Great was the disappointment on Friday night when we heard that the Reedcutter had turned away 30 girls who wanted to hold their hen night, complete with karaoke, during our regatta. It would have added a certain interest to the proceedings, but in their absence we had to find our own entertainment.
The fun started on Saturday morning with an apparently gentle WSW breeze which would occasionally gust up into something rather stronger for several minutes, before dying away again. This caused two or three boats to put a reef in for the race and one particularly heavy blow during the race saw Anne reefing under way, and then later shaking it out again.
The course was set along the length of Cantley Reach, with turning buoys at each end. There was some confusion as to the correct way to take these marks, but despite this nine of the starters finished the race. The only casualty was TOG whose main began to unlace itself from the gaff, causing an early retirement. Dryad, meanwhile, romped away and caught up the first start boats by the time she finished, making her the winner.
A number of people ate in the pub that evening, enjoying very good meals and, as usual, some socialised afterwards until closing time. Much entertainment was caused when a bottle of creme de banana (yes, really) was spotted behind the bar and one of our committee members was even persuaded into trying it, at his own expense.
Sunday morning produced a light south westerly, meaning a tack against the tide. In addition, the top buoy was just below Langley Dyke in a slightly stronger tide where the trees from Langley Wood also gave a wind shadow. This meant the race was largely decided on how well boats were able to round this mark – a manoeuvre further complicated when the first start on their second lap caught up the third start on their first lap at the buoy, meaning six boats were battling to get round at once, with the added interest of a couple of hire cruisers too.
At least two people inadvertently carried the buoy away at different times, but eventually all nine boats finished, although TOG and Aelfleda took twice as long as most other boats to complete the course. Henrietta came out best, with Dryad being late on the start and struggling to round the buoy on their first lap. Some might say this was a deliberate ploy to avoid winning the picture for a second year running...
There was some debate as to whether there was enough wind to run the final race, but it was decided to give it a go on a much shortened course of a single lap, with the top buoy moved downstream to make it easier to round. However, after the briefing, but before the start, the wind backed round to the south east and freshened, turning the course into an easy reach in both directions. This meant the race only took 15 minutes, but it was such a pleasant sail that two or three boats went round the course again, just for the fun of it. One boat that did so was "Wispateer," this year’s successor to "Modwelody."
Anne also went round again, perhaps as a victory lap, having won this race and also the weekend. Although she tied on points with Henrietta, both boats having a first and a third, the "best last race" rule was applied to produce a clear winner. The Sunday morning race was also the first completed qualifying race for the Luna Barometer this year and both Sunday races carry points towards the club championship.
The club’s thanks, as always, go to the Reedcutter, who gave us their usual warm welcome and also laid on much enjoyed musical entertainment for Sunday lunchtime. The raffle, which as always was completely fair and unbiased, was won by the treasurer, Bob Soutar.
Saturday pm (Wells Tankard) 1. Dryad -
David Walker 2. Kingfisher - Chris Sales 3. Anne
- Kelvin Halifax 4. Puck - John Tunwell 5. Anna
- Bob Branscombe 6. Henrietta - Pete Charlton 7. Golden
Moon - Duncan Ellis 8. Aelfleda - Trevor
Potter 9. Wisp - Denis Kilner Ret: The Only
Girl - Joe Kilner
Sunday am (Langley Wherry Shield) 1. Henrietta
2. Puck 3. Anne 4. Wisp
5. Dryad 6. Kingfisher 7. Golden
Moon 8. Aelfleda 9. The Only Girl
Sunday pm (Elfin Trophy) 1. Anne
2. Kingfisher 3. Henrietta 4. Dryad
5. Puck 6. Wisp 7. Aelfleda
Overall (Sun Glory Memorial Trophy) 1. Anne
2. Henrietta 3. Kingfisher 4. Dryad
5. Puck 6. Wisp 7. Golden Moon
8. Aelfleda 9. The Only Girl
Photographs in the Gallery.
See here for the EDP report on the regatta