2021 Sail, race, train in our yachts. Enjoy!

This is our plan to go sailing for the year.

The Sailing Committee are pleased to announce the dates of club organised events to go sailing in 2021. Please read on for details of the:

Summer Cruise

This year we are staying in UK only because of the uncertainties about covid, governmental covid restrictions, lack of ferry booking options and the Brexit rules which will apply (and not all details are known yet, such as red diesel usage).

The planned 2021 Summer Cruise will be split into two parts: RelaX will go sailing to the West Country from Friday 9th July 2021 until Monday 30th August 2021. Quartette will go sailing to the East Coast from Friday 13th August to Sunday 12th September This will provide 11 weeks of cruising in total with opportunities to visit the Scilly Islands and the less busy but very attractive UK east coast.

See related post on the essential details.

Our favourite West country, a cruise in RelaX

Start FinishDaysDestination 
Thur 8th 1800hrsSat 17th July 1800hrs 9Plymouth
Sat 17th Jul 1800hrsSat 24th July 1800hrs 7Falmouth
Sat 24th July 1800hrs Sat 31st July 1800hrs 7Falmouth
Sat 31st July 1800hrs Sat 7th Aug 1800hrs 7Falmouth
Sat 7th Aug 1800hrs Sat 14th Aug 1800hrs 7Falmouth
Sat 14th Aug 1800hrs Sat 21st Aug 1800hrs 7Plymouth
Sat 21st Aug 1800hrsMon 30th Aug 1800hrs9Gosport

We are using RelaX after a potential Round the Island race, even though she is not quite as suitable for some of the creeks in the south west and it allows Quartette to go east later. There are 3 weekends and 2 weeks in August when we do not have a boat in the Solent after Quartette goes to the East coast. But August has been suprisingly less busy for PYC historically.

Inshore Skippers can be in charge for the weeks starting 17th July to 21st August, with a minimum of Coastal Skipper required for the delivery trips to Plymouth and Offshore Skipper to visit the Scillies.

Explore the east coast, a cruise in Quartette

Quartette is essential for the East coast because so many of the creeks and harbours are shallow and even then access can be on the higher part of the tide only.

Thur 12th Aug 1800hrs Sat 21st Aug 1800hrs9Orwell River
Sat 21st Aug 1800hrsSat 28th Aug 1800hrs7Orwell probably Levington
Sat 28th Aug 1800hrs Sat 4th Sept 1800hrs7Orwell probably Levington
Sat 4th Sept 1800hrsSun 13th Sept 1800hrs8Gosport

Sailing limits (subject to SC approval)

For inshore skippers, from the Blackwater to the river Ore, however a good week could be spent simply between the Walton Backwaters and Woodbridge (up the River Deben), and taking in the Rivers Stour and Orwell. https://hha.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/HHA-YACHTING-GUIDE-COMPOSITE-2020_FINAL-LOW.pdf will tell you a lot more.

Coastal skippers can do a more extensive cruise might be from Burnham-on-Crouch to Lowestoft or even as far as north as Wells-next-the-Sea. A trip up the tidal Thames to St Katherine’s in London is fascinating, and just needs submission of a passage plan to the Skipper officer for the upgrade.

Crossing the Thames estuary is an Offshore skipper passage because of the complexity. You may be 12+ miles offshore, but only in 4m of water with a drying bank alongside you. The Thames Estuary is basically many channels all funnelling into one river as it narrows by Sheerness, so the tidal set is fierce as you cross each channel. Between each channel is a sandbank, often drying or with little water. There are gaps in the sandbanks called gats, swashways, or spitways and at certain tidal states you can cross from one channel to the next. These sandbanks move with time, wind farms are another obstruction and the sea state due to bad weather can be worse because of the limited depth.

Skipper assessors and trainers may be on board some weeks and these could provide opportunities for upgrade passages and coaching for our less experienced skippers.

