Due to gusty winds the fleet divert to Oostende, instead of the planned french port od Dunkerque
Saturday 19th May
The End is nigh
At 0900 hrs the boats began departing Yacht Club Flandria. Calm Voyager was the first to leave, closely followed by Fairline Phantom 46 ‘Dragonfly’. Time Flies called out the boats one by one and was the last boat out. In between swing and lifting bridges the fleet encountered several large commercial barges.
As the fleet travelled down the canal the wind picked up. After several weather checks while travelling towards the sea lock, a decision was made not to make for Dunkerque, and divert to Oostende instead. Although it would have been a different port to visit, it was felt that the passage would have been uncomfortable, especially with a head sea. The fleet locked into the Demey Sluis early at 1400, and an hour later proceeded out into the busy ferry terminal of Oostende. In gusty winds the fleet were happily re-installed at RYCO. Later on the MBM team reported 32 knots of wind on the Sandettie bank in the channel.
Next week Yacht Club Flandria celebrates its 20th anniversary, they are expecting in the region of 50 boats.
Tomorrow the fleet depart for homeports, with the majority of the boats returning to Ramsgate, crossing the channel at Calais with Time Flies and Calm Voyager. Some boats are making their own passage back to East Coast ports direct from Oostende. The first boats are departing at 0730 hrs.