Belle Isle - Royal Lymington – 4th/5th June

Michael John Gifford - 30th May 2011

The trip to Royal Lymington Yacht Club is well worth it if for nothing else than the most amazing system for buying a Pay and Display ticket. I am not that good with technology so was a little concerned that I had to call a telephone number on my mobile to buy a ticket for the car-park. I was delighted however to find myself talking to a beautiful blonde girl called Sally who took a real interest in my plight and did everything she could to help me.

Once on the water, Lymington has everything the heart could desire. A cracking tide which races in both directions like a hare on speed, a wind that twists and turns like a dancer in the night, and weed that wraps its delicate arms around you like Steve Chatten after too many beers. The racecourse is the Western end of the Solent.

In fact the weed also provided much of the entertainment at last year’s event. In some venues only a few boats pick up a bit of weed during a race and it gently slows them down in the way a bouncy castle deflates if it has a puncture (i.e. they are still having fun but not getting quite as much boing). At Lymington it is more like somebody has shot the bouncy castle with a machine gun. People race around, then suddenly slow down before shooting off again. This in itself doesn’t provide the entertainment. What does, is the sight of Harry with his head underwater and arms flailing wildly whilst trying to get the weed off the rudder every 5 minutes.

To summarise, this is an interesting and challenging place to sail with a friendly club and plenty to keep you entertained. If you are paying for the car park, please pass on my love to Sally and let her know I will be back soon. For helms I would strongly recommend making a weedstick and or crews I would strongly recommend hiding the weedstick!

P.S. The event will comprise of 8 (yes 8!) races – 4 races on Saturday starting at 12:00 with a competitor briefing at 10:45, with another 4 races on Sunday starting at 10:00. Entry will be £25. For more information please see the Royal Lymington Yacht Club website: