Briefing was at 1.15pm. Thirteen skippers had signed
in and one more was expected (he did arrive). Between the briefing and the
start there was much trepidation as to whether there would, or could, be a
race. There was a strong spring flood tide and no wind whatsoever.
Fortunately a light breeze sprung up for the scheduled start and the upriver leg
The boats in start one kept well bunched; those in start
two were more spread out and start three was well bunched. Henrietta
seemed to have her own supply of wind as she rounded the buoy and headed back
downriver. All others were confident of rounding the buoy and gaining a
few places as previous starters drifted backwards towards Langley Dyke.
Some later starters saw the situation and realised 13 boats tacking together
against a strong contra tide and virtually no wind was not a situation to be
relished and dropped mudweights.
As boats eventually filled their sails they were soon
upset by a lack of river space or having to manoeuvre to avoid collision.
All starters eventually managed to move downriver past the buoy, but in the
confusion some skippers were unaware that they had not actually rounded the buoy
Henrietta, meanwhile, was demonstrating how things should
be done and lapped several boats in a two lap race! All starters did
manage to complete the course in a reasonable time.
Result 1. Henrietta 2. Melody 3.
Aelfleda 4. Shruff 5. Anne 6. Golden Moon 7. Lucky
Breeze 8. Anna 9. Nutcracker 10. Modwena 11. Dryad
12. White Rose 13. Puck 14. Privateer
The wind had got up, the rain had cleared. Again 14
boats registered for the start. Only one boat had reefed for this race and
at times this was shown to be a sensible decision. However, the boats with
full rig did have the advantage between the heavy gusts. We could have had
a "how clean is the underside of your hull" competition as all boats
were showing plenty of bottom. Privateer retired with a broken shackle,
but the other 13 boats all made it safely round the two lap course.
Result 1. Shruff 2. Lucky Breeze
3. Dryad 4. Henrietta 5. Anne 6. Melody 7.
Nutcracker 8. Farthing 9. Golden Moon 10. Modwena 11.
Aelfleda 12. Puck 13. White Rose rtd. Privateer
The forecast was for lighter winds in the afternoon but it
did actually freshen and other boats decided to reef. Spectators had a
wonderful time watching 11 boats jockeying before the start. The race
itself was exciting, with a steady fresh breeze which lacked the heavy gusts of
the morning wind. White Rose retired with a torn jib, but all other boats
safely and quickly completed the two laps. The talking point was Anne's Chinese
gybe, which did worry the crew at the time. She did come safely out of it
and went on to win.
Result 1. Anne 2. Nutcracker 3.
Golden Moon 4. Dryad 5. Lucky Breeze 6. Henrietta 7.
Modwena 8. Puck 9. Aelfleda 10. Shruff rtd. White Rose
Overall result 1. Henrietta 2.
Shruff 3. Anne 4. Dryad 5. Lucky Breeze 6. Melody
7. Nutcracker 8. Golden Moon 9. Aelfleda 10. Modwena 11.
Puck 12. White Rose 13. Privateer
It was a most enjoyable and successful weekend. We
extend our thanks to Terry, who is retiring from his OOD role.