These pages will tell you more about part of this area https://hha.co.uk/visiting-the-haven/

Summer Cruise Bookings

Bookings will probably open in March, once the Covid situation and Government guidance are clearer. A Zoom breakout room will be available at the AGM in February.

Deposits have not yet been discussed by the SC.

Cost will be normal sailing fees (i.e. five summer weekdays and two summer weekend days, for all except the first and last legs) plus a small daily supplement towards the cost of charts.  Places are likely to be oversubscribed, so please remember before booking that  you will be liable for the full cost if you cancel with less than four weeks notice and your deposit will only be refunded if your cancelled place is filled by another member – or, of course, if the cruise is cancelled by the club.

More information will be published overall as plans firm up. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact Judith Hankey (cruising@phoenixyachtclub.co.uk)

Please refer to the Bookings Calendar to check crew already booked and the number of available berths remaining.

Racing Action

Sometimes a race becomes a competition to see who can keep moving with no wind!
Sometimes a race becomes a competition to see who can keep moving with no wind!

This year we have a change in focus for our race programme, as we will enter the Junior Offshore Group (JOG) rather than the RORC races. It would have been very difficult for us to satisfy the crew experience requirements for this year’s Fastnet Race and so we have decided not to enter it.

Despite the gloom, the JOG races provide a great experience, both for keen racers and those who have never raced before. Many of the races are actually two races over a weekend, with a night in harbour in between, so this allows us to enter (if necessary) with smaller crews and no need for overnight watches. There is also the Round the Island (both RelaX & Quartette), which is sure to book up quickly.

For those who have not raced before, PYC takes a relaxed approach to racing, with opportunities to take part in foredeck, cockpit, and helming.  We tailor our approach to racing to suit the needs of the individual crew member so if you are thinking of giving it a go then now is a good time to step forward.  It is a great way to learn new skills, or strengthen old ones, that you can apply to the rest of your sailing career.  We will be running some training weekends and you are encouraged to attend these before going on your first race.

For further information, please contact the Racing Officer racing@phoenixyachtclub.co.uk

Bookings will probably open in March, once the Covid situation and Government guidance are clearer.

To check availability of crew places or book your place, consult the Bookings Calendar or click on the links in the table.

Booking DatesRace Date  Race  Format & Distance
2nd – 4th July3rd JulyRound the Island Round the Isle of Wight 50nm (RelaX)
3rd – 5th Sept4-SeptCowes-Poole JOG (Inshore) 30 nm
4th – 5th Sept5-SeptPoole-CowesJOG (Inshore) 30nm
18th – 19th Sept18-SeptCowes-LymingtonJOG (Inshore) 30nm
18th – 19th Sept19-SeptLymington-Cowes JOG (Inshore 30nm

Training opportunities

Perfect your sail trimming…

In a normal year, as an RYA Recognised Training Centre we are able to provide the following practical courses to our members: Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Skipper and Preparatory courses for the RYA/MCA YachtmasterTM Exam.

In addition, we would normally provide a number of our own courses covering areas such as: Boat Handling, Spinnaker Training and Sail Trim.

A summary of the courses we will be offering in 2021 is shown below. For further information please contact Laurent Morlet our Skipper and Training Officer at training@phoenixyachtclub.co.uk.

8th – 9th June2Boat Handling (Quartette)
12th – 13th June2Boat Handling (Relax)
26th – 27th June2Boat Handling (Relax)
4 – 8 October 5Competent Crew/Day Skipper (Quartette)
23 – 24 October 2Competent Crew/Day Skipper (Quartette) – Part 1
25 – 27 October 3Competent Crew/Day Skipper (Quartette) – Part 2


We are asking for deposits to be paid to confirm your training place at a rate of £20 per day, so a 2 day course will require a deposit of £40 and a 5 day course will require £100 to confirm your place. If you cancel, this deposit will only be returned if your place is filled and more details are available in our booking terms and conditions.

If you wish to develop your skippering skills then do read our skipper manual and read this article for more information. Get to know our boats and practise all the skippering activities under the tutelage of the PYC skipper you are sailing with.

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