The 25th Breydon Regatta saw the biggest turnout of yachts at this event for at least a decade, with 20 entrants, many of whom had spent the night at Stokesby before getting up early to come through Great Yarmouth for the 9.30 briefing. Saturday morning was murky and damp, but at least there was some wind, albeit from a direction which ensured a slightly tedious reaching race. Three rounds were set and all three completed, although the course became rather longer than planned when the top mark drifted up to the confluence before the start, rather than staying where it had been put.
For some reason, the fastest yachts did badly in this race, the highest placed of the first start, Lyra, managing only 12th place. To the surprise of some, not least the Rhead family, May won from Anne and Mischief, with three of the last start yachts taking fourth to sixth places.
In the afternoon, the sun came out and the race was sailed under blue skies, with a freshening breeze and a hint of sea breeze, which gave a tack away from the top mark as the four-round race progressed. Reportedly, one of the yachts subjected the top mark to an unprovoked attack, which may or may not have contributed to the buoy deciding to go off on its wanderings again, this time shedding its weights and drifting off onto the mud. A few lucky competitors had the pleasure of scaring the club boat crew, who positioned themselves as a temporary mark until the buoy could be replaced.
Pippinjack, despite having to stop to retrieve a lost forepeak hatch, won this race by a short margin from Anne, with May close behind. Anne therefore could only manage second overall for the day, with May taking the Yard of Ale as winners for Saturday.
The Berney Arms pub, just four weeks into new management, coped well with serving beer and food to the competitors and all seemed to enjoy a pleasant night, although your correspondent hears that one crew kept the staff busy until the small hours.
After an excellent breakfast in the pub, skippers underwent the usual head-scratching as they figured out the best time to start the passage race to Reedham and back. Zingara chose to go as early as possible, at noon and Melinda took the latest available slot at 1.30, with the rest of the fleet scattered in between.
Maidie, attempting to win the Greyhound Trophy for the fourth year running, probably went too early, struggled with the tack back downriver and could only manage 7th fastest. Many were surprised when Melinda popped up as second fastest, splitting Raisena and the winner, Lyra, but she did have the benefit of more ebb tide on her return from the mark and more wind as a gentle sea breeze kicked in. Paul Howes was also winner on elapsed time and, with his 5th place from Saturday afternoon, took the Breydon Barometer for overall winner. Martlet was the overall winner in a small “slow” division.
As last year, after the prize-giving Bob auctioned off a couple of original paintings, including the programme cover picture, which attracted a fair bit of interest and raised money for club funds. The hamper in the raffle was won by Leonie Dowsett.