Whilst the racy crowd were belting round Gang Warily last sunday, we'd arranged a Solent cruise. It looked like it was going to be windy, and during the course of the day, it picked up - eventually getting towards a Sea State 4 with a 25-30mph wind directly on the bow for the last 6 mile leg.

Six Marlins turned up at the slipway at Hamble, myself, Nelson (and Mrs) Wood, Paul Sparrow, Dave Hall (with Del Smart in the back) and Peter Shergold with his brand new all-black craft. Trevor decided he would just have a play around near the slipway as he's still learning about his craft. Plan was that Rob Trussler and Russ Hudson, who were launching up at the Itchen river, were going to meet up with us - and we were going to head down to the Osborne Arms pub before deciding on whether to cross to the Isle of Wight.

In the event, Rob & Ross got held up so the Hamble crew got thirsty and headed for the pub. We Met up with the Campbells who couldn't make the cruise - but joined us for a pint, then decided that the Isle of Wight was on and pointed the craft at Ryde Church spire.

As you may have heard, Peter Shergold then had a drama! With a badly-stowed spare skirt segment wrapped around the broken stubs of his fan assembly, he was taking no further part in the cruise and he had to be recovered to Lee-on-Solent. When he was safely under tow, the rest of us pressed on across a bumpy Solent to Fishbourne, where we found a superb little pub with live music and great chips!

The ride back was pretty wild at times, there were about a billion or so kite surfers to avoid and winds gusting to better than 30 mph made for an exciting ride amongst the metre high waves! But we all arrived back okay and get loaded up, eventually collecting a somewhat forelorn looking Pete from lee-on-solent. Back at the slip, we all agreed it had been atough but hugely enjoyable cruise and another stern test of the craft's ability!

We considered another run monday but the wind had increased once again... so it was time to open a beer and watch the racing.

All in all, a great weekend (unless you're Pete!) and proved that 'piggy backing' a Race Meeting is a pretty good idea if the locations right - and somethign we'll aim to do again in the future.

Video? Of course! Enjoy!