Cruise to West Brittany June – July 2014

Thursday 12th June

Having raced La Nef IV in the HRSC Wednesday evening “A” series fully laden with all the cruising gear (we managed 3rd), Peter Slimming and I set sail for Weymouth at 08.20 on a bright sunny morning with just a little SW breeze. Sadly this meant motor sailing all the way to Weymouth. Although there was firing practise on the Lullworth range, this did not affect us at all since they were only firing 1.5 miles out to sea.

We arrived in Weymouth at 16.15 where a few more provisions were purchased. We chose the first night of our cruise to Brittany to eat on board.

Friday 13th June

Not withstanding the date, the day dawned bright and sunny yet again. Our destination was Dartmouth, so having fuelled up, we left at 08.45 in time for an early rounding of Portland Bill. With little or no wind again we motored on a flat sea along with several other boats. It was 14.30 before a decent breeze filled in. Everyone around cut their engines and the upwind race was on. Most boats we left far behind, but there was a Dutch boat about 45ft that seemed determined to not let us get in front. It was difficult with our old cruising sails but we finally did it. They tacked away in gentlemanly fashion and when we crossed again we had gained the advantage. After a glorious end to the day we docked in Kingswear marina at 17.30

Being so close to Capton, I made a call to my old friend Brian. It was decided that we should all lunch together the next day at a location of Brian and Sarah’s choice. That evening we dined at the Royal Dart Yacht Club.

Saturday 14th June / Sunday 15th June

Our next destination was to be L’Aber Wrac’h. Since we wished to arrive there in the daylight, with an 18 hour passage ahead of us, we decided to leave around 15.00 This gave us time to do a little more shopping and have a little rest before taking the ferry to Dartmouth to meet Brian and Sarah. They took us to a pub some little way away where we ate royally. Brian then got us back to Dartmouth in time for our 15.00 hrs departure.

To keep a relatively boring trip short, we motor sailed nearly all the way in a virtual flat sea. This seemed very strange at the time since the forecast told us to expect a F4-F5 NE. The only excitement we had during the clear moonlit night was dodging the various ships in the shipping lanes.

Just as it started to get light around 04.00 a sea mist formed leaving us with around 1.5 miles visibility. The last 30 miles or so were very slow since we had a very strong tide against us. The good thing, I guess, is that by the time we reached the Libenter buoy marking the entrance to L’Aber Wrac’h, the mist had all but cleared. As we turned into the river, all hell let loose. The forecasted F5 blew up. By the time we got to the marina entrance it was clear that it would not be easy and safe to get in, so we were forced against our better judgement to more against the wave break. The NE wind was on the port bow so pushing us on, but all was OK. Breathing a sigh of relief at having made the crossing in benign conditions, we ate a superb meal ashore.

Monday 16th June

We left L’Aber Wrac’h at 09.20 in order to take the last of the favourable tide down the Chenal de Four and then be carried on to Camaret.

It was obvious that the forecasted wind had arrived. It was blowing 16Kn+ in the river. In order to safely leave the quayside, we enlisted the help on the harbour launch to pull the bow out. From then on it was straightforward. Having left the river, the wind increased to 20Kn+ in the Chenal de Four, but with it behind us there was little problem. We had anticipated this an used the cautious approach on leaving the main securely stacked. The headsail was all we needed. Having reached the end of the chenal marked by the Vieux Moines, we had to harden up to a heading of 115 which gave us a close hauled situation. As an experiment we just sheeted in the headsail and she sailed like a dream even though by now it was blowing a steady 22Kn+. With a fortunate lift, we sailed straight into the bay, furled the headsail and entered the marina. I found just the berth which meant that we would once again have the wind on the port bow, but this time would be blown off, so no squashed fenders. I started to reverse in. Gave a stern mooring line to a waiting Dutchman who duly cleated it. A strong gust came, the bow swung out and before we knew it we were parked on the inner pontoon at right angles to what we needed. Having taken a deep breath, we enlisted the help of the 2 Dutchman on the boat next to where we wished to be (for the record an X-442). Between us all, we managed to haul the boat round to its rightful position. That afternoon and evening, the wind howled, reaching 35Kn at times and never less than 24Kn

