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OGA60 fleet: Lowestoft to Ipswich

Still challenged by unfavourable winds and rain several of the RBC60 fleet decided to spend a few nights in Lowestoft to await a weather window for their passage to the River Orwell. One skipper commented: “Give yourselves a treat and stop at Lowestoft RNSYC Marina it has the best Club House ever full of some great Arts & Crafts design, predominantly CF Voysey, great staff, fantastic menu and real ales. I don’t want to leave!” The party in Ipswich was calling though and despite the weather, the fleet departed Lowestoft on Tuesday, heading south in what was to be quite a challenging passage. As they made their way up the River Orwell to Ipswich on Wednesday, they were joined by many more OGA boats arriving for the grand Jubilee Party.

‘Indian Runner’ noted, “Heading south from Lowestoft this morning. Over 20 knots of wind, 3 reefs in the main, staysail out, no jib. Force 7 forecast for tomorrow.” Bristol Pilot Cutter ‘Letty’ reported 10 knots with one reef in main, staysail and jib. Another boat leaving Lowestoft was ‘Susan J’: “We arrived off Felixstowe after a rapid motorsail in steep seas, wind over tide but averaged over 5 kts SOG. Then a gentle sail into the River Orwell. Eventually we were offered a serviceable mooring opposite Pin Mill for the night, ‘Barbarrosa’ and ‘Bonita’ are sensibly anchored.”

D and I have been waiting for several days for weather suitable to continue down to the Orwell and today it looked as good as it was likely to get for a while. Tomorrow is forecast to be worse. So we left Lowestoft in company with ‘Lahloo’, ‘Susan J’, ‘Moon River’ and ‘Indian Runner’ at about 5.45am. We had wind a bit south of west mostly around force 6. We had hoped for a slightly better wind but we were close hauled all day. The wind came with a very lumpy sea that washed the decks thoroughly and did its best to slow the boat down. The tide took us down nearly as far as Harwich, and a bit of tedious motorsailing into the wind got us into the river. We eventually picked up a mooring near Pin Mill. As always the Orwell is a lovely river, peaceful with wooded banks once you are past the hustle and bustle of the container port at Felixstowe. We saw several gaffers and other classic boats.

Mike Beckett, ‘Bonita’

The East Coast OGA Jubilee Party organisers spent Wednesday 2, August welcoming boats into the Beacon Marina, Ipswich. Boats gathering included 12 of the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise fleet still on passage south as well as local boats arriving by sea, three from the Solent and two from the Netherlands. A group of about 20 trailer sailors who have brought their boats from the UK and Netherlands by road were also gathering at Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington. To find out more about the OGA60 Jubilee Party, visit the OGA Eastcoaster website.