It was always hoped that there would be a good turnout for this regatta, with the expectation that some non club members would stay on after the YNR to contest the Crystal Ball. This proved to be the case, with a total of 20 yachts entering races over the weekend, starting with 18 lining up for the pursuit race on Saturday afternoon.
Sailed under blue skies, this was perhaps the best weather we’d had all season as far as regatta weekends go. Not a thunderstorm in sight. As last year, the first boat away was Lucky Breeze and the last Zingara. In between, many struggled to reach the start line, given the tack against a strong tide and two of the slower boats in fact retired early on. David Walker decided crossing the start line three times was enough and Modwena couldn’t get past the trees, so went sightseeing instead.
The rest of the fleet persevered and having rounded the buoy were rewarded with a fine sail downriver to Hardley Dyke and a fast reach back up to the factory. There they bunched and a sudden wind shift mixed the fleet up completely, with Joy popping out the front, followed by Zingara and Brigand. Blue Jacket and Pandora, who had been doing quite well up to that point, were suddenly relegated down the fleet.
Despite the best efforts of Joy’s crew, they could not hold off Zingara, who came past and stretched out a lead up Cantley Reach to comfortably win the race.
After an excellent and well attended meal in the Reedcutter and the usual convivial evening, all reassembled the next morning for the Crystal Ball race. With a midday high tide, it was decided to take the fleet up through Langley Woods and then round four laps of a reaching course in the clear air upriver of the trees.
For once, the conditions favoured the slower boats, with the wind picking up after Zingara and Farthing had finished which, together with the easing of the tide meant Modwena picked up a third place and the race was comfortably won by Pandora III. Interestingly though, only 11 minutes of corrected time covered all 16 finishers. John Smith delighted the home crowd by nominating another YSC race next year for the Crystal Ball.
A deliberately short race up and down Cantley Reach was set for the afternoon, which turned into hard work for the crews in a stiff breeze. At least the stronger wind had the benefit of easing the task of tacking over the by now ebbing tide. The slow boats were set off first to further lessen the time required, but no-one complained when the course was shortened to just under two laps.
All that then remained was the prize-giving, with the Nelson Trophy for overall winner going to Cordon Rouge with her first and second places and the raffola, as usual ably hosted by Terry. A cracking end to the main regatta season for the club.
Results on the tab above.
Three albums of photos on the club