Tuesday 17th June

With a continued forecast of very strong NE winds, we decided, with most others to stay put. This gave us a chance to stock up with more provisions and try to fill the tank with diesel. We emptied the final red diesel from the spare can into the tank and then took the 3 empty cans round to the self service pump. Having done the necessary with my credit card, I put the filler pistol in the first can an pulled the trigger. Immediately diesel fuel came pouring out of the pump body, but not into the can. There was a massive leak. Fortunately, Peter had the presence of mind to put the pistol back on the pump. This cut the fuel supply. The machine then presented me with a bill for 17 Euros. I was not amused. I went straight to the Capitainnerie and told the girl what had happened. “Oh yes” she said, “it did that last week. Give me the bill and I will reimburse you” This done she called her boss who promised to deal with the situation. Later that day, repairs seem to have been made, so we had another go at filling the cans. This time we had more success.

Wednesday 18th June

The forecast being somewhat lighter, we left Camaret at 05.00, just as it was starting to get light. This allowed us to safely negotiate the short cut through a gap in the rocks. We needed to transit the Raz around 09.00 when it would be slack water. In the end, with a light 8 Kn wind behind us and the engine running we got there a bit early, so slowed down. This gave the chance for a beautiful wooden German boat to catch us. He followed just behind as we transited the Raz. The wind had increased to 12 – 15 Kn and with a reek in the main we had a superb champagne reach to the Point de Penmarc’h on our way to Loc Tudy. Our German friend’s boat was so much quicker. He was a real gentleman and passed us to leeward before correcting his course. 20 miles later his 13m flush decked boat was 2 miles ahead! We should perhaps have used a full main!

Heading up to round the pointe and go on to Loc Tudy, the wind dropped and the tide became a hindrance so the last 15 miles to our stop was run under engine yet again. We cut through the shallows as much as we dared, finally arriving about 2 minuted ahead of the German! We exchanged compliments on our boats and greetings as best we could since they spoke little English.

The 55 mile journey had taken us the best part of 10 hours.

Thursday 19th June

We left Loc Tudy in a clear blue sky and with an almost imperceptible NE wind which meant we had to motor sail all the way to Groix, 30 miles away. The only real excitement was to see a school of dolphins play around the boat for a while. We tied up to a visitors buoy at 15.00 and took it easy.

Friday 20th June

Having arrived in Groix when a slight sea breeze had clocked the gradient wind round to SW making the harbour very protected, during the night, the wind rotated back to NE making it very lumpy in the harbour. This was all the more galling for us, since they put us between 2 huge rusty iron buoys that were too close together. There was a lot of snatching and banging during the night, making for a troubled sleep. Various black marks now need to be polished from the transom.

As we made to leave, the ferry chose to arrive, holding us back for a couple of minutes. Finally leaving the harbour, we saw a Pogo 8.50 that had been alongside us over night. It looked like the race was on again. With 10Kn NE we seemed very much matched. Any more wind and we pulled away, any less, he caught us. This continued until the wind died. We started the engine earlier than him and never saw him again. Later, the wind filled in again,so the engine was cut once again and we had a glorious sail as far as Basse Cariou at the tip of the Quiberon peninsula. During this part of the trip, once again a couple of dolphins came to see us. From there it was just a motoring exercise as far as our destination, Crouesty. We tied up in a very hot marina at 14.15. One more journey left to make to get to Vannes.

