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  Autumn Open Regatta, 2017 New Page 1

We decided to do something different this year and create a new race for young people, defined as under 30. On Friday night, it looked as though there might only be one entrant, but on the day, six entered, plus some rather dubious-looking (but ineligible) characters on Catspaw. A gate start seemed prudent, