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  Breydon Regatta 2007 (2)

Breydon Regatta this year started no doubt, for some, with a completely familiar sight, or experience. Let me explain, for me it began with the newly serviced outboard on the club rescue boat dying a long, exasperated death. Now this isn’t an unfamiliar situation for me and an engine. Certainly the sight of my boat then being towed to an YSC event was thoroughly familiar! (My thanks to David and Roz Walker there for sterling salvage work… at such reasonable rates!!)

Saturday morning broke with the remnants of a vicious chilli inside me, combined with some IPA which meant the prospect of 190ft of mainsheet didn’t look too great. However, other obstacles were experienced by nearly all the competitors, ‘Wisp’ for example had a few thousand reef knots to tie; whereas ‘Big Dragonfly’ and others had to extract ourselves from the mud we’d been entrenched in for the past 14 hours. Duly after the normal hassles, buoys were laid, briefings were confusing, and moorings were slipped for the passage race to begin.

Lucky Breeze rescuing Grace rescuing the rescue boat!    (Image courtesy Gerald Wells)

I won’t bore everyone with a description of the racing, although it was very good, the brisk conditions perfectly suiting ‘Dragonfly’. Instead I will take the liberty to explain a seemingly parallel competition that took place during the race. Several YSC craft pitted a savage attack against the scenery, such is their wont. ‘Lucky Breeze’ succumbed early to the dastardly attack of a navigation post on the topping lift, and angered by such vicious behaviour our fine commodore brought the nearest field to quivering surrender as ‘The Only Girl’ assisted by a helpful gust squelched into the reeds, and was brought up all standing (n.b. new marina just 1 mile downstream of Reedham, reasonable mooring rates, apply to J. R…….) Landscape 1: YSC craft 1 (thus far).

Saturday night, complete with karaoke amused/distressed all, and Sunday arrived. Two races were the order of the day, almost ‘back to back’ so suitable post-race discussions could happen in the Fisherman’s Bar. By this point the wind had definitely increased, so it was with glee the battle ensign on ‘Big Dragonfly’ was hoisted. The first race really was quite hairy, with bow-waves breaking over our chainplates. These conditions meaning two things, some craft sensibly retired, and all mainsheet hands were extended (literally) by a little way. I will mention the thoroughly unreasonable demands placed upon such stalwart members of the crew…. ‘EASE… Back in… EASE…. Back in!.....EASE!’

In-between the races, most craft were successful in hooking either a navigation post, or a moored boat as we lurked like coiled springs waiting for the 10 minute gun (unsure of when it would actually fire).

The final race was completed in unseasonable sunshine, with a long course of reaches (on Saturday, the long beat to the up-river mark had quite filled Big Dragonfly’s quota for ‘pointless zigzagging’ I was informed). As perfectly organised, there was sufficient post-race drinki…. discussions, and bestowing of shiny trophies to please everyone, even the submariners of ‘Kingfisher’ were appeased by winning the Breydon Tankard. Overall everyone being very tired, but pleased with the weekends racing.

Before the Autumn Open at Cantley, does anyone with a smaller mainsail have an opening for a mainsheet hand?? Anyone?

Joe Farrow

last edited on:  08/12/2007 at 09:50   by: The Editor