Alderney and final farewells

21 August 2018

An early start again for the boats on Thursday morning, to ensure they had plenty on time to get to the Alderney Race on time. With the wind forecast to turn to the West we again saw the downwind sails being hoisted in preparation. The boats all motor sailed along the coast of Jersey, before rounding Corabine point. They all enjoyed a great, if not very wet, days sailing with F3-4 South to South Westerly winds, some managed to fly their downwind sails, some with more luck than others. There were calls on the radio from Sun Kosi as they arrived at the race, to warn others behind of the tides sweeping them East towards France. This was useful information as the boats were having to aim at the West side of Alderney to make the East point.

As the boats arrived into Alderney it was a race to find a buoy as boats came streaming in the entrance behind them. Once moored up Fourforty contacted the boats and invited everyone to the first ARC Channel Islands Hotdog festival overlooking Braye Harbour. The participants were treated to the full American Hotdog experience with Mustard, Ketchup and onions! Everyone then reconvened at the Divers for a Sundowner and catch up about their day. There were some interesting stories shared of Alderney just appearing out of the gloom, Eclipse had a fantastic sail across with their Code 0 up for the trip. 

After a night sleep for most the crews gathered at Braye station ready for the trip up to Mannez Lighthouse on the train. It gave them the opportunity to see Alderney race in the beautiful sunshine and work out which overfalls they managed to miss and which they sailed straight through! Charles and Linda from Sun Kosi then joined the yellow shirts for a walking tour of the Island, following the coastal path up to the bunker and then onto the swinge, before heading back round the west coast to Braye. Others spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine visiting the beach, whilst some hired bikes and cycled around the island, getting to know the locals.

The day was rounded off with an informal Skippers' briefing, giving skippers and crew the opportunity to chat to Roger individually about their passage home. They were then treated to a fantastic dinner from Alderney Sailing Club with sausage and ribs, reared and made on the Commodore pig farm. This was followed by the End of Rally Prizegiving. Sally from World Cruising Club started by thanking Alderney Sailing club for their hospitality and the Commodore for her delicious food, she then thanked Roger, Hamble School of Yachting and Phil for their help and support during the rally. Prizes were then awarded for the best photo submission (won by Martjn on Eclipse), best joke of the day and boat log, widest array of salty sea tales, then there were two special prizes, the first went to James and Helen on Moonshadow. They took part in the first Channel Islands Rally, however Helen did not take part on all legs. This year, she has overcome her fears and sea sickness and sailed on every leg of the rally. Whilst some may have been more enjoyable than others for her, you can see the difference in her confidence when talking to her about every leg, good or bad.

The last prize awarded was for Spirit of the Rally, this is awarded to a person or crew who go out of their way to help others. This year it went to Howard, Paul and Ian on Fourforty for going out of their way to ensure everyone had a fantastic rally. A few examples are, turning up to the Mackerel pate sundowner in seasickness glasses, to show those who had suffered how they may help, contributing a vast quantity of Jokes to the ‘Joke of the Day’ competition, organising the first ARC Channel Islands Hot Dog Festival on Alderney, and lastly for videoing the rally, to make a short video on their experiences. 

With the prizegiving rounded off, Sally thanked everyone for a brilliant rally wished everyone fair winds and a safe sail back to their home port, or other destinations the following day.