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There was a good gathering of boats at Somerleyton for the Ray Perryman
Race, with nine racing yachts and six motor cruisers to keep them
company. As usual nowadays, two of the latter, Seabird and Pelican,
manned the start line on the floating pontoon just above the swing
bridge. The yachts loitered in the reedbed on the other side of the river,
waiting for the hour-long start zone to open - although when it did, there
were no immediate takers.
Marigold was the first to set off, followed eventually by White Rose and
then a flurry of others, until only Vixen and Farthing were left. The
Farrars no doubt had some grand tactical plan: the Kilners were drinking Bucks
Fizz and couldn't go until the bottle was empty... Both did set off
comfortably within the allowed time (unlike last year) and enjoyed the initial
fast reaching to Burgh St Peter. With the wind in the north north east,
except when it toyed with backing towards the west, there was not too much
tacking to start with, but once beyond Long Dam Level the later starters
caught up with the slower boats, who were struggling to find breeze in the
Farthing overtook all in front of them to take line honours and,
unsurprisingly, the other two taller yachts, Pandora 3 and Jessie May also did
well. Mels won comfortably but, being on a provisional handicap, could
not be awarded the trophy, which went to John in second place. Vixen
slipped into third place, ahead of Jessie May. Bob seemed delighted with
his last place in White Rose!
We then took advantage of the invitation from BASC and sat in the sunshine
outside their club, drinking all their real ale and helping them to eat a fine
BBQ in the evening. Many thanks to all there for their hospitality.
Sunday started grey but dry and
with plenty of clearance under Beccles bridge and Pelican departed for Geldeston
early. On arrival they found most of the 24 hour
mooring occupied, but after an hour of
waiting and after the four boats on the mooring had rafted up and disappeared,
they were then
able to moor up with their starboard quarter on the bank.
They were joined by Terry and Jean on Sea Bird, and
later by Alan and Jacquie on Siku Kuu who moored on the field.
Tony and Janet rowed up from Beccles in Atonement and later Pandora 3 arrived with John
Smith, after having completed the Three Bridges Race, finishing despite a
broken topsail spar.
The day brightened and everyone sat around in the sunshine and
had a very enjoyable day. A beer tent
with a good selection of beer and cider was sited in the garden and resulted
in minimal queuing in the pub (the only downside being the plastic glasses).
The entertainment consisted of Morris dancers, singers and
music. The Morris dancing was enthusiastic and of the two groups one lot
seemed downright violent with clashing sticks and led by a feisty red haired
lady. Unlike some previous occasions at the Locks, it was felt that the singing and music was
moderate in loudness and very pleasant to listen to. Jan and Tony
eventually left in
the rowing dinghy, while the rest of the party retired to Sea Bird for the
remainder of the evening.
Monday started foul and continued that way as Pelican made
way to the Bell at St Olaves. They passed Bob and John on the way; the two boats
were rafted up: Bob appeared to be doing the steering on White Rose, while
John appeared to be having a rest. That night the wind blew extra hard, it rained extra hard
and there was a great deal of thunder and lightening. It must have been a Bank Holiday.
Margaret Kilner & Chris Dowsett