We passed a restless night on the pontoon at Wootton Creek; with a strong breeze from the North creating a confused swell in the normally calm harbour. The boats had tossed crazily for most of the evening and it was not easy to go to sleep. However calm fell as the tide ebbed and the boats settled into the mud. By the time the incoming tide floated the fleet again, the wind had dropped and we were greeted by a much calmer morning.
Fortified by an excellent cooked breakfast provided by Royal Victoria Yacht Club, we left Wootton on the top of high water and aimed at first towards Portsmouth, which was a close fetch against the tide, with minimal avoidance of traffic needed, once we had moved out of the Wightlink ferry route.
Reaching the fort close to Southsea, we turned for “the dolphin”, which marks the passage through a long obstruction from the shore (a relic of previous defences from wartime submarine attack on Portsmouth). At this point, the fleet were well spread out, which became further exaggerated as the wind became lighter and more variable.
The first four boats then anchored at East Head to allow the children to swim and we had a cup of tea as we watched as the rest of the fleet arrive, one by one.
Arriving at Chichester marina, we then just had time for a brief ablution, before a meal and prize giving by Mike Brooke. A very pleasant end to a regatta, which has been highly successful despite some challenging weather conditions.