Windy Weekend Waiting Game

20 August 2016

Dockside chat amongst the ARC Channel Islands fleet in Gosport has been about one thing above all others - the weather! As predicted, the vigorous low pressure system tracking over the British Isles has brought 35 knot winds through The Solent and English Channel today. Definitely not the weather for a comfortable Channel Crossing.

It was an easy decision to delay the departure of the rally to Cherbourg, to the whole-hearted agreement of all the crews, until the front has blown through. Now, with an extra day in harbour, skippers are studying every available source of weather forecasting, pondering when will be the best time to leave, and adjusting passage plans to suit. ‘When to go?’ is now the big question.

The weather front has moved more slowly than predicted. Residual winds on Sunday, plus expected 3m wave heights, mean that a start on Sunday has also been ruled out. Whilst some of the large boats would handle the conditions, the passage would be too hard for the majority of the fleet. So, it is now all set for an early departure on Monday morning. By then, seas in the Channel will have subsided, and winds of around 12-15 knots are forecast, making for a much more enjoyable passage.

Rally Control are busy reorganising the programme to accommodate the weather delay, and ensure that planned activities and docking are all running to the new schedule. Tonight’s extended programme in Gosport will include an impromptu drinks get together.

Windy Weekend