Breydon Regatta was a windy one this year, with the main topic of conversation on Friday night being speculation as to just how strong the gale would be when the remains of hurricane Bertha reached us on Sunday. Saturday was sunny though, with a fresh south westerly giving a tacking and running course up and down Breydon. Three laps were set, but with the strengthening ebb increasingly causing problems on the tack back from the bottom mark, the decision was taken to shorten to two rounds.
Sadly, the race was not without incident, with the top of Raisena’s mast falling off as they began to tack back from the bottom mark and Big Dragonfly – a welcome sight back on her old stomping ground – barely managing to finish the race before her mast gave way on an old glue line. She would probably have won the race too, if she hadn’t got greedy and tacked too far outside the posts, ending up stuck on the mud for several minutes.
When the steering cable failed on the club dory, Will Knight and Duncan Abel on the RIB found themselves busier than expected, especially when a passing motor boat suffered the same problem and went charging up the mud. May managed to tear their sail, to complete the tales of woe from the morning. Meanwhile, Cordon Rouge, well suited to the open waters of Breydon, kept out of all the trouble to finish in a comfortable first place from Dragonfly, with Catspaw in third.
None of the third start boats were anywhere near the line in the afternoon, which meant the race was between the faster boats. Catspaw managed a much better start than in the morning and was rewarded with first place as well as taking line honours from Anne, who came third on handicap, with Cordon Rouge splitting them and also taking the Breeze Yard of Ale for overall winner of the day. The slow boats, although helped by the easing tide, were half an hour behind. Oh, and May tore her sail again.
On Sunday morning, most chose to ignore the tide and set off upriver on the passage race to Reedham as early as they could. Anna was the exception, leaving half an hour later; a move which turned out not to pay off. The fastest and slowest boats, Maidie and Golden Moon set off together in the first start, with the latter making an impressively good flying start, some distance ahead of Maidie. Given the strong wind and gusty conditions, the race committee were pleased that all eight starters made it back safely, with no damage.
Less than two minutes separated the first five boats on handicap, with Modwena taking the race by 24 seconds from Maidie. The latter, unsurprisingly, took the Greyhound Trophy for fastest elapsed time, for the third year running. It was tight on the overall results too, with three yachts tied on seven points each. Catspaw, with a first and a sixth, took home the Breydon Barometer. Golden Moon in second place with a fourth and a third, just pipped Anne, who had a third and a fourth, but Duncan did win the Breydon Tankard for fastest slow boat.
The prizegiving was followed by an auction of two original paintings by club members, Di Branscombe and Bob Soutar, which raised an impressive £135 for club funds. The usual raffle then took place, with John Smith winning the £50 hamper. All in all, another successful weekend, despite the breakages and the weather.