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  Ray Perryman Memorial Race, 2016 New Page 1

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 trees.

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 their 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

last edited on:  04/06/2016 at 21:40   by: The Editor