Whilst Tops'l members love to cruise and discover new sailing grounds further afield, the home waters of the Solent offer a fantastic sailing area with a variety of conditions to experience and sometimes challenges too. Within easy reach are pretty ports, anchorages and many modern marinas. A sail around the Isle of Wight can be exhilarating. Perfect for those busy members who can only fit in one or two days sailing at a time. Beyond the Solent, along the south coast, Studland Bay, Poole and Weymouth are within easy reach. The shores of northern France and Alderney are frequently visited by club members
With the introduction of Carina, our Southerly 110 we are able to explore the many creeks and shallower areas, tucked away in our home waters as well as those beyond the Solent.
Club organised sailing events, are popular throughout the season, held both at weekends and on mid week days when, wherever possible, two or more boats will sail in company. These are fun social sails and an excellent way for everyone to get to know one another. There is growing support for the occassional 'ladies only' events. Club sails usually take place in the Solent with a nightstop away from base, spent either on anchor, with supper cooked on board or on a berth at a handy marina with modern facilities and a choice of pubs nearby. There are several dedicated days for boat handling sessions with instruction and cross channel trips.
See Diary for dates..
The spirit of adventure with which the club began is still very much in evidence!
The Annual Club Cruise; for many members is the highlight of the season; an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of a busy life for a week or more. Members make bookings in blocks of a week or maybe two with usually a complete crew change; each crew either cruises in a set area or takes the boat further on. As well as providing sailing to suit everyone, each cruise is very much about teamwork with a great deal of planning and back-up provided. The adventurous may take part in the often more demanding delivery sectors which offer the chance to experience offshore conditions and balmy nights spent under starry skies (not always the case) whilst others prefer to cruise at their leisure enjoying the discovery of picturesque and sometimes history steeped areas.
In this way over the years, we have cruised, the inland waters of Holland, the west coast of Scotland, the Baltic, Norway, Sweden, Southern Ireland and the Scilly Isles. We sailed Innovator our Bavaria 41 (now replaced) to Palma and stayed there with a base for four years before continuing on to Athens for another year.Then in 2007 we cruised all the way home; a memorable six month journey with unforgettable cruising in Sicily, Sardinia, Spain and Brittany along the way. In 2010, our plans to cruise the Spanish Rias with Jocalia (HR36) were by popular demand extended to take in a visit to Lanzarote via Madeira. After a winter of sailing in the warmth and blue skies of Lanzarote we once again set sail for the Azores, Madeira, La Coruna and Port Solent. Quite an adventure!
Additionally,during most seasons someone will usually come up with the idea for a mini cruise, popular destinations are the Channel Islands, Scillies, West Country or Brittany. Organised along the same lines as the main cruise the duration will usually be for 6 to 8 weeks or even longer if interest keeps going. For those who have the time to spare there opportunities to sail in three different locations on our three different boats all in one season.
Wherever we cruise with Tops'l, we are on our own familiar boat, we know how she handles, know where everything is stored and how the systems work, it really does give that 'feeling of ownership'. .......Come and join us!