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OGA60 fleet: Cowes and Eastbourne

In this update we hear that two boats have completed their circumnavigation as well as the first boat travelling up from the Solent to join the OGA60 Jubilee Party on the River Orwell, 3 – 6 August.

Two members of the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise fleet have completed their circumnavigation. Having departed Cowes in early May, ‘Swift II’ and ‘Step Back in Time’ had to shelter in Dover before finishing in Cowes on 24 July. ‘Swift II’ was built in 1980, a classic Kim Holman/ Don Pye design Bermudan sloop rigged Twister with strip plank hull, teak on oak. Skipper for OGA60 Round Britain Cruise Nick Ward made some upgrades, including a new engine, in preparation for the cruise. Built by her owner, Tony Kiddle in 2011, ‘Step Back in Time’ is a 19’ Golant Gaffer, designed by Roger Dongray. Her hull construction is strip plank wood epoxy. She has sailed with the OGA in many events and participated in the Isle of Wight Round the Island Race. Skipper and crew for the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise are Tony & Sally Kiddle.

Having spent some time sheltering in Whitby and then Scarborough, ‘Step Back in Time’ made several long overnight passages to reach Dover, taking shelter there from storms forecast over the weekend. ‘Swift II’ had also been making good progress, sheltering in Dover before reaching Cowes.

“We left Scarborough around 06:15, Monday 17 July and had a good sailing breeze, managing to sail for 14 hours. As the sun set, the wind had died so we put the engine on. We continued motor sailing throughout the night and, just after dawn, we were off Great Yarmouth. There was no wind so throughout the day we were motoring against the tide, which had turned against us at Southwold. We finally arrived at Pennyhole Bay, off the River Orwell, Suffolk around 21:15 (Tuesday 18th) and anchored at Stone Point. The next day, we motored up to Titchmarsh Marina, but left around 22:00 returning to Stone Point so that we were ready for an early start at low water, Thursday 20 July. We left Stone Point anchorage at 07:00. There was no wind so we motored with the mainsail up. The tide was with us for most of the day and we arrived in Ramsgate at 16:45. Because the wind was due to increase, we decided to go to Dover instead of Eastbourne. We had a good north-westerly breeze and the sail took three hours, arriving just before 11:00 on Friday 21 July. We are staying here for the weekend as the forecast is not looking good!

Monday 24th July: As there was going to be a weather window, where the wind was predicted to become northerly, we set off at lunchtime for Cowes.The wind was still westerly when we set off and the sea state was rough with breaking waves. We didn’t manage to avoid the rain either so we were very, very wet! The wind finally eased around 13:30 and became more northerly, so we had a more pleasant sail, although the rain continued. The wind died during the evening, so we had to motor sail throughout the night. The rain finally stopped around 01:00. We arrived at Selsy Bill around 05:00 on a very dull morning and carried the ebb tide down to Cowes arriving at 08:50, completing our circumnavigation.”

Sally Kiddle, ‘Step Back in Time’

Several OGA boats will be sailing in the opposite direction, making passage from the Solent to join the OGA60 Jubilee Party on the River Orwell. The first of these, ‘Molly of Mylor’, departed Gosport this weekend. She’s a 26′ GRP gaff cutter designed by David Thomas and built by Cornish Crabbers at Rock, Cornwall, 2015, now based at Gosport. Her third owner and skipper for this adventure is Charles Erb. He amended the name to ‘Molly of Mylor’ to avoid confusion of two boats of the same type with the same name on the same stretch of water! Her previous two owners kept her in Mylor and Falmouth. Watch his video of the first leg of the passage to Suffolk.