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East/North Spring Rally 26-28th May 2017 held in Carlingford Marina

a report by John Bourke

Some twenty eight boats registered for the Event, thirteen from North of the Lough and fifteen from the South.  Berthed together they made a brave display, with all manner of burgees, battle flags and bunting flown.

The weather behaved in the standard Irish manner, with plenty of contrast to maintain interest. Friday brought blue skies and a lovely sailing breeze, mainly from the South East. Arrival at the entrance to the Lough needed favourable timing as a particularly strong Spring tide meant that sailing or motoring near the entrance at six knots through the water, produced little forward progress. However conditions were benign and tides turn.

The same tide brought further interest, as a keel depth of two metres meant that the entrance to the Marina was only accessible for two hours, at best, either side of low water.  Several boats had to stop and be patient.  One of these had other participants, recently arrived by car.  They borrowed a launch in which they transported refreshments and themselves, and a party ensued.  Eventually the boat could move in to the Marina, only to stick again just short of her allotted berth.  By that time the refreshments had run out.  However a number of kindly members were up to the task, and a system of ropes was devised to pass emergency supplies across the gap.  There was much light banter, which seemed to set the tone for the evening.

                                                           A rather damp fleet in the marina at Carlingford

Saturday was cloudy and rain was forecast. Most participants were able to walk down to Carlingford before the rain arrived. The village was as delightful as ever, thronged with people, ourselves, visitors from all corners, a wedding group and several Hen Parties.  The lucky ones were already in the pub or restaurant when the deluge arrived.  It was exceptionally heavy for some time, but it did pass and it was possible to walk back to the Marina in the dry.  That evening, following the Commodore’s Reception, some ninety people sat down to an Indian dinner.  Due to the unaccustomed numbers, the main course did take time to arrive.  However for those who like Indian food, it was well worth the wait.

During the night the wind generously swung in to the North West, thus giving fine sailing conditions, yet again, for those heading south.  Not nearly so generous to those who had to go north.

Overall, it was a most enjoyable and successful event in splendid company.