Autumn Excuse Report


A wide variety of members’ yachts entered into the annual “Autumn Excuse”. The successful format that entails the shooting and golfing members meeting up with the sailors at the Royal Solent Yacht Club for a dinner on Saturday evening was unchanged.

However for Friday night, as a change, the evening was held at Shepards Wharf with an informal supper for 30 members at Amabi, the on-site Catalonian themed restaurant. This was deemed a success and the format will be repeated for the Cumberland Regatta in the summer where the newly converted Sugar Store will be used with the catering provided by Amabi.

On Saturday the CSO set a start line off Cowes with a beat up to the mouth of Southampton water and then a reach to Yarmouth. Seven yachts, ranging from Peter and Midge Bainbridge’s 32 ft Rustler Whisper up to Brian Smullen’s McGruer designed Ketch Cuilaun, made it to the start line in fine Autumn conditions with a flat sea and a 10-12 knot breeze. As usual this was quite contrary to the forecast which threatened 30 knot gusts!

There were a number of newcomers to the event such as Nicholas and Maria Wrigley’s new 46 foot Azuree Tazkeena IV and Tim Fook’s new Nauticat Gryphon. It is true to say that whether you are new to this event or a regular the Bramble Bank is still there to catch out the unwary!

It was a great day’s sailing with John and Margaret Young’s Crackertoo setting a fine pace with a perfectly timed start. However Cuilaun soon took the lead and led all the way until the final reaching leg where Tazkeena IV really showed how a modern cruiser with a sizeable asymmetric can stretch her legs. Up to that point the racing was neck and neck with Whisper, Gryphon and Kirima, belonging to Richard and Claudia Hill, also vying for the lead.

At the end three yachts, Gryphon, Kirima and Whisper, finished within two minutes behind Tazkeena IV who won line honours and Cuilaun who was second over the finish line.

Once Cumberland Numbers were applied Tim Fooks’ Gryphon emerged as the overall winner by under one minute on corrected time over the Bainbridge’s Whisper to win the Royal Temple YC Seymour King Trophy along with an invitation for two to the Cruising Dinner on 24th November.