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  Survival of the fittest - Breydon Regatta 2008

The decision to reef on Saturday morning was an easy one – the only question was “How many?” Some, like Dryad, put a couple in, went out to test the conditions and put more in; others put up as little sail as possible and still found it too much. Some put one reef in and found it hard work and the fortunate few got the decision right. It was windy. Very windy.

Twelve yachts ventured out onto Breydon for the first race. Wisp tried a gybe and then a tack and decided the Berney Arms was a much more attractive place to be. Rogue got blown onto the mud opposite the start line, Beth started but then sailed onto the mud just before they reached the first mark, which at least answered the question in their minds as to whether they should retire or not. They sat and had a picnic instead. Anna also found it too much to cope with and retired shortly after rounding the first mark.

The other eight entries did complete the course, although it is a mystery to many as to how Kingfisher did so without breaking her gaff, which had a spectacular bend in it, not helped by the lacing coming undone as the race progressed. Having started in sunshine, as the race progressed the rain set in and this, coupled with a rise in the wind strength, undoubtedly accounted for the fact that only three boats chose to compete in the second race. Both were won by Mischief, with Honey coming in second each time.

The Fisherman’s Bar was a very welcome retreat from the weather and fifty members enjoyed a meal there. Some also enjoyed the singer with his guitar and backing tracks, prompting a certain amount of dancing as the evening progressed. At midnight, the wind was blowing even harder, but many took comfort in the fact that it was forecast to drop the next day.

In the event, the best you could say abut Sunday was that the sun shone all day. It was still extremely windy and, once the tide turned, quite rough on both Breydon and the Yare. An hour was allocated for competitors to choose their start time for the passage race and the five entrants spread themselves right across that range. Henrietta went first, at 11.45 and it was noticeable how much longer it took them to tack up Breydon to the confluence against the ebb compared with later starters who had the benefit of a slacker tide or the early flood.

Lucky Breeze had a problem with their jib furling gear and were so busy sorting it out that they inadvertently attempted to reach the Acle Straight by the direct route. Rebecca visited a mudbank halfway up the Yare, but still managed to record the fastest time to take the Greyhound Trophy. Honey found themselves unable to turn at the mark and went, in their own words, not so much aground as ashore, with the reeds around the shrouds and their forward progress only stopped by the keel hitting solid land. However, they continued the race with reduced sail, using a rather interesting combination of jib and partly raised topsail.

Their perseverance got them the Breydon Tankard as the only 15%+ handicap boat to complete two qualifying races. Dryad, who had a rather emotive time lowering the sails after their finish, were rewarded not only with the passage race trophy, but also the Breydon Barometer for the overall winner of the weekend. Rebecca completed their own double by winning the hamper in the raffle again.


Snipe Tankard (Saturday am)  1. Mischief - Steve Seeney   2. Honey - Dave Mackley   3. Dryad - David M. Walker   4. Rebecca - Philip Scott   5. Kingfisher - Chris Sales   6. Lucky Breeze - David (Reedham) Walker   7. Polywog - D. Hopwood   8. Henrietta - Pete Charlton   DNF - Beth - Glynn Howarth, Anna - Bob Branscombe   DNS - Rogue - Dave Smith, Wisp - Denis Kilner

Berney Arms Cup (Saturday pm)   1. Mischief   2. Honey   3. Rebecca

Breeze Yard of Ale (Saturday overall)   1. Mischief   2. Honey   3. Rebecca

Gerald Sambroke Sturgess Trophy (Passage Race)   1. Dryad   2. Rebecca   3. Honey   4. Henrietta   DNS - Lucky Breeze

Greyhound Trophy (fastest passage)   1. Rebecca   2. Dryad   3. Honey   4. Henrietta

Breydon Tankard (Overall - 15%+)   1. Honey

Breydon Barometer (Overall)   1. Dryad   2. Honey   3. Rebecca   4. Henrietta


last edited on:  12/08/2008 at 08:52   by: The Editor