning to France this summer and hope to see other members over there!Copies of a selection of photos shown below – the file size for each is about 15MB, so if you can let me know which if any you would like at that quality, or if you want them at a lesser quality, please let me know.

Round The Island Rally

5 boats gathered in Yarmouth Friday afternoon (La Ina, Tri-Riba, Tap Dancer, Paddington IV & Harmoney). Tri-Riba very kindly hosted impromptu drinks, where the slightly dubious looking weather forecast was a key topic. With the wind forecasdt to pick up from “spot the puff” to “blowing old boots” we all agreed we were going to go via the central Solent. In the end, there was a decent breeze during the day and some good sailing around to Bembridge was had. The evening forecast was as promised although I did not see any flying Dubarry’s.

With HW in Bembridge being relatively early, it allowed some time to chill out, go for a walk, fill up empty water tanks after 3 weeks cruising,  or check out the upgraded facilities. David & Caroline very kindly hosted us onboard Harmoney for a pre-dinner drink. I was pleasantly surprised to get 12 of us down below. We then caught the Bembridge water taxi over to Haven YC for a wonderful meal. On our way to and from dinner we were reminded of how challenging Bembridge Harbour can be, with one crew spending the evening at quite an angle adjacent to the water taxi berth until the tide came back in around midnight.

La Ina had been cruising the west country for the previous 3 weeks and so this made a fitting end to 3 weeks away on the boat.

Flying Your RSYC Burgee and Ensign