Cobnor June 2007

UK HBBR Southern regional rally at Cobnor, Chichester Harbour 23/24th June 2007

The weather forecast was dire, but no fewer than ten home-built boats (plus a couple of home-restored boats) came out anyway and were rewarded with a brisk couple of day’s sailing in Chichester harbour once the thunder and lightning show ended.

Two sailed in: Chris Waite’s self-designed and self-built ‘Tit Willow’ and Alastair Law’s Paradox ‘Little Jim’.  Phil Oxborrow brought his Selway Fisher Prospector ‘Tonawanda’ and his home restored Mirror dinghy. Gusty winds saw Chris Partridge’s Natzio Sandpiper ‘Nessy’ flying along, aided by a borrowed jib from Phil Oxborrow’s Mirror in the interest of scientific enquiry – would there be less leeway with the extra sail? The results appeared to suggest that more investigation was required.

The highlight of the weekend was a maiden voyage – Mike Wooldridge had courageously opted for the rally as his first sail of ‘Serenity’, a very nicely built Selway-Fisher Coble 15. Once the crew (family) were aboard, she rapidly disappeared in the direction of Bosham, a very impressive debut. The return, against wind and tide, was an excellent demonstration of just how good the new generation of electric outboards is. 

Graham Neil’s ‘Caitlin’ provided on opportunity for a rescue exercise by Chris Partridge in ‘Nessy’, Graham had developed too keen an interest in the East shore of the harbour and found the composition to be stickier than anticipated.  Chris Perkins eventually found the site and gave his Oughtred MacGregor canoe its first outing on the sea, in the process learning a bit about tidal currents and collision avoidance. The Nobes family came down for the afternoon and Lata skilfully piloted her own built Ranger 8 ‘Dunnock’ {subsequently firmly told that is not the canoes name} around ably demonstrating the adage that the smaller the boat the more fun to be had.

Later in the afternoon the sun came out and the gusty wind calmed a bit and Chris Partridge took his Wolstenholme Sprite out for a quick scull. As the tide ebbed the party adjourned to the campsite where the Wooldridge barbecue was brought into action and a pleasant evening was enjoyed by all.

Words by Chris Perkins & Chris Partridge

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