This year saw a departure from the Yare
Sailing Club's usual haunt of Reedham for this event, instead we congregated on a
stretch of river not often raced, though guaranteed to provide challenges for
the competitors (how true this would prove not only for the competitors!!)
Weather wise, a mixture of bitterly cold
North Westerly zephyrs combined with a flurry of snow saw to it that only the
most hardy of competitors were to attend. 10
out of 10 for Rebecca and her crew for making the grueling passage from Oby
As it was, Saturday was more the art of
coarse racing, rather than course racing! A
last minute technical hitch meant the OOD set forth to lay a course in a
competing yacht, potentially offering all kinds of problems...
In the space of 30 seconds, having laid
the bottom mark for the course, the engine had stopped and refused to re-start,
both quants had become entangled in the jib sheets
the remaining race mark had fallen overboard with the mudweight joining it for
the fun. Needless to say, this is
not what this OOD had signed up for!
Such things are overcome, and the YSC swung into action to ensure a
decent race was had.
Tacking upriver through Bramerton Common
presented a tricky course for most, at one point boats with a handicap of -3%
and -24% were within ¼ mile of eachother! However,
soon enough 'Rebecca' drew ahead, her integral topsail proving a definite
advantage to catch the fluky gusts and drive her toward the upper mark.
Just behind 'Rebecca' there was an
ongoing duel between 'Inshallah' and 'Pandora
', both vessels staying in close company from the 'off', both also demonstrating
how local knowledge can be a significant advantage in such circumstances.
At the other, ahem far end of the fleet, 'Lucky Breeze', 'Aelfleda' and
'Fair Lady' struggled doggedly through the tack (now against a determined ebb)
to the upriver mark. Some of us
engaging in impromptu visits to riverside properties, I think in an attempt to
stave off frostbite (!)
After an hour, most vessels had passed
the top mark, and enjoyed an easy reach home in a pale, wintry sunshine.
Both 'Modwena' and 'White Rose' had (seemingly) sailed the course with
little hinderance and those at the end of the fleet gazed longly at their
departing sails, imagining the crackling of an open fire, the scent of roast
turkey resting before carving...
Thankfully, before either frostbite or
'river madness' took it's toll, all vessels managed to complete the course and
moored safely for the most important bit, the dinner!!
Needless to say, Sonia and her staff
provided an excellent meal for all members, leaving everyone stuffed!
(pun not intended) In between
the courses, the prizes were dealt out. Especial
congratulations to Arthur, for placing 2nd in his first race with his
new vessel, and of course to John Smith our secretary for winning the Turkey.
This left only the most important
business of course of the Raffola, which saw first prize breaking tradition and
not going to 'Rebecca' and her crew.
All too soon, the day drew to a close
with some brave individuals heading upto the bright lights of Norwich, and some
hardy souls staying on for more of Sonia's hospitality.
All in all, a most successful end to
another busy season. Thanks to all
those members who supported the event, and of course thanks to those who