A week before the Turkey Race the forecast was for rain and a 30mph wind. In the event, it was favoured with sunshine and a light north westerly breeze, although a little more strength in the wind would have been helpful for the two long tacking reaches against the strong ebb tide. With these conditions in mind, it was decided to set the four slower boats away first. Dave Smith, guesting on Golden Moon got the best start, but another guest helm, Mark Wells on White Rose, was close behind, with Valkyrie on their tail.
Dryad got an almost inch perfect start five minutes later, although Rebecca soon overhauled them. However, Dryad managed to get quickly through the first start boats and find clear air at the front of the fleet in the long and difficult tack above Chet Mouth. Rebecca and Nutcracker were not so fortunate, both being held up for a long time by Wisp, whom Rebecca had to pass twice following an unwanted manoeuvre to avoid another boat.
A slight freshening in the breeze provided some relief at times, but Dryad’s lead proved unassailable as she made the gybe turn in the Devil’s Round House Reach comfortably ahead of the second placed Rebecca. Even on the run and reach back to the Ferry on the tide, Rebecca’s superior speed was not enough to catch Dryad who finished nearly two minutes ahead of her. This translated into a very comfortable six and a half minute lead on corrected time.
Nutcracker finished another nine minutes behind and Wisp nearly five minutes later. Golden Moon was close enough behind White Rose to leapfrog her on handicap, but otherwise the fleet were placed in the order they finished, with Lucky Breeze valiantly persevering to complete the course, despite still struggling with the first tacking reach as other boats were coming back past them to the finish.
The prizegiving was followed by the raffle, as night follows day. Despite expectations, Rebecca did not win the hamper, although they did have a good run on the minor prizes. That honour went to Betty Charlton, perhaps as due reward for selling and folding all those tickets. Thanks go to David Archer and the Reedham Ferry Inn for an excellent meal and for permitting us to run our race from their moorings.
In this, the final report of the season, it is also appropriate to thank Terry Secker, Jean Vaughan and Chris and Léonie Dowsett for running so many of the club races this year in such an efficient and well organised manner.
1. Dryad (David M. Walker)
2. Rebecca (Philip Scott)
3. Nutcracker (Philip Leftley)
4. Wisp (Denis Kilner)
5. Golden Moon (David Smith)
6. White Rose (Mark Wells)
7. Valkyrie (Scott Bagshaw)
8. Lucky Breeze (David