sunshine and a strong south westerly breeze provided ideal conditions for this
year’s YSC/CHSC challenge. It
proved suitably fitting as this year’s race was particularly special for two
reasons; it was in part a centenary celebration for rcc ‘Bessie Bell’ and
the inaugural appearance of ‘Grayling’ Kevin and Sabina Priest’s brand new
river cruiser. In an act of
generosity the Ebbage family had also donated a new trophy, a beautiful half
model of ‘Bessie’ and some Woodfordes.
respective teams were:
‘Golden Moon’ ‘May’ ‘The
Bell’ ‘Grayling’ ‘Anna’
At almost exactly twenty past ten, we all set off on a course downriver
to Langley ribbons and return to Coldham hall.
Handicap-wise the fleet had been divided into two distinct groups,
segregated as one would expect by the boat with the handicap in the middle!
downwind conditions aided all competitors as we reached through Train Reach.
As expected, within a mile of the start the fleet had divided itself
quite distinctly leaving use slower craft watch longingly as the leaders came to
the clear airs beyond fleet dyke.
complications arose regarding the turning point for the course, as not only had
the ribbons disappeared, so had the stile next to them!
Unfortunately this meant ‘Marigold’ did sail an extra 600yards to
Langley Woods to the remaining stile.
return leg was a mixture of closed haul and tacking, neither of which
particularly suited any of the boats, although ‘Golden Moon’, ‘Marigold’
and ‘TOG’ were still at this point no more than 100 yards apart!
There was a great deal of skirmishes (all friendly) as we made the return
tack to Beauchamp Arms. Of note at
this point, after both ‘GM’ and ‘TOG’ had spent 10 minutes attempting to
get through the narrows, Roy and Katie on ‘Marigold’ caught a lucky gust and
sailed straight through!
knowledge was used to advantage for the return passage of Train Reach, with
fluky powerful gusts making for interested and trying conditions in the last ½
mile of the course.
finished, roughly two hours since
we’d left CHSC, and in a very civilised fashion both clubs decided to sample
the hospitality of Coldham Hall before the prize giving.
prize giving itself was delivered by Colin Brown, rear commodore of CHSC.
Which proved interesting, as he’d given such a fine performance on the
course he took home the trophy and the beer!
in all, it had proved a thoroughly enjoyably day with decent sailing.
A fine way to celebrate both ‘Grayling’ and ‘Bessie Bell’.