As last year, the Autumn Open was run in sunshine and light breezes, but this time conditions did allow all three races to be completed. On Saturday morning there wasn’t a breath of wind, but it filled in rather patchily in the afternoon and eleven yachts set out to see whether it was possible to tack up Cantley Reach against the tide. Some couldn’t. Kittiwake, who were unfortunately only able to race on Saturday, drifted back into the lee of the factory and were unable to extricate themselves. Shruff did not manage to attain the start either and Lucky Breeze retired.
The other eight completed the much shortened course of less than a full lap, gratified that the buoy was well below Langley Woods, but it was difficult when the breeze kept dying out. Melody gained several places on those around her when they dropped a weight during one lull, which gave them the pleasant illusion of moving forwards as all those around them drifted back. Breeze eventually won by a few seconds from Zephyr, with Melody coming in third.
Fortunately, Sunday morning was slightly breezier than the previous day and with a run on the up tide it was somewhat easier to get round. The course still had to be shortened from three laps to two, but all twelve yachts did finish. Many thought Breeze had won again, but in the event she was pushed into fourth place in a set of results that saw a mere 75 seconds covering the first seven places. Anne came out on top, followed by Brigand and the consistent Zephyr.
Although the tide had turned for the afternoon race, a stronger breeze meant that nine of the ten starters finished, despite some being trapped in the lee of the trees on the north bank. Lucky Breeze could not get through at all and retired, thereby missing the excitement at the top buoy. It was decided to set the fleet off in reverse, with the slower boats in the first start to give them a better chance of finishing, but this resulted in all except Insh’allah reaching the top mark at the same time! Just to add to the fun, Puck who was cruising down river, also arrived there with everyone else.
After this, the fleet stretched out, with Melody seeming particularly well suited to the conditions, but she could not beat Anne and came in 22 seconds behind her on corrected time, with Zephyr in third. At the other end of the results, Insh’allah, helmed by Bob Soutar, just managed to creep over the finish line before the cut off time.
The course at Cantley must suit Anne, as her two first places gave her the Nelson Trophy for overall winner, to go with the Sun Glory Memorial Trophy that she won at Cantley in July. They also managed to win a respectable portion of the raffle prizes, some of which had been donated by the Wolf Brewery of Attleborough. The brewery’s kind support of the regatta also meant the Reedcutter were able to sell their real ales for £2 a pint, which went down well in all senses!
Buckenham Trophy (Saturday afternoon)
1. Breeze - Henry Fillery 2. Zephyr -
George Williams 3. Melody - Mark Wells 4. Privateer
- Tim Child 5. Wisp - Chris Franks 6. Dryad
- David M. Walker 7. Anne - Kelvin Halifax 8. Insh'allah
- Gerald Wells Rtd. Lucky Breeze - David Walker
DNS Shruff - Simon Miles Kittiwake - Andrew
Commodore's Trophy (Sunday Morning)
1. Anne 2. Brigand - Colin
Brown 3. Zephyr 4. Breeze 5. Melody
6. Dryad 7. Privateer 8. Shruff
9. Wisp 10. Farthing - Mels Farrar 11.
Insh'allah - Bob Soutar 12. Lucky Breeze
Portaferry Sailing Club Shield (Sunday afternoon)
1. Anne 2. Melody 3.
Zephyr - R. Dugdale 4. Farthing 5. Brigand
6. Dryad 7. Wisp 8. Shruff - Ian
Bowmaker 9. Insh'allah Rtd. Lucky Breeze
Nelson Trophy (overall)
1. Anne 2. Breeze 3.
Melody 4. Zepyhr 5. Brigand
6. Privateer 7. Dryad 8. Wisp
9. Farthing 10. Shruff 11. Insh'allah
12. Lucky Breeze