Saturday 21st June 

Once again the day dawned hot and sunny with not a cloud in the sky. However there was a bit of a breeze blowing. About 15+ Kn as usual for this trip, from the NE. We topped up the water tank and then shortly before 09.30 motored across to the fuel dock and filled up with 41l of diesel. Once completed we set off for the famous Golfe du Morbihan with final destination Vannes. Since we had set off early, we elected to take a more scenic route around the islands. This proved very pleasant, especially since it meant we cleared away from a 50ft catamaran who seemed determined to cause us to change direction every 5 minutes.

Finally getting back to the main channel to Vannes we met up with a number of other boats all heading for the same destination. All very inconvenient since it was at this point we had to make a detour round a fleet of racing catamarans. As time went on, we went slower and slower so as not to arrive at the road bridge halting our passage too early. It was due to open at 12.30. As we arrived, there were signs of activity. The boats leaving Vannes had to pass through first and then it was our turn. In hot sun, we finally tied up alongside another UK boat in front of the Capitainnerie, goal achieved.

 

After lunch, I went to the railway station to pick up a hire car with which to take Peter to Nantes airport tomorrow and collect Wendy.

 

- John Noe

AGM and Laying Up Luncheon

 

Following the success and popularity of last year’s event, the Annual General Meeting, Laying Up Luncheon and Prize Giving will again be held at The Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Ocean Village on Sunday 2 November 2014.

The Royal Southampton Yacht Club is one of the most active and dynamic royal yacht clubs in the South of England with a long and proud history, receiving its Royal Charter in 1875.

The AGM will start at 11.30 prompt in The Trafalgar Room. The buffet roast luncheon (12.00 for 12.30 hours) will be in the Clubhouse Lounge adjacent to the bar with its panoramic views of the marina. Prize giving will follow the luncheon.

 

The John Lewis department store at the WestQuay shopping centre also proved to be very popular last year!

Late Summer Rally – Royal Solent Yacht Club, Yarmouth

Saturday/Sunday – 27/28 September 2014

We are delighted to announce that this year’s rally will be to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

We are currently discussing evening dining arrangements with the Royal Solent Yacht Club for Saturday evening, 27 September 2014.  The Club, which is located on the seafront next to Yarmouth Pier, enjoys unrivalled views of the Western Solent.

The Club was formed in the summer of 1878 by a dozen of well-connected enthusiasts “to promote both their passion for yachting and the social graces surrounding it”.

Berths in Yarmouth Harbour have been reserved for Members yachts on Saturday night.

Members who are unable to sail to Yarmouth are encouraged to come by ferry as the Ferry Terminal is adjacent to the Clubhouse.

The evening will be informal and members are encouraged to bring families and friends for what is intended to be a relaxing and social event.

The provisional programme for the evening is –

 

  • 18.30   Drinks reception
  • 19.25   Call for Dinner
  • 19.30   Dinner
  • 22.00   Close

 

The dinner menu is under discussion, but is likely to be in the order of £30.00/person. There will be a cash bar for all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

 

Once the details of the evening have been finalised, a booking form will be sent to all members.

 

In the meantime, to help with the organisation of the event, it would greatly assist if you could let the Treasurer know whether you are likely to attend and the approximate number of attendees.   John Noe – treasurer@x-yachtsowners.co.uk

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XYOA Photography Competition

Congratulations! to Bill Lowe, this years winner by unanimous vote of the XYOA photography competition. The winning photo below is a great shot of an Xc45 sitting arrestingly at harbour whose mast is second only to the church spire in the town’s skyline.

 

We will be running the competition again this year, and look forward to seeing photos from your seasons sailing and whether you can top Bill’s terrific shot.

 

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The runners up:

 

Bill Lowe08  SONY DSCbill lowe 01 Bill Lowe 04 Bill Lowe 06 Bill Lowe 07 Bill Lowe 09 sarah bailey 1 sarah bailey 2 sarah bailey 4

Fitting Out Supper 2014

Another fantastic evening was had by all, technical problems aside, at this years Fitting Out Supper held at the historic Naval Club in Mayfair. The catering, venue and atmosphere were all top class as was the marvellous speech given by Peter Cockroft. The slides from Peter’s presentation will be posted on the website later today as will the entries for this years photography competition. Congratulations also to Bill Lowe this years winner of the photography competition, and we hope to see all of your photos in time for next years supper.

