Breydon Regatta had a fairly inauspicious start this year. The weather was unpleasantly damp, there wasn’t an awful lot of wind and there were far too many unwanted incidents.
First off was Beth, who somehow got herself pinned against a channel marker even before the start line had been laid. Happily for them, the club boat was passing and was able to pull her off and hold her head to wind while they raised their sails. Meanwhile, Lucky Breeze was busy on another part of the course, hitting her rudder on a submerged stake and bending it quite badly.
Then Starlight Lady, over at the start and turning back to re-cross the line, got herself entangled with Rebecca’s bowsprit and unfortunately had the top of their mast break off. Then, not content with rounding the marks, Beth decided to try rounding a post as well, only to discover why they are there. Having towed them off again, the club boat did enquire whether they should follow her around the course...
Then the rain started properly, but at least the breeze freshened a little and backed, allowing the full two laps to be completed, much to the race officers’ relief. However, the bad luck fairy hadn’t finished with us yet as Honey, attempting to luff along the edge of the channel, sailed onto a submerged stake and put a serious hole in her side. Fortunately, a rapid response by the rescue boats saw her saved from sinking.
Cordon Rouge won, but an equally significant result was between 5th and 6th places, taken by Dryad and Mischief respectively, but with a mere half second separating them. Read on to find out why this ultimately could have mattered!
After lunch, things started to look up – the sun came out and it got warm. The only downside was a distinct lack of wind. The race officers did their best for the slower boats, setting them off first, but nearly all off them had drifted so far below the line that the whole fleet set off pretty much as one. Inevitably, the first four places went to the four fastest boats, who were the only ones to start anywhere near their allotted time.
The breeze did pick up and as the race went on people started getting adventurous again, with at least four boats going aground outside the channel, but only Snowbird did so badly enough to need outside assistance. The race was shortened from a precautionary four laps (in case a sea breeze kicked in) to an achievable one and a half, with all those who wanted to managing to finish. Moonshadow, who sauntered down to the start at the last minute, found this unplanned tactic paid off, giving them first place.
For those who knew the birthday girl, there was a bit of a Pimms party after the racing, before the very well attended regatta supper in the pub. The usual socialising was rounded off by a firework display in the distance, courtesy of Lowestoft Air Show.
The sun came out on Sunday, there was a good racing breeze and, for once, the tides allowed a challenging gate to be set for the passage race upriver and back. On the basis that the tide would turn at Reedham between 1pm and 1.30, the skippers were allowed to choose starts between 11 o’clock and 12.30. Kingfisher, the slowest boat by a margin of 8%, chose the latest start time at 11.45, which says it all about everyone else’s choices. Chris got it about right, rounding the mark at the back of the fleet about 15 minutes before high slack water, making his ultimate victory no surprise at all to those in the know. Not too much surprise either that Maidie – a welcome returnee to Breydon Regatta – won the Greyhound Trophy for the fastest passage.
This is where it gets interesting. Kingfisher won the passage race by a mere second from Mischief. Remember that earlier result? If Mischief had shaved just a little off her times for both that race and the passage race, she would have walked away with the Breydon Barometer as overall winner... As it was, Steve had to settle for third place, behind a delighted Dave Thompson on Cordon Rouge and that Breydon old hand, Glynn on Beth.
Mels Farrar won the hamper in the raffle and that wrapped up another successful regatta. Our thanks as always go to the Berney Arms pub for hosting us – sorry we didn’t manage to drink all the beer, but hope we made up for it with all the breakfasts we ate!
Boats that raced: Anne, Beth, Cordon Rouge, Dryad, Fair Lady, Henrietta, Honey, Kingfisher (109), Lucky Breeze, Maidie, May, Melody, Mischief, Moonshadow, Pandora III, Rebecca, Snowbird, Starlight Lady, Zingara
Also present: Argentum, Corsair, Dragonfly, Farthing, Kingfisher (269), Lazy Breeze, Nutcracker, Pippa, Rosinante, Seabird, Silver Lining, Starlight, Westward Five, White Rose, Wisp, Zanndamon (apologies to any I’ve missed)
Photos from Breydon