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  Autumn Open, Cantley, September 2010

Better weather would have been good. The regatta kicked off under grey skies with rather too much wind and occasional drizzle. A longish course was set, downriver from Cantley to an honesty turn at Hardley Dyke and then up to another honesty mark at Langley Dyke, before returning to Cantley for the finish. Ten boats entered, but only six set sail, all heavily reefed. The spectators thrilled to the amount of spray being thrown up by the yachts, particularly in one very heavy gust just before the start.

Starlight Lady gave her crew an exciting ride, on the plane down to the first turn, tacking handily through the factory and then broaching her way up Cantley Reach. She came in a comfortable winner from Blue Jacket – Matt saying he would have liked full sail to get past the factory – and Pixie, who was the only other finisher. Both David Walkers ended up with torn jibs and Pandora 3 also retired.

Sunday was merely windy and it did manage to stay more or less dry until the racing was over. It had rained a lot overnight though, depositing a fair amount of water in Starlight Lady, who had to be bailed out with a bucket before racing. Kingfisher decided to go home, as did Dryad, but ten boats put out onto the water for the first race and all ten finished. The course was the same as the previous day, but with the advantage of the tack being on the tide instead of against it. Blue Jacket made the best of it to win the race, with Zingara and Pixie in second and third places behind her.

During the break for lunch, the wherry yacht White Moth joined us, having been chartered by Ruth and Sam Dunning for the start of their honeymoon. They were given a rousing welcome, with most competitors lining the bank to cheer and wave.

Then the wind died away. Out came a lot of reefs and up went Pixie’s topsail. A prudent shortening of the course removed the section through the factory, running the race up to Langley and back for a two lap race. Unfortunately the wind really did fall out completely and four of the slower boats were unable to make the second lap reach to Langley Dyke. Pixie came home the winner, but her first and third places were not enough to see off Blue Jacket, who had already done enough to win the weekend without even taking part in the last race.

And as the racing finished, the heavens opened. Somehow most people crammed into the smoking shelter for the raffle draw and then the prize-giving – a rather tame affair as the winner had gone home.


YSC Buckenham Trophy (Saturday pm)   1. Starlight Lady (Nick Matthews)   2. Blue Jacket (Matt Ellis)   3. Pixie (Adrian Lincoln)   DNF - Dryad (David Walker), Lucky Breeze (David Walker),  Pandora 3 (John Smith)   DNC - Kingfisher (Chris Sales), Shruff (Simon Miles), White Rose (Bob Soutar), Zingara (George Williams) (

YSC Commodore's Trophy (Sunday am)   1. Blue Jacket   2. Zingara   3. Pixie   4. Starlight Lady   5. Pandora 3   6. Anne (Kelvin Halifax)   7. Lucky Breeze   8. Shruff   9. Puck (Andy Garnham)   10. Modwena (Mark Cassidy)   DNC - White Rose

Portaferry SC Shield (Sunday pm)   1. Pixie   2. Anne   3. Starlight Lady   4. Shruff   DNF - Lucky Breeze, Pandora 3, Puck, White Rose

Nelson Trophy (Overall)   1. Blue Jacket   2. Pixie   3. Starlight Lady   4. Anne   5. Shruff

last edited on:  27/09/2010 at 20:55   by: The Editor