So great was the turnout at Cantley Regatta that a second signing in sheet was required. This is unheard of in recent years! 20 yachts altogether put in an appearance, although “only” 16 entered the first race. Also for the first time in many years, a course was set that ran down below the factory. With the top mark near Langley and two loops, this meant it was good for spectators as the fleet passed to and fro in front of the pub.
The wind rose just before the start, meaning there was a certain amount of attrition. Wisp found early on that they couldn’t cope, but Shruff completed some of the race before deciding they had had enough. Others chose more interesting ways to retire. The Only Girl, back racing after a long break, found themselves unable to turn in either direction at the bottom mark and went for a little bit of light coppicing up the bank. They claimed they were only following the example of Insh’allah, who had shipped so much water (5” above the floorboards) that she was unmanageable and ended up making close acquaintance with the opposite bank to TOG.
Lucky Breeze, for once in conditions which suited her, were unfortunately forced out of the race when the mainsheet separated from its track during a gybe. There also seemed to be a large number of lost quants being retrieved from the river – at least three from different boats. An added challenge was provided by Anne, who managed to carry away the buoy marking the far end of the start line. However, perhaps to no-one’s surprise, John Ellis won the race. Pandora 3 surprised themselves by coming second to Kingfisher. Avocet, in her first club race, managed a creditable 5th place.
After the mornings adventures, reefs were very much in evidence for the second race of the afternoon. Eight boats set out, but only six finished. Pandora decided the crew was tired and Stratus managed to gently sail into the factory quay before the start, where they remained firmly pinned by wind and tide for some considerable time. This gave Dryad the opportunity to take the race from Kingfisher and Modwena, who had their own private tussle, being neck and neck all the way round..
Sunday morning was equally windy, with a few more reefs being tucked in. Kingfisher decided to sit out the race, but send a crew member out on another boat to assess the conditions! The white horses on the river may have deterred a few as well. A longer course was set, with the bottom mark being set as an honesty turn at Hardley Dyke, but only one lap was required. Dryad, with her third different crew of the weekend (nothing like a bit of variety) managed to come 2nd, but could not touch Stratus, who again won.
The final race provided a twist when the wind suddenly dropped out not long before the start. Some had time to shake out their reefs, but others didn’t. This made the tack back up past the factory quite taxing for the last three or four boats as the wind became quite light at just the wrong moment for them. Despite still having a reef in, Stratus just pipped Dryad, who had full sail, by a matter of 30 odd seconds. White Rose, who had also found time to shake their reef, came in third.
With three first places, Stratus was unbeatable for the weekend to take the Jack Hunt Memorial Trophy. John is going to have a lot of trophies to polish over the next year!
Wells Tankard 1. Stratus (John
Ellis) 2. Pandora 3 (John Smith) 3. Kingfisher (Chris
Sale) 4. White Rose (Bob Soutar) 5. Avocet (Vince
Perry) 6. Modwena (Mark Cassidy) 7. Anne (Kelvin
Halifax) 8. Henrietta (Pete Charlton) 9. Anna (Bob
Branscombe) 10. Dryad (David M. Walker) 11. Puck (Andy
Garnham) DNC - Wisp DNF - Insh'allah, Lucky Breeze,
Shruff, The Only Girl
Sun Glory Memorial Trophy 1.
Dryad 2. Kingfisher 3. Modwena 4.
Puck 5. White Rose 6. Anne DNC - Lucky
Breeze, Shruff, Stratus, The Only Girl DNF - Pandora
Langley Wherry Shield 1.
Stratus 2. Dryad 3. Shruff 4. Pandora
3 5. White Rose (Mark Wells) 6. Modwena 7.
Elfin Trophy 1.
Stratus 2. Dryad 3. White Rose 4.
Henrietta 5. Pandora 3 6. Kingfisher 7.
Shruff 8. Puck (Trevor Potter) DNC - Anna
Jack Hunt Memorial Trophy
(overall) 1. Stratus 2. Dryad 3.
Kingfisher 4. Pandora 3 5. Modwena 6. White
Rose 7. Puck