On the last night of the 2015 Solent rally we kicked about some ideas for 2016, and concluded that we would propose an event based at Poole instead. This would make an interesting change, while being close enough for those based in the Solent to sail to. I've sailed from Cowes to Poole comfortably in a day (and the reverse!).
I have not yet done any detailed research, but I understand that there are suitable launching facilities at Poole harbour, and there is plenty of marina space.
As for sailing, Weymouth and Portland to the West are reachable in a day, both have sister marinas to East Cowes & Haslar. There are also several sheltered bays along the coast useable for overnight anchorages, including Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, allowing for a more leisurely sail.
To the East of Poole is Christchurch, then the Western Solent including Alum Bay, Keyhaven, then on to Lymington and Yarmouth.
Poole harbour itself is a maze of myriad islands, offering sheltered exploring if the weather at sea is too harsh.
I suggest a week-long event again, covering two weekends, allowing people to join for a shorter time if they prefer.
Dates: 23 - 31 July, which I think is the first week of school holidays.
Let us know what you think, would you join this event? Any other suggestions?
Rick Jones (Treasurer) 1994 Mac 19 "White Lightning", Isle of Wight