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Alderney Racers

June 13, 2010

A host of Angels: Aboard 'Arc Angel' with 'Dutch Angel' sailing the Race

Just back from another splendid Spring Rally with HOEOCA. Beautiful boat, fabulous weather and a terrific crew! The pictures say it all. Everything came together to make a perfect cruise. We were really lucky to have Arc Angel again (thank you Jude), this time with the opportunity to put some mileage under her keel to the Channel Islands. Our Club Rally destination was the really lovely Braye Beach Hotel, Alderney for our Rally Dinner on Friday evening but not before we were presented with the chance for a few days cruising in true G&T weather.

Arc Angel (correct spelling after her builder) is a rather sleek Swedish built Arcona 400, chartered from Hamble Point Yacht Charters . She’s a real lady. Quite sporty, complete with carefully tuned racing sails and an asymmetric spinnaker, a real pleasure to sail due to her incredibly light helm. As you would expect from HPYC she’s presented to a high specification, complete with chart plotter and AIS making navigation easy and crossing the shipping lanes really quite fun (I shall blog about the gadgets later)!

Harup, Nina-F, HoT and MWith such a fine vessel it was natural to form a crew from our racing section. All had sailed together before and are capable of putting an Arcona 400 through her paces, whatever the weather. In the end, our only disappointment was lack of wind on the crossings, much of which was accompanied by the gentle purr of a 40 horse Volvo Penta engine. But we did get some fine light wind sailing in F3 max F4 during the trip with a most memorable sail between Sark and Alderney with the asymmetric – pushing 7 knots in 12 knots of wind, ea-sy!

My thanks to Mike-T and Nina-F for watch leading and to the rest of the crew, including our very own Belgian Angel @peter_v, all for being such amusing company.


We even had Peter understanding the irony and hidden depths of our English humour,  becoming quite practiced before Portsmouth! We ate aboard more than is usual for a rally, partly out of necessity whilst swinging on moorings (honest, we couldn’t get ashore) and partly due to a masterful stroke of over provisioning by Mike-T, HoT and M, requiring the need to consume vast quantities of alcoholic beverages in short bursts! Having done marriage, politics and religion on the November Rally, Hardup quickly moved us on to the meaning of life, the universe and everything but the crew continued to avoid ‘re-cycling’ as a topic of conversation! There you go Peter, that’s bathos for you…I think.

For the record, our itinerary took us from Hamble Point to Guernsey via West Solent and the Needles. Raided as party boat in St Peter Port on Wednesday evening followed by a night on a swinging mooring in Harve Gosselin, Sark, then onto Braye Harbour, Alderney via Gouliot Passage and The Swinge. Finally, back to Hamble via Bembridge Ledge Buoy, East Solent and Haslar for a short stay. Crew and yacht back in one piece, minus one fender again (whoops!). 227 nautical miles in total.

Yes, those shirts....Mike-T, @racesail, M and @peter_v

The Arc Angels extend our thanks and best wishes to the Commodore and Rear Commodore, Cruising for all the arrangements and organising another famous rally.

[HOEOCA offers low cost yachting for experienced sailors and beginners. Our yacht cruising programme includes the legendary November Rally, the Spring Rally and the curiously named Hot Hot Hot! Alternatively, blast the cobwebs and test your ollies with some lively, competitive Racesailing on the Solent near Portsmouth!

For the Racesailors, our next round-the cans Racesail Weekend is scheduled for 16-18 July 2010 and I need to know now if you want to join this – last call to get a third yacht on the water! £85 required, by end of June latest please. Alternatively we have a second Sunsail Regatta weekend scheduled for 15-17 October.  Contact details on the Racing Section page of website

New membership is welcome, including yacht owners and keen crew with a genuine interest in offshore yachting. Membership (+18 years) is just £27.50/year. See website for more details.

HOEOCA has an informal Social Evening on the first Tuesday every month at 9pm; adding Training and a monthly Speaker Night covering a range of sailing topics during the winter. Speaker nights are usually on third Thursday at 8pm. We are located at Berkswell and Balsall Common Sports Association Clubhouse, Meeting House Lane, Balsall Common, West Midlands, CV7 7GE, UK.]

Finally, just for HoT (Helen of Troy), here’s a video I took whilst in Braye Harbour 🙂

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