With rain and gusts of up to 28mph forecast, waterproofs and reefs were much in evidence for the annual pursuit race. This year, Golden Moon was the first boat off, on a course well downriver from Cantley and then back up to a buoy two thirds of the way up Cantley Reach. Downriver was against the tide and the single tacking reach just below the factory proved a challenge for some, especially those with reefs, who now found the wind was not as strong as forecast.
Melody soon shook her reef out, but was unable to make up the time she lost by doing so. Anne tromped through the fleet without too much difficulty to win the race from Melinda and May, with Zingara and Pixie neck and neck for fifth and sixth places and Maidie breathing down their transoms, but just unable to catch either before time was up.
Sunday dawned misty with a gentle zephyr just lifting the burgees, but then the sun burnt through, the breeze died away and we were playing a waiting game. Eventually, the OOD decided there was enough wind to run a race and set the first yachts off at 12:15, 75 minutes later than planned.
Three laps up and down Cantley Reach were set, with the fastest boat, Maidie, completing in just under 50 minutes. It looked very tight for the third start boats to complete the race before the 1:30 cut off time, but happily for them the wind freshened slightly and changed to make a reach both ways. Sally broke away from the fourth and last start and just squeaked over the finish line at 13:29:57, beating Zingara on corrected time by a mere 14 seconds.
There wasn’t much time to fit in the third and final race, so a short two lap course was set, which was not ideal, but the windless start to the day meant this was the only possible option. With the race not really being long enough for the handicaps to work properly, the slower boats had the advantage for once and Golden Moon duly came in first, followed by Pixie and Sally. Steve Burton, with a first and a third, took the Nelson Trophy for the weekend, with May and Zingara in third and second place respectively, both on 7 points.
The Diamond Jubilee Trophy was also awarded, with four qualifiers this year. Anne, with a third and five first places was a very comfortable winner from May with her 26 points. Vixen and Jessie May each amassed 30.