The second May cruising weekend kicked off with the Ray Perryman Memorial Race from Somerleyton to Beccles. The start was above the railway bridge, meaning a train timetable was useful in order to be able to get there promptly, although it helped that it was decided to have a free start, with boats being timed in as they crossed the line. Corsair was off first at 10.00.19, with four other boats close on her heels, as everyone tried to get as much advantage as possible from the last half of the flood tide.
Wisp took a sniff at the course with full sail, didnít like it much and popped in a reef before then starting a good ten minutes behind the rest. This did at least give her the advantage of sailing mostly in clear air, apart from two reaches just before Aldeby, which were spent in a tacking match with Lucky Breeze.
A freshening south easterly, which veered into the south as the morning progressed, meant that much of the course was a tack and the first five yachts quickly bunched up during the early reaches. However, Puck and Henrietta both managed to gain some advantage by pulling themselves free of the pack.
Corsair, in her first Yare Sailing Club race under new ownership, enjoyed a long tussle with Stella Genesta, both boats covering the course within 24 seconds of each other. Unsurprisingly, Henrietta was fastest over the water, finishing in just over two hours, but she was unable to save her time on Puck, who won by a couple of minutes on corrected time. Lucky Breeze came in third.
The fleet were then joined at Beccles by Melody and Inshallah, meaning that for once the yachts present outnumbered the motor boats very comfortably. Some chose to stay at the moorings and barbecue; others strolled into Beccles to sample the delights of the Bombay and the Bear and Bells.
On Sunday eight boats made the trip up to Geldeston for a pleasant lunchtime drink in the garden. An early arrival saw some poised outside the pub door, only to be startled at noon when it opened and a large black dog sprang out, barking. Naturally, this did not cause any amusement for anyone else.
The fleet split after lunch, with some going to Burgh St Peter and others back to Somerleyton. The entertainment in the Waveney Arms was provided by a quiz, in which we proved we donít watch the same sort of television as the rest of the world!
A kindly east wind on Monday enabled Stella, Puck and Wisp to enjoy a fine sail back to their respective moorings. For once, a late May bank holiday without torrential rain Ė could get used to that...
Boats came and went all weekend, but the following were present at various times:
Corsair, Henrietta, Inshallah, Lucky Breeze, Melody, Oceans Eleven, Puck, Seabird, Sloopy, Stella Genesta, Wisp plus, by road, crews from Dragonfly, Force Four and White Rose