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Due to the closure of the Berney Arms pub, Breydon Regatta
was split over two sites this year. At the Mill, a team erected a beer
tent and partied the evenings away with music and barbecues. Over at the
Fisherman's Inn at Burgh Castle, the indoor option of pub meals and a midge-free
evening was on offer. With a club meal, attended by about 25 people on the
Saturday night at the pub, one race briefing at each site and the prize-giving
at the Mill, things seemed to work out well, given the circumstances. The
warm sunshine and dry weather undoubtedly assisted the enjoyment.
Oh yes, we did a bit of racing too. The weather on
Saturday was perfect for the Passage Race sail up the Yare to Reedham and back,
but there was much head-scratching over the best time to start, especially as
entries were all done in secret this year. The OOD, Robert, provided much
entertainment when he read out the chosen start times at the briefing, with
everyone left wondering whether they had got it right.
The first to leave was Melinda at 13:10. Paul's theory was
that the wind would drop out later on, leaving those who had gone for a more
tidally correct starting time to drift back. In the event, they had to
tack every reach on the the return downriver and all
those who started before 2 o'clock took over two hours to complete the course,
except for Maidie, who was a few minutes under, but with Mike shaking his head
at the amount of close tacking he had had to do.
The wind died around 2pm as well, affecting all the boats
who had started before then. Zingara was seen frantically paddling down
Breydon to reach the start line before their five minute gun, but, at the same
time, a few hundred yards ahead, Anne was suddenly over on her side and going
like a train. The sea breeze had arrived!
This benefited the last four yachts to start
tremendously. Not only did they miss the calm patch, but they had more
tide with them and much less tacking to do. The last to leave, May at 3 o'clock, only
put 8 or 10 tacks in all the way back down river and they all four completed the
course comfortably under the two hour mark. It was definitely a case of
the later the better, as May won the race on corrected time, with the
penultimate yacht to start, Vixen, coming in second ahead of Anne, who had
started 10 minutes before her.
The Greyhound Trophy results also reflected this big
advantage, with Anne being fastest in 1 hour 41 minutes, just 1 minute and 35
seconds ahead of May over the water. The Rheads, as well as the
Sambrooke-Sturgess Trophy, also took home the Crystal Ball, having first
selected the Sunday afternoon race of next year's Autumn Open for its next
appearance. Their thinking was that many northern river yachts attend that
Sunday was a different story. It blew. With
the wind against tide creating large waves on Breydon, it proved impossible to
run any races, although a few yachts did reef and go down to try in both the
morning and the afternoon. Apart from Anne attempting to see how far she
could sail across the mudflats, fortunately all returned without major
incident. So, it was an afternoon of free beer, a short prize-giving and
the raffle. The hamper was won by Bob Soutar, who had earlier earned his
keep by auctioning off one of his paintings, Di Branscombe's original painting
from the programme cover and the spare Breydon 2016 tumblers.
An enjoyable weekend, despite the lack of races.