The SWOG was originally a cruiser racing series aimed at those who were looking for longer passage races, but over the course of time it had rather faded away. But it’s now back for its tenth year in its modern format as a mainly cruising event with greater emphasis on the casual cruising and social programme, than on gybe angles. It still includes the opportunity for racing if there are any takers! Now is the time!
The series includes destinations that are easily reached in a few hours, but also some up to 100nm away, to hopefully provide a mix of venues to suit the bigger boats but also to encourage the participation of the novice and smaller boats.
It’s not just for sailing boats either. Motor boats are more than welcome to come along and join in the fun.
The basic format for each weekend away is that on the previous Wednesday evening those interested meet at the Club to discuss the weekends plans. There are always lots of experienced sailors there who are only too happy to share pilotage and planning tips. Groups of boats often agree to lock out together and travel in company to the destination. On the Friday night any overnight racers set off followed by the day racers and cruising fleet on the Saturday morning. The plan is that everybody arrives at the chosen destination on the Saturday afternoon and meets up at the quayside for an informal gathering that will almost certainly include wine and cheese inspired snack product.
Everybody then returns to Cardiff on the Sunday, either racing or cruising. Often boats take the opportunity to take a couple of extra days and possibly set off a day ahead and come back on the Monday or Tuesday.
The exact destinations will be decided nearer the time when the forecast should be more accurate, but might well take in Bristol, Portishead, Padstow, Swansea and Tenby. Put the dates in your diary now!
The 2020 programme sees a repeat of the SWOG++. This is a two week cruise around the Bristol Channel from 11th to 26th July. Hopefully to the Scillies again. 2020 will also see the return of the SWOG+ . This will be an extended weekend to Padstow to take in the May Day celebrations. This will be from 29th April to 3rd May. Note bank Holiday Monday is VE day in 2020 on Friday 8th.
Hopefully we will be able to organise some ‘SWOG in a day’ trips to sail in company to for example Porlock, anchor off and take luncheon before heading back home. These could be arranged through WhatsApp at short notice and depending on the weather.
The dates for the traditional weekends away are;
16th - 17th May
13th - 14th June
27th - 28th June
15th - 16th August
29th - 30th August
For the modest fee of £15 it will be difficult to resist, I should have thought. You get free eventwear and the chance to buy extra and there will be more goodies as well! The series is suitable for pretty much anyone who wants to cruise in a bit of company under power or sail, or those who want either short day passage races or even longer races of 100 miles or so.
For the last couple of years the group has made extensive use of WhatsApp to share information, photographs of dolphins etc and this will continue in 2020. If you want more information about the event, would like to register an interest or to join the email and WhatsApp group then email to firstname.lastname@example.org.