Summer is apparently here and Southsea has come alive! I was lucky enough to get out on a boat this last weekend for a little sail in the Solent and it was so good to be out on the water again, the breeze was warm, our feet were bare and morale was high. It feels like we can finally step out of hibernation and start enjoying our city. There are more runners, picnickers, people playing on the common, strolling along the seafront, buzzing around on the water. We are so fortunate to have this great seaside space to enjoy and having spent many day trips wishing I lived here, I’m looking forward to spending my first full summer here.
With the bandstand and all of the festivals on the common, we have a lot to enjoy this summer but we also have the sea and with a short hop to the Isle of Wight you can immerse yourself in one of the many sailing events happening this year.
This last weekend kicked off with the ’88th Round The Island Race’ which saw a spectacular, spinnaker start and despite light winds, it looked like everyone had a great day on the water. Next up is ‘Classic Yacht Week’ which runs 13th – 20th July with lots of social events organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron. For spectator viewing head to the coastal paths and beaches on the north shore of the Isle of Wight, the line starts and finishes in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron.
If you would like to participate in some racing then you still have time to enter a boat for Lendy Cowes Week. This year the regatta runs from the 10th to 17th August and always offers a fun, festival atmosphere for both participants and spectators. The main hub will be focused around Cowes Yacht Haven as well as the Parade, Shepards Marina and Northwood House. Again, there will be live music, food stalls, and bars to enjoy as well as the town itself which has a great variety of shops and eateries. There are hospitality packages available, giving you access to the calm of the marquee which offers great views of the racing as well as a champagne reception, 3-course luncheon, and an optional rib ride. Family day is the 11th of August when there will be dedicated family-friendly events as well as discounted family boat trips. If you want to get closer to the action, then there are several options for getting out on the water; the official spectator boat which is now available to pre-book or you can hire a spot on a rib. Prices start at £12.50 for an hour.
Sail GP will be running alongside Cowes week on the 10th/11h August. Here you can watch 6 National teams compete on identical F50 wing-sailed catamarans which skim the water on hydrofoils and reach speeds of up to 60mph. There is free entry into the race village at Egypt Point, Cowes, opening at 11am with racing beginning just after 3pm. There are also opportunities to get out on the water and watch the racing up close, contact Solent events and Marine events for more information. www.sailgp.com
Keen to get out on the water? Fancy trying an exciting sport or leisurely cruise? If you are interested in getting more involved in sailing generally then you live in the right place! There are so many clubs along the south coast that will enable you to get out on the water, whether that be in dinghies or larger yachts. Admittedly there are some clubs where you will need to be presented by an existing member but there are others that are open to all. Portchester Sailing Club is a family orientated club that is open to new members and runs family introduction days throughout the year. They have one coming up on the 14th September which is open to non-members and will introduce you to the club and their boats and hopefully get you out enjoying the water! If you would rather take a yacht charter, by power or sail and be a guest for the day then take a look at Marine Events, a Hampshire based charter company that offer charters for private day sails, corporate events, regattas and race days.
You can read more about my travel ideas and my Journal on my website here
By Natasha Moody
Photo Credit to Paul Wyeth