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New Solent island appears and is promptly claimed by two Clubs + Video

by Richard Newnham, Sail-World et al on 25 Mar 2011
One of the claimants on The Great Gurnard. The Needles at the western end of the Isle of Wight can be seen in the background . ..

Sail-World has received the following letter from the self-proclaimed Ambassador to The Great Gurnard, a new island in which appeared the Shingles Bank Archipelago, on 23 March, in the Solent, off the the Isle of Wight. It is apparently virgin territory for renowned yachting writer and sailor, Bob Fisher who is known to frequent the area.


Dear editor

I feel it is necessary to be clear that this new island, now the sovereign property of Gurnard Sailing Club, is not part of the Shingles Bank that Bob Fisher has been seen rubbing his bottom along. I attach above a photo of the ceremony which took place on the new island ,which now forms part of the Shingles Bank Archipelago.

I'm delighted to inform you the island has been named The Great Gurnard. You will be aware, no doubt, that we have already been recognised by President Sarkozy of France. (SW: Being recognised by Sarkozy's wife would be much more impressive, but we digress.)

Consideration was given by The Great Gurnard Government to a No-Fly Zone. It was decided however that providing Bob Fisher has not sprouted wings or managed to con someone out of a helicopter it will not be necessary.

There is a strong possibility that there are significant mineral rights attached to The Great Gurnard as there was a strong smell of gas noted by the Discovery Expedition when Scotty climbed out of his kayak.

In the short-term we plan to open a takeaway restaurant. We fear we may be overwhelmed by the demand in the Round The Island Race for bacon butties, prior to the first spinnaker hoist. We are currently talking to the Island Sailing Club about getting the bacon butties orders and costs included in the entry fee.

Initial plans for a multi-story car park have been scrapped due to some doubts on the business plan.

I hope this clears up any lingering doubts about the ownership from various would-be Dictators.

Signed: Richard Newnham – Ambassador to The Great Gurnard

Sail-World: From the http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12829630!following_report published on the BBC's website (former employer of the said Bob Fisher) it would seem that this new land mass is disputed territory - a matter which can only be sorted out by the International Sailing Federation. It is understood that the item is on the agenda for the ISAF's various meetings, and will be discussed after they have resolved the 2016 Olympic Events, which means that initial discussions won't take place until 2017 at the earliest :-)

To see a video of the party, by a rival claimant on The Great Gurnard http://www.waterlinemedia.com/blog/a-southern-expedition!click_here. A veritable feast was prepared ashore and a glass raised on what was a truly memorable evening.

From the BBC: A group of 12 Hampshire sailors has landed on a new 'island' in the Solent.

A combination of the lowest tides of the year and high pressure, exposed parts of the Shingles Bank on the western edge of the Needles Channel.

Normally underwater, the bank of pebbles was estimated to be 14ft (4.2m) above sea level at its highest point.

Royal Southern Yacht Club's Mike Jones said: 'We don't know anyone who has seen it so far out of the water in 20 years.'

The Shingles is a naturally-occuring, constantly shifting bank of pebbles which stretches for 3 miles (5km) on the opposite side of the Needles Channel from the famous lighthouse. A group was able to spend two hours on the island.

It is infamous among sailors, having been the cause of numerous navigational blunders and shipwrecks over the years.

(One group of) sailors landed on the one square mile (2.6 square km) area of the bank at 1612 GMT on Monday with three rigid inflatable boats.

For the full report and more photos http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12829630!click_here
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