With many choosing to stay at home this summer, two local families decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for fabulous adventure. NeilPryde Team Rider, Harry West along with his brother George and one other family had a vision of sailing nonstop around the Isle of Wight, a distance of more than 50 nautical miles, in their RS Feva dinghies. After much planning, the date was set for Sunday 9th August, weather permitting.
Monitoring the forecast during the week leading up to the 9th was nerve racking with the wind changing from too strong to too little, but luckily on the day before it all seemed to have settled on near perfect conditions. The alarms were set for an early start, waking at 4 am for a 5am launch, then heading up Lymington river and through the river gate at 5.25am in the pre sunrise light. The journey to the needles proved idyllic with a beautiful pink sunrise as both boats threaded through the Needles. The trip from the Needles of St Catherine’s Point was exhilarating with some fantastic winds, pushing the Fevas along at speeds of over 10 knots. This allowed them to round the point at only 8.24am, then on to Ventor by 9.07am.
Unfortunately, as the warmth of the sun came through the wind eased and the stretch passing Bembridge, Ryde and on to Cowes slowed with the sailors having to make best use of the tides when they could. As they rounded the headland Cowes the sea breeze kicked in and the 4 boys in their 2 RS Fevas started on the long and final stretch back home to Lymington crossing the river line at 5.59 pm. Harry found his Neil Pryde clothing extremely comfortable for the 13 hours that he was at the helm, being both flexible and warm. A huge thank you to the Royal Lymington yacht club, of which both families are members, for your support in the planning of the trip and Nick Eales of Sea start for your assurance of being there should we need you.