This year it was a return to blue skies for the Turkey Race, accompanied by a light breeze, which made for a very pleasant sail for the six competing yachts. The start was very sheltered though, which caused May and Melody some difficulties as they paid rather too close a visit to the OOD and his merry band.
The second start made a better fist of it, apart from Pandora, which was facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction at the gun, prompting calls of “Was that our start??” However, with her topsail set, she made short work of turning around and then overhauling White Rose and Lucky Breeze.
After a short tack round the double bend, the boats then made three loops on a reaching stretch, with much jolly banter between the yachts as they passed each other. It was then a run back towards Surlingham Ferry and a drift over the finish line. Many wore festive Santa hats and it was good to see a number of people out on the water as guest crew who don’t normally get the opportunity to sail.
A festive meal was then enjoyed by 43 members before the real business of the day began: the judging of the home made Christmas crackers and the drawing of the huge raffle, with a £60 hamper as first prize.
The elegant outside of the Dowsett’s cracker had clearly been lovingly crafted by Leonie, but Chris, renown for being well armed at our events, had created the biggest bang of the day, which had the judge reeling from the after-effects! Jean got an honourable mention for her large replica Jacob’s cracker, complete with a bow which banged when pulled apart. Julia came third, because the judges liked her joke; Ruth Rhead was second with a vast cracker in club colours, complete with a 3D yacht race on top of it, but the prize went to Di Branscombe with her deconstructed cracker - she had the foresight to bribe the judges with chocolate coins!
Our raffle-meister, Terry, then ran the draw, with the hamper eventually going to Chris Dowsett. Then there was the minor matter of the race results, with a pair of partridges going to Jessie May, who narrowly beat May for third place and a brace of pheasants going to the Wells family for Melody’s second place. John Smith won the turkey and another trophy for his collection but, barely had he sat down than Kelly called him forward again to receive the RCC Sabrina Trophy. He was then on his feet again to collect a trophy from the YNR, completing a rather unusual hat-trick of presentations.