Page 6 - Yachter Autumn 2023
P. 6

                                 FOUR MEN IN A BOAT
The Royal Signals Yacht Club (RSYC) used to hold an annual Regatta at the Seaview Yacht Club racing in the Club’s Mermaid keelboats. The Regatta took place over 2 days with a formal dinner on the evening of the first day. One year, I decided that I would borrow a recently acquired, almost new, Saddler 34 called Quicksilver to show her off to the membership.
to shelter from the rain under the mainsail in the small open cockpit. Eventually it became light and the sun rose early – it was June - and we peered out. There was the promise of a fine day, the wind had dropped and the tide had slackened. So we got back into the dinghy and rowed the relatively short distance to Quicksilver where we retired to our bunks for an hour or two before the nanny boat arrived to take us ashore for day two’s racing.
To our great surprise everyone in the Club was aware of or evening’s predicament before we said anything. Indeed, the whole Army seemed to know. You could almost hear the sighs of disappointment from the promotion hopefuls as they realised we had emerged unscathed - if a little wiser.
Bill Roper
Rear Commodore Sailing
      Four of us, a major general and 3 colonels duly arrived at Seaview, where we moored Quicksilver on the Club’s deepwater mooring, went ashore in the Seaview nanny boat and took part in the day’s racing. Once racing was over we returned to Quicksilver and changed for dinner. The nanny boat again took us ashore, but because it was the Bosun’s last duty of the day we towed the rubber dinghy with us.
After a very pleasant evening we changed into more suitable gear and put on our oilskins because it was raining. We went down to the beach to launch and despite the rain there
seemed to be very little breeze. We duly set off with the major general in the bow, the 2 biggest colonels with an oar each rowing and me in
the back. After a promising start we began to realise that now we had left the shelter of the sea wall and the buildings in the village there was a fairly strong offshore breeze. It eventually became apparent that we were unable to make enough ground against the tide before the wind took us out into the Solent.
Fortunately, the general, a very experienced sailor, was able to grab a passing Mermaid and we scrambled onboard. There we hunkered down for a very uncomfortable few hours trying

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