This year, Cantley Regatta managed to provide some decent sailing winds and not too much rain. Saturday might even have been described as pleasant. Thirteen yachts in three starts were set off by Mark Wells on an interesting upriver course in the afternoon, with Vixen getting the best start (down to leeward, away from the trees) and initially pulling out a commanding lead.
However, 30 minutes into the race, a sea breeze sprang up. Those suddenly finding themselves running upriver mocked the early yachts, which had to tack both ways, but their joy did not last long. They soon found that a tack against the tide through Langley Wood was tricky, to say the least. It stopped Vixen dead; May and Anna caught her and eventually passed her to leeward as the three finally managed to claw free of the trees. They then enjoyed a fine sail down and up Cantley reach, battling it out and eventually finishing within 80 seconds of each other on the water.
Meanwhile, back in the trees, John on Pandora III was contemplating a sail up and down Langley Dyke, wondering if he could thereby build up enough speed to exit the dead zone.... He didn’t try it though, so we’ll never know if it would have worked. Unfortunately, no-one behind the leading three yachts was able to escape the Langley Wood reach and all were eventually timed out, leaving May the winner on handicap from Vixen and Anna.
A more compact course was set by Joe Farrow on Sunday morning, albeit one with two gybe marks, including one nestling by the Factory wall - interesting! Although it was a tack against the ebb tide to the top mark, there was enough wind for this to be achievable and all 12 yachts completed the two lap course. Anna got the best start, but was overtaken during the race by May, who went on to record her second win of the weekend; this time with Anna in second and Vixen only able to manage a third place.
The course was shortened again in the afternoon, but a fresher wind with some heavy gusts favoured the smaller boats more. Slantendicular, having declined to sail in the morning because it was “too windy” went out in the afternoon, but ended up doing more gyrations than they should have done at the top mark, causing their bowsprit to ping off. No lasting harm done, but it was noted that the race officials were making merry with her name board before returning it - hanging it slanty-wise from the race flag pole.
The dead run back from the top mark was a little hairy for some at times, but Anna hung on to grab first place, despite taking a penalty for touching the top mark. Close behind them on corrected time were Marigold and Golden Moon, who finished just one second apart in second and third places, pushing May down to fourth, just another five seconds behind.
However, with two first places already in the bag, May was able to discard this fourth to take the Sparklet Trophy for overall winner, from Anna and Vixen in second and third places respectively.