The first boat to reach Cowes is the OGA President, Mike Beckett, skipper of ‘Bonita’, the oldest boat in the fleet celebrating her 135th anniversary this year. Having sailed overnight from Ramsgate on Monday she is berthed in Shepards Wharf awaiting the arrival of OGA60 fleet and local boats for the Cowes party weekend, 6 – 7 May.
“After leaving Ramsgate at 0400, Monday 1 May we thought it best to carry on and by 2300 we were off Beachy Head motoring against a light head wind. Part of the reason we carried on all night was the forecast promised an easterly breeze. Off Brighton we got a nice NE which shifted round to the east and blew all day. We got to Gosport by high water, 1030 . . . and had a fine sail to Cowes.”2 May log of ‘Bonita’
Leaving Eastbourne on Tuesday morning 2 May, ‘Cygnet of London’ and ‘Onward of Ito’ enjoyed an excellent sail past Beachy Head and the white chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters. There were even dolphins playing under the bowsprits off Brighton, and both boats spent the night in Gosport, to meet up with ‘Mutual Friend’, sailing to Gosport from Brighton on Tuesday. Having spent the night in Dover, ‘Lahloo’ let autohelm ‘George’ take over as they sailed downwind from Folkestone to stop overnight in Eastbourne, with the two Dutch boats ‘Recipe’ and ‘Hilda’.
On 2 May single-handed Round Britain Cruise skipper, Barbara Runnalls departed Weymouth and reported Portland Bill being calm as she passed at 0900 in ‘Moon River’. She’s now safely berthed in Dartmouth, ready to sail on west to reach Plymouth for the SW Gaffers party on 10 – 11 May. ‘Peggy’, also sailing west in the youngest boat of the fleet has reached Portland.