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  Cantley Regatta, 2016

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Cantley Regatta kicked off with an RYA led session on the racing rules; beginning with a quiz to see how much we all knew.  Having romped through the basics, more time was then spent on obstructions and rounding marks, with many questions being asked and some useful learning points being raised.  Some of it must have sunk in, as throughout the regatta people could be heard politely asking for “Room to tack, please,” rather than just yelling “Water!”

As many boats had arrived on Friday night, it was decided to slot in an extra race on Saturday morning.  This meant everyone got wet.  The wind was lighter than forecast, but both Farthing and Pandora left their topsails on the bank and White Rose set off with a reef in; all clearly anticipating a rise in the wind.  A short looping course on Cantley Reach was set, but by the time the last lap was being completed, the wind had dropped more and the rain had set in.   Such conditions favoured the faster yachts and Anne won by a mere four seconds from Farthing, with Vixen slipping into third place ahead of Grayling.

In the afternoon, out came the topsails and the fleet set off again on a slightly longer course.  The first run back down Cantley Reach from the top mark had boats hugging the bank to avoid the tide, as the wind dropped out to almost nothing.   Then, all changed as a robust breeze picked up and the drift became a charge, with the topsails now becoming a mistake and the slower boats benefiting the most, as more of their race had wind.  Kingfisher won by a mere four seconds from Golden Moon, with Marion Tunwell helming Puck into third place, just six seconds ahead of Vixen.

The fast boats ended up down the bottom end of the table and Pandora retired hurt, over-canvassed and ultimately under-cross-treed.  John, never one to let a little thing like a breakage stop him, simply declared “Who needs cross-trees” and re-rigged the boat without them.

After the racing, all gathered to hear a short eulogy to John Tunwell, before walking up the bank to watch as his ashes were scattered from Puck in the spot where she sank in 2007 during the Cantley Regatta.  This was at John's request and felt most appropriate.  The usual club meal followed, attended also by many of John's relatives, which made for a full restaurant and a good atmosphere.  Afterwards, some may have stayed up yarning and drinking until quite late.

So to Sunday and all to play for with both races to count and two-thirds of the fleet with one decent result from Saturday.  The morning was breezy, but sunny and a one lap race was set up Cantley Reach and down to near Hardley Dyke and back. This did not take all that long, but was an enjoyable sail, with Anne coming out on top again, this time with Jessie May in second place from Grayling in third.

Apologising for the short race, the OOD set a longer course in the afternoon, which became hard work towards the end as the wind rose to a robust force four, gusting five.  At least it was sunny.  Anne, at the limits of being able to hold full sail, came in comfortably first, with Jessie May relishing the conditions to come second again.  May, without Vixen’s transom to look at, recorded their best result of the weekend with a third place.  Pandora decided to play with the trees and again retired - not their weekend.

With three first places, Anne was unbeatable to take the Sparklet Trophy for overall winner, with Jessie May in second and Golden Moon third.  Of course, the regatta was rounded off with the first raffola of the year, ably drawn by Terry.

last edited on:  11/07/2016 at 22:22   by: The Editor