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The CLASSIC CAR Rally Newport
16 – 18 September 2011

The weather forecasts for weekend issued during the early part of the week were very favourable. But as the days crept by the usual happened and high winds were predicted for Saturday and Sunday. Chaos reigned for the organisation side of things as the Vice-Commodore had to disappear to Ireland for family reasons. Hence the Commodore rang ourselves on Thursday whilst we were remonstrating with a Ryan representative about a delayed departure from Alicante airport. So we arrived home from holiday at 9.00 pm and were on our way out of Portsmouth Harbour the following morning, Friday, by 11.00am.

The wind was an easterly but predicted to veer to the west but we had a soldier’s wind to Cowes. Harlequin was coming from Chichester and did not quite make it to Cowes before the wind changed but still managed to make Newport. Jans Express also made it on the Friday from Hythe and so it made a useful advance party for drinks on Macoma before we disappeared our separate ways for dinner.

Saturday morning saw the wind building and also the number classic cars on the quay at Newport. Penlu was battling gusts of 34 knots in the Solent as the early arrivals took a stroll around a most impressive array of young and old motor cars. The quay was jam packed and overflowing towards the boat museum with very exotic petrol head machinery. Well worth a visit and coordinating next year’s PSSA Newport rally with the classic car show should be considered. Grace also joined us from Langstone.

Macoma laid on a drinks party with nibbles at 6.00 pm, our party of 9 managing to squeeze into the cockpit although we were worried that John Coyle might disappear over the transom. Grace was entertaining other guests but the others departed to the Wheatsheaf in the square at Newport for dinner. It was relatively early to bed as the tide dictated that several boats needed a dawn start the next day.

There had been much debate about the predicted wind strength on the Sunday and alternatives were being considered should it be unreasonable. However, come the day, the wind was not a problem and Harlequin reported back saying she had a good sail to Chichester with 15 knots of wind. Macoma stayed for an extra day and allowed the storm to pass through. The joys of being retired and not having to look after grandchildren!!

Phil & Carol Walden

Boats attending:

  • 27/114 Harlequin
  • 27/129 Jans Express
  • 275/11 Penlu
  • 275/56 Grace
  • O/C Macoma