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  Reedham Regatta, 2016

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Reedham Regatta started off on Saturday with typical weather for the event: grey, damp and not too warm. With all the Green Wyvern boats missing for various reasons, we were glad to welcome four yachts from EACC to boost the fleet. Their presence also leant itself to some closely fought races.

A brisk north westerly for the first race on Saturday afternoon prompted many to pop in a reef or leave their topsails behind. However, the wind strength did mean that it was comfortably possible to tack against the ebb tide going upriver and all entrants completed the two loops round the top mark near Hardley Mill before running back to the finish line at Hardley Cross.

In the second start, May lost time which she never recovered by shaking out her reef, while Pippinjack, having kept full sail up and got a good start, soon pulled out an unassailable lead. Just 45 seconds separated the second to fourth placed yachts, but Paul Stevens won the race comfortably.

Around 20 YSC members then enjoyed an excellent meal in the Reedham Ferry Inn, before joining forces with the EACC crews (who had chosen to eat on board) to while away the rest of the evening.

Sunday was warmer, dry and brighter with a south westerly which meant a fair amount of tacking for the passage race from Reedham to Buckenham. However, with the strength eased to a force 3 and the sun trying to show, it made for excellent sailing conditions and all enjoyed the race upriver on the tide.

The first start boats had a more favourable wind at Cantley, being able to enter the reach on a fast close haul, while all those behind them had to tack. The second start boats, all close in handicap, had a prolonged tussle for the lead in their group, which was only broken just below Cantley when all four boats were abreast and Jessie May found some unexpected breeze to leeward, enabling her to open up a significant gap, which even Pippinjack could not close.

The top three finishers were all from the first start, however, with Farthing fastest on her provisional handicap and Anne in second place, thereby taking the trophy. Despite the pub being closed, a pleasant lunchtime break in the sunshine was enjoyed at Buckenham before the return leg back to Reedham.

It was a little windier in the afternoon, but the direction had held, meaning less tacking. Again the race saw some close sailing in the second start fleet, with Vixen and Pippinjack proving that when both boats are at hull speed, all you can do is sail side by side. Again, Jessie May slipped ahead of those two, but all three were still close together at the finish line.

Gaining a little more benefit from the ebb tide as it set in, the third start boats fared best in the afternoon, with the slowest boat in the fleet, Marigold, taking the honours. Notably, apart from May who visited the trees in Langley Reach, the entire fleet finished in less than three minutes on corrected time. Anne could only manage a fourth place, but that was enough to give her the Beauchamp Arms Cup for the best aggregate score on Sunday and she also went home with the overall trophy for the weekend.

last edited on:  21/06/2016 at 21:09   by: The Editor