Thankyou all for coming, we hope you had a great evening and we wish you all a successful years sailing. IMG_3587 IMG_3588 IMG_3584 IMG_3585 IMG_3590 IMG_3591 IMG_3593 IMG_3594

 

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Fitting Out Dinner

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Fitting Out Dinner  -  Friday 28 March 2014

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We are delighted that Peter Cockroft will be our guest speaker at the X-Yachts Owners Association (XYOA) Fitting Out Dinner on Friday 28 March 2014 due to be held at The Naval Club, 38 Hill Street, Mayfair, W1J 5NS.

Peter joined the BBC in 1991 as one of the presenters of the national weather forecast.  In 2002 he became the main weather presenter for BBC London News.  Peter made his last BBC London television broadcast on 27 December 2013.

Peter is a keen sailor and has competed in two Fastnet Races and has sailed across the Atlantic.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorlogical Society and a member of the Royal Television Society.  Peter has broadcast from the top of St Paul’s as well as the top of Nelson’s Column and so should keep us very well-entertained.

Complimentary pre-dinner drinks, courtesy of X-Yachts (GB), will be served in the ground floor bar, followed by dinner in the second floor Cunliffe-Owen Room.  Dinner including aperitif, three-course meal with wine and coffee will cost £50.00/head.  Dress code for gentlemen is jacket and tie.

18.45 hours  Reception and pre-dinner drinks

19.30 hours  Three-course dinner followed by coffee and mints

21.00 hours  Announcements and introductions

21.15 hours  Guest speaker Peter Cockroft

21.45 hours  Questions/Cash Bar

22.15 hours  Close

For more information on the Location and the Menu options click the link below.

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When purchasing a ticket please download and fill in the form via the link below, and either pay online using paypal or send a cheque to the treasurer.

Booking Form

 

 

 

Sailing in Croatia

Sailing in Croatia

For centuries sailors have enjoyed sailing in the Adriatic, especially the East Coast, which has over a thousand beautiful islands. Warm balmy summers, crystal clear waters and little commercialisation make for an enjoyable and interesting place to both base a yacht and sail. English is widely spoken, especially by the young, and shops, markets and restaurants are very welcoming. Good meat dishes in restaurants are much cheaper than in the UK, but the excellent fish is similar to UK prices. Very drinkable ‘house’ wines cost about £10 a litre. Most restaurants offer a free liqueur at the end of the meal!

Apart from November, the weather is much drier than the UK and warm sailing can be enjoyed from April until October. Indeed, it is mild enough to sail all year, except that few facilities remain open in the winter months. Shorts and T-shirts are the normal sailing gear, with oilskins left to gather dust in the wet locker! In the season, several ‘budget’ airlines serve the country with a flying time of about two hours from the UK.

Tides are negligible, gales and storms are infrequent and there are regular Navtex and VHF broadcasts in English. Annual mooring costs are considerably cheaper than the UK, and generally the shore facilities are much better. “Boat boys” are ready and willing to assist with mooring in all marinas and ports. Croatia entered the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013 and since that date the formalities for an EU registered yacht entering and sailing in Croatia have been much simplified. The law no longer requires you to keep up-to-date crew lists, nor are you required to register with the police. All that is required, is that on entering Croatian waters you must head to the nearest official Port of Entry and purchase a Vignette, which permits sailing in territorial waters for one year. At the same time you pay for a lighthouse and safety fee. For a 50-foot yacht the total cost is about £350.

