Come and join us at the
16th Annual International Wayfarer Rally
Royal Victoria Y.C. at Fishbourne, Isle of Wight * July 24-31

The Rally will be based at the Royal Victoria Y.C. at Fishbourne, IOW. The Yacht Club is situated immediately adjacent to the Portsmouth - Fishbourne ferry terminal. Camping accommodation will be provided at the Yacht Club for overseas visitors, and at nearby (approx 1½ miles) Kite Hill Farm for UK participants. (Unfortunately neither site is able to accommodate the whole group, and this would appear to be the fairest method of distributing the group - the overseas visitors having had the considerable additional cost of getting to the UK initially). The Yacht Club will be used as our base for the morning briefing and preparation, as well as most of our evening activities, thereby allowing the opportunity for the group to spend most of the non-sailing time together.

Kite Hill Farm

To drive into the Yacht Club off the Fishbourne ferry, it is necessary to turn right, down a small lane immediately after driving past the entrance to the ferry car parking area - blink and you will miss the turning!

There is also a possibility of sailing across to Fishbourne from Calshot, leaving cars and/or trailers at the Calshot activity centre for the week (cost £60 for a week's membership - to book, phone Calshot 02380 892077). This opportunity will obviously depend on the weather - particularly for those for whom it is necessary to get back on a particular day - and limited to those who can either camp frugally and are able to pack all the kit they need for a week into their boat, or those who can sail the boat over single-handed whilst their crew uses the car (but without the additional cost of the trailer) to get the camping gear to the campsite.

Cost: Royal Victoria Y.C.: There is a fee of £17-50 per adult for the use of the facilities at the Yacht Club for the week. Kite Hill Farm: £5-50 per night, per adult, and £3 per child (5 to 15 yrs). Contact details: Tel - 01 983 882 543 or  A booking will need to be made directly with the site. Please mention that you are part of the Wayfarer sailing group, as they will allocate a particular area of the site for the group.

Wightlink Ferries: I am in the process of negotiating a reduction in the advertised price for both the Portsmouth/ Fishbourne and Lymington/Yarmouth ferries (the latter being more suitable for those attending from the Weymouth event - Portsmouth being best avoided if at all possible, particularly on a Saturday).

Rally Classification: The Rally has a 'Sea sailing' classification, defined as follows: Both helm and crew should be experienced in handling their boat in a strong breeze (Force 5+) and moderate to rough seas, and be competent and experienced in capsize recovery (including inversion), reefing afloat, and anchoring. They should be aware of tides, and able to use their own chart of the area for a passage plan. This grading is necessary due to the considerable number of boats likely to be sailing in the Solent prior to Cowes week, and particularly because we will be landing right beside the terminal for the Portsmouth/Fishbourne ferry, which will be in almost constant use. The helm's boat handling skills therefore need to be sufficiently competent to deal with these factors, and the situation is not suitable for novice or beginner level sailing.

Launching/Retrieval: Whilst the boats will initially be launched from the Yacht Club, John and Jenny, the sailing group leaders, have made arrangements with the owner of land immediately to the east of the ferry terminal to let us park the boats there overnight, since at the Club, boat parking space is limited, and retrieval near low water for a large group not straightforward. There is no road access to this land, so the boats will need to sail, motor, or row round from the Yacht Club. With the adjacent ferry terminal in virtually constant use, it will be important that participants wait for an incoming ferry to berth before leaving the Club slipway, since this will give them the maximum time in which to clear the area of water used by the ferry.

Organisation: There will be a briefing in the Royal Victoria clubhouse at 09.30 each morning, and the main group will set sail for the day's destination at 11.00. Others leaving after this time will be expected to sail in close groups of 2 or 3, and stop and assist anyone in that smaller group, should help be needed. I plan to stay ashore and act as 'beachmaster' and be in radio contact with the main group(s) - and the Coastguard - during the day's sail. Anyone without a VHF radio will need to carry a mobile phone in a waterproof pack to enable them to make contact with me should the need arise. Any problems or changes to scheduled plans need to be reported to me, in order to avoid the situation at the end of the day of my having to report a missing boat to the Coastguard, and only knowing its intended destination when it set off in the morning.

Program: It is expected that most participants/boats will arrive on the Saturday, or early Sunday. There will be no organised sailing on the Saturday, but people will obviously be welcome to go out for an individual short sail if they so wish. The first organised sail will be on the Sunday, and whilst a general daily sailing program through to the Friday will be organised by the rally group leaders - John Norman and Jenny Jeffs - each particular day's sail will be dependant on wind direction and weather conditions.

On Saturday, and most other evenings, there will be an informal social gathering in the large and comfortable lounge of the Royal Victoria Y.C. A more formal group meal will be organised at the Club on the Wednesday evening, with a final 'leaving meal and get-together' organised for the Friday.

Charts/Tides: It is recommended that UK participants obtain the Imray chart C15 - The Solent, (or C3 - The IOW). I can duplicate an A4 size chart for overseas participants to use, or will buy a chart for them should they wish me to do so. (I believe the cost is around £15).

A set of hourly tide flow diagrams will be pinned up in the Clubhouse where participants will be able to check the direction the tide will be flowing whilst they are out sailing during the day. It should be noted that the tide floods (increases in height) for 7 hours, and ebbs (drops in height) for 5 hours. It will therefore be important to return from sailing by mid-afternoon, particularly on the first Saturday and Sunday, or retrieving the boats could be difficult.

Equipment: It will be necessary to carry an anchor, chain and line; a towline; a paddle (or oars); and a VHF radio or mobile phone (in waterproof pack). It is virtually essential that it is possible to reef the mainsail, (the possible exception being racers who are used to handling the boat under full sail in strong wind conditions, or those who have a motor available for use after dropping their mainsail). An outboard motor is also recommended.

The boat should have been thoroughly checked to ensure it is seaworthy, particularly with regard to boat buoyancy. An informal check will be made to ensure that all buoyancy tank hatches are at least properly secured, though an actual buoyancy test certificate will not be requested. It is the participant's responsibility to ensure that their boat is fully seaworthy.

Additional clothing (plus food and water) must always be carried aboard in case it should be needed. Buoyancy aids should be worn at all times when on the water. All boats need to be fully covered by insurance for damage to other boats.

I will be pleased to deal with any further queries by phone or e-mail

Ralph Roberts W 9885  Tel: 01 508 538 522 or e-mail: