There was an excellent turn out of 15 yachts for this year’s Reedham Regatta. Unfortunately the light north westerly wind and strong ebb tide on Saturday afternoon meant conditions for the first race were somewhat less than excellent, with an uphill struggle to get to the mark below Cantley. Only Henrietta, Anne and Melody from the first start managed to handle the conditions well and these boats quickly broke away and in due course took the first three places.
The remainder of the first start were soon caught up by the second start and before we knew where we were, the third start were up with us all too. Some interesting fluky wind shifts meant the fleet then somehow got well shuffled, with Shruff from the third start popping out the front and Dryad and Anna from the first start ending up near the back. How did that happen, then?
It was quite a struggle to tack up to the mark, but a very heavy and prolonged rain shower brought some welcome wind. Henry then did his usual disappearing act on Breeze, slipping away in front, but Shruff couldn’t quite shake Wisp and Dryad and these three finished line abreast, despite beginning the race in three different starts. Jean, on the line, did well to maintain concentration and time them in, while behind her a major Alsation rescue was going on. Unfortunately, the breeze did not hold out for the back half of the fleet and they all had to retire due to being unable to complete the course.
Similar wind conditions prevailed on Sunday morning, but the race was carefully timed in the hope that boats would round the mark at slack water and therefore carry the tide both ways. The first start boats were able to do just that, but the slower boats in the second start had to fight a bit of tide for the last reach or so. However, at least everyone managed to finish within the cut off time. Melody, who reached the buoy exactly at slack water, took first place, followed by Anne and Breeze.
Many doubted the feasibility of an afternoon race, but fortunately a sea breeze filled in after lunch, meaning the course became a run and a reach against the tide to the buoy, before tacking and reaching back with the ebb. It was all much faster than either of the previous two races, but there was no change at the front of the fleet with Anne, Henrietta and Melody again making the best of the conditions and taking the first three places.
There was, of course, the usual raffle, but the barbecue was not missed, especially in view of the typical Reedham regatta Saturday evening weather of grey clouds and cool temperatures. The sun eventually came out on Sunday afternoon and by the time of the prize giving, it was actually rather pleasant. Anne and Henrietta finished the weekend on level points, having a first and second place each, with a somewhat bemused Kelvin being awarded the overall trophy on the “best last race” rule.
Saturday pm (Harriet of Reedham Trophy): 1. Henrietta
(Pete Charlton) 2. Anne (Kelvin Halifax) 3. Melody
(Mark Wells) 4. Breeze (Henry Fillery) 5. Puck (John
Tunwell) 6. Shruff (Simon Miles) 7. Wisp (Denis Kilner)
8. Dryad (David M. Walker) Retired : Anna, Insh'allah,
Lucky Breeze, Modwena, Nutcracker, Valkyrie, White Rose
Sunday am (Serenity Trophy) : 1. Melody
2. Anne 3. Breeze 4. Wisp 5. Puck (Andy Garnham)
6. Anna (Dianne Branscombe) 7. Henrietta 8. Nutcracker
(Philip Leftley) 9. Modwena (Mark Cassidy) 10. White Rose
Sunday pm (Silver Trophy) : 1. Anne 2.
Henrietta 3. Melody 4. Breeze 5. Puck (John Tunwell)
6. Modwena 7. White Rose (Chris Franks) 8. Lucky
Breeze (David "Reedham" Walker) 9. Wisp 10. Valkyrie
(Norman Bagshaw) 11. Anna (Bob Branscombe)
Overall (Reedham Open Trophy) : 1. Anne 2.
Henrietta 3. Melody 4. Breeze 5. Puck
6. Wisp 7. Modwena 8. Anna 9. White
Rose =10. Lucky Breeze =10. Nutcracker 12. Valkyrie