Page 25 - Yachter Spring 2024
P. 25

                                 THE AXE ONE DESIGNS HEAD EAST TO THE BEAULIEU RIVER
The weather in September can be changeable, but surprisingly over the years, our Autumn visits to the Beaulieu River have generally coincided with reasonable conditions. This year was no exception, our mid-September visit just about managed to tag onto the tail end of a particularly warm and settled spell.
         Four of the Axe One Design fleet, Whimbrel, Gemini, Teal & Maflingo, made the journey east, joining up with Swallow & Gannet, which are based at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club – referred to as our Solent Division...
Once again, the RSYC made us most welcome, temporary moorings were made available to allow the dinghies to remain on the water for the weekend. Our support-ship Walkabout IV was conveniently moored alongside the RSYC Pontoon for the crew’s accommodation. The Club is located in a delightful spot at Gins, on the banks of the Beaulieu River; a mile or so downstream from the hustle & bustle of Buckler’s Hard. It resides at the end of a quiet country lane in
an envious position; having panoramic views over the river, which stretch out towards The Solent. Compared to the Axe, the Beaulieu River is quite extensive, and launching at the centrally based Gins, provides opportunities to sail both upstream towards Beaulieu Village and downstream towards The Solent.
Having launched the AODs on the Friday lunchtime tide, a gentle sail in warm sunny weather and a light south easterly, provided perfect conditions. Following our afternoon’s sail, the Commodore of Ashlett Sailing Club and owner of Gannet, invited the visitors
to their Lodge Lane garden for an excellent evening Barbeque. Only a mile or so from the River and surrounded by the New Forest, it provided a wonderfully secluded venue. The
residual warmth of the afternoon sunshine persisted well into the evening, sustained by copious amounts of “Ribena” and a glowing open fire. The ambience was only disturbed by owls and strange noises coming from the Forest, apparently amorous deer!
Next morning back on the Beaulieu, we were awoken by the call of curlews. Thankfully it dawned with light easterly winds, so nothing too strenuous regarding sailing, especially having enjoyed the previous evenings BBQ... Any after effects were soon dispelled with the
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