Just in from Lee Rolfe at LAR Watersports in West Sussex...
The challenge for the Team this year was planned with military precision (ha ha ) to sail from Bognor to Hayling as the weathermen predicted light NNE winds picking up to strong by mid-afternoon. The idea behind this decision was the tidal rip would take us in the direction we wanted to go, well at least up to Selsey Lifeboat Station by that time we hoped the wind would have picked up enough to enable us to sail on a close reach to Hayling in the offshore wind.
Fifteen guys originally were up for the challenge but due to the forecast only ten turned up. The first problem we had was at the start, the wind was so light, offshore and gusty, Rolly Rat & Stevie Alsorts couldn’t get off the beach.
Finally Rolly got going but unfortunately in the wrong direction, still at least he was out. Stevie on the other hand just could not get going, possibly due to the weight of his backpack which was full with food & drink, when I say food, not just one or two bananas but a whole bunch of bananas chocolate bars & more. One minute he was up, the next minute he was down , then he was up & then he was down.& so on (I think you know what I mean) He eventually came in at Aldwick 100 yards up & made the decision to call it a day as he realised he was slowing the team up.
The rest had made it to Pagham Spit where they waited for Rob Slob & myself, at this point Rolly made the decision to also call it a day. Now with eight left we continued on to East Beach Selsey ,this part of the sail was hard work, the wind had picked up & was cross shore so we had to sail out to sea & then back in, working our way down wind, my Fanatic Viper was a hand full with the dagger board so lose it kept dropping down, foot straps twisting & with my 6.4 sail I was getting some air time along with a few catapults , it wasn’t only me having a hard time as I noticed one or two others were also going over the handle bars. Eventually all eight arrived at East Beach in one piece. After a quick break to replenish our aching bodies with food & drink, a few minor adjustments on some of the kit we headed on to the Bill. Again this was hard going for Phil La Jip & My Self who were on the biggest kit , Tom The Gun, Phil La Plumus, Mike The Smurf, James Baby & Craig The Wee Man Drifter were looking at ease in the condition as they were on much smaller equipment. However as we rounded the Bill the wind dropped right off & the rip was going at a spectacular rate, now those on the small kit had to head further out to sea to find the wind line, some it has to be said went a little over the top here, The Smurf going that far out he could have called in for tea at The Nab Tower.
It was hard to keep an eye on every one as we parted company by some distance in the strong gusty wind, You could see some on the plan while others wallowed then they would be planning as the others hit a lull. From here on in it was a case of you’re on your own mate with a ten mile close reach into Hayling. This part for me seemed to go on for ever & trying to sail with my back foot in the back strap & front foot on the dagger board to keep it up, hands getting cold was not much fun I can tell you!! Still all eight arrived safely & Team Rider Matty May sailed out to greet us home.
The journey took around three & a half hours, lets hope next year the wind is from the south. A big well done to Rob Slob who organized a fun day for a good course.
So another great success for the boys from L.A.R, a big well done to every one who took part & a Big thank you to our Car Runners Hanna, Margaret & Sam. Unfortunately Sam came to a sticky end crashing his car. Not too sure how much money we have raised as a Team just yet but will keep you posted.