If you ever tire of sailing in Croatia, to the North there is Venice and Trieste to explore. Heading South, and after having visited the old walled city of Dubrovnik, there is beautiful Montenegro, unexplored Albania and historic Greece. The Italian coast is about 100 miles East should one wish to try some spaghetti! Buy a bimini and a passerelle, practise mooring stern-to-the-quay, buy sun-tan cream/sun hat and come sailing in Croatia!

Max Hubbard

Fitting Out Dinner

Friday 28 March 2014

We are delighted that The Naval Club, 38 Hill Street, Mayfair, will be our venue for the X-Yachts Owners Association (XYOA) Fitting Out Dinner on Friday 28 March 2014.

We are very pleased to have as our guest speaker Peter Cockroft, BBC London’s main weather presenter.  Peter is a keen sailor and has competed in two Fastnet Races and has sailed across the Atlantic.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorlogical Society and a member of the Royal Television Society.  Peter should keep us well-entertained.

The Naval Club’s home is a classic Grade II eighteenth century London town house.  One of the first occupants of the house was the Earl of Chatham, brother of William Pitt the Younger.  Complimentary pre-dinner drinks, courtesy of X-Yachts (GB), will be served in the ground floor bar, followed by dinner in the second floor Cunliffe-Owen Room.

18.45 hours  Reception and pre-dinner drinks

19.30 hours  Three-course dinner followed by coffee and mints

21.00 hours  Announcements and introductions

21.15 hours  Guest speaker Peter Cockroft

21.45 hours  Questions/Cash Bar

22.15 hours  Close

Dinner including aperitif, three course meal including wine and coffee will cost £50.00/person.  Dress code for gentlemen is jacket and tie.

The Club is located centrally between Underground Stations at Marble Arch, Bond Street, Hyde Park and Green Park.

The nearest car parks are at 5 Audley Square (W1K 1DS) and the underground car park in Park Lane (W1K 7TY), the latter is outside the London Congestion Zone.

Download the booking form below and you can either book and pay-on-line, or alternatively complete the booking form and sent it with a cheque to the Treasurer.

 download here

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards
 

X-Yachts and the ARC+

Congratulations to the owners and crew of X-Yachts’ LUV (X-482 GER), AronnaX (X-482 BEL) and Mathilde (X-442 DEN) who not only made it safely across the Atlantic with this years ARC+ fleet but made the trip in impeccable time. LUV, owned and sailed by Gitte and Per Jørgensen, arrived in Saint Lucia second only to the multihull Malisi, and were shortly followed by the other two finishing in the top five. All crews reported great sailing and the results have once again confirmed X-yachts to be comfortable and reliable without compromising on speed. The ARC is also a great opportunity for coastal cruisers to take it to the next level with a great community of sailors.

For more information, see the X-yachts website

http://www.x-yachts.com/news/xracing/3-x-yachts-first-over-the-line-in-the-arc?contentmap=444

Annual Cruising and Racing Awards 2014

Cruising Award

The Association will offer an annual trophy to the member who submits the most interesting log of a particular cruise untaken that year.

The cruise need not be long or undertaken in an exotic location. It can be a long weekend’s sail or a more extensive holiday cruise. The one essential element is that the sail was undertaken in an X-Yacht and that it was a minimum of three days. The log should explain why the cruise was special and worthy of an award. It should mention the skipper and crew, dates, the pre-planning, the weather and conditions encountered. It should also mention the ports and anchorages visited as well as the places of interest ashore that were visited. Readability and humour should be key elements. Photographs and or drawings to illustrate the log would be welcomed.

The log including photographs should not exceed four A4 pages (Font size 11) and should be submitted electronically to the Association by October 1st. The award will be given to the writer of the most interesting and entertaining log. The Association’s Committee will decide which log is worthy of the award. The trophy will be presented to the winner at the AGM and Laying Up Luncheon, which is normally held in November.

Racing Award

The Association encourages members to keep us informed as to their racing successes with their X-Yachts throughout the year.

