This year, the Ray Perryman was a race
of three parts.It started out well
enough, in sunshine and with a fresh, but manageable south easterly wind.As usual, boats assembled upstream of Somerleyton swing bridge for an
open start between 10 and
- cross the line when you like.
For some the tactic was to go as soon as
they could; others waited until later, with the Commodore insisting on Bucks
Fizz before she would race (slowly becoming a Perryman tradition on Vixen) and
the Vice Commodore on White Rose deliberately staying until last so that he
would get open water and clear air all the way to Beccles: apart from the trees,
Farthing decided a few twirls and a
rapid venture up the bank was the way to start their race. Apparently
"deliberate" so that they could sort out the reeving on their
With the tide flooding all day, it was
probably the wind conditions that decided the race.Farthing, starting relatively late, became more and more overpressed on
the tacking reaches and finally gave in and retired just before Oulton Dyke, in
a particularly nasty squall.
Ten minutes later, the wind died right
out.Ominous black clouds were
spotted and sure enough, it rained, as the boats drifted up river in hardly any
wind.Those at the back started to
regret leaving late, thinking those in front would have made more use of the
Then, in true
style, the sun came back out and the temperature rocketed up.The drift continued for a while and then back came the wind, letting the
later starting boats catch up some of their lost time.Still the wind increased and the finish to Beccles Amateur Sailing Club
became a bit of a challenge, tacking in the narrow river, in the now very strong
wind and threading through the racing dinghies. Debatable whether this was
more alarming for the cruisers or the dinghies, but there were, of course, no
Three boats sailed the course in around
three hours, with all of the others taking at least twenty minutes longer and so
these three filled the top three places, with the Rhead family on May taking the
trophy, followed by Vixen and Anna.
Then the only thing to do was to bask in
the sunshine at Beccles Sailing Club, watching their dinghies scud around the
course as we worked on the task of relieving them of all their real ale.
After last year, they had decided to get in two barrels, until their Commodore
got cold feet on Wednesday and ordered a third. All gone by 9:30.
The beer was helped down by an excellent
barbecue, excellently cooked by the commodore and his team and followed by
dessert. Some were enjoying themselves so much that it was the wee small
hours before they retired to bed - rumour has it that the last stragglers left
the bar at 2:30am.
On Sunday, the fleet split, with some
taking the traditional route up to Geldeston for a prolonged lunchtime and other
sailing back downriver to Somerleyton, where beer and a buffet were consumed to
celebrate the Green Wyvern's 70th anniversary.
last edited on:
by: The Editor