As such, we would like members to submit to the Committee their racing successes as they happen, so that they can be published on the Association website. The results will be consolidated during the course of the season and the yacht considered to have been the most successful in the eyes of the committee will be awarded an annual trophy.

The award of the trophy will be based not only on the results, but many other factors such as the number of events that the yacht has competed in and their importance in the yachting calendar. Special consideration will be given to those yachts that have competed in the X-Yachts Solent Cup. This trophy will be presented to the winner at the AGM and Laying Up Luncheon, which is normally held in November.

X-Yachts Solent Cup 2014

We are happy to announce the forthcoming X-Yachts Solent Cup, which is set to be held at Cowes’ own Royal Yacht Squadron on the weekend of the 2-4 May 2014.

This is a fantastic event for all  X-Yachts, young and old, to show their prowess against one another on the incomprable waters of the Solent. We urge all members to get involved in this thoroughly enjoyable competition coupled wiith bountiful onshore entertainment.

For more information see the link below to the X-Yachts GB website:

http://www.x-yachtsgb.com/cups/solent-cups/solent-cup-2014-3?contentmap=11390

Winter Newsletter 2013

AGM and Laying Up Luncheon

The Annual General Meeting, Laying Up Luncheon and Prize Giving was held at The Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Ocean Village on Sunday 3 November 2013.

The AGM was successfully held in the Trafalgar Room, whilst the ladies enjoyed drinks in the comfortable Clubroom Bar.  The minutes of the AGM are being circulated to members, but it is worth recording the election of the new Communications Secretary, Lawrence Hodgkinson.

Lawrence was born in Blackpool, but moved South at a young age, where he attended St Johns College, Southsea.  He studied English Literature and Philosophy with Creative Writing at University, successfully graduating this year from the University of Reading.  Lawrence has been around boats for most of his life, starting with the family’s Flying 15 and later became a dinghy instructor at the young age of 15.  Since then, Lawrence has been racing Xcitable, a X-362 sport, on the Solent with reasonable success.  Currently he is working as a freelance content writer and also working towards completing a small creative writing publication.  The Committee warmly welcomes Lawrence and wishes him every success in his XYOA role.  We hope many of you will have an opportunity to meet with him at a future XYOA event.

Sadly due to the pressure of her company work, our previous Communications Secretary, Maggie Taylor, has had to retire.  The Association is deeply indebted to her for her work in establishing our excellent web site as well as many other communication and PR facilities.  We wish Maggie well in her business activities and hope to welcome her soon to an XYOA event.

The AGM was followed by an enjoyable and relaxing buffet luncheon.  All agreed that both the food and ambiance were to a very high standard.   Following the luncheon, The Challenge Solent Cup Trophy– Open Sports Class B – was presented to Peter Hodgkinson, Sarah Bailey and Lawrence Hodgkinson by the Chairman’s wife, Celia Hubbard.

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Friday 28 March 2014

Please make a note in your diaries for the first XYOA event of 2014 which will be a reception and formal dinner at the Naval Club in Mayfair on Friday 28th March 2014.   We hope to have a well-known personality as our guest speaker.

The Naval Club’s home is a Grade II listed London town house, built in the early eighteenth century as part of the exclusive Mayfair development.  One of the first occupants of the house was the Earl of Chatham, brother of William Pitt the Younger.

We will dine in the magnificent first floor Louis XVI style dining room.  In addition, members will be able to view the Club’s extensive collection of Naval paintings, books and memorabilia.

Give us your best shot !

Enter our photography competition – win a magnum of champagne and see your picture published 

Submit your best shots from the past season to enter the XYOA photography member competition.  We have two categories – one for racing and one for cruising. The winners will receive a magnum of champagne and all entries will appear on the website and be published in the XYOA Yearbook that is planned for next year.  It is expected that all pictures will be submitted electronically and they should be high resolution.

For your chance to win, please email photos as attachments to xyoa.photo.comp@gmail.com before the closing date: Friday 17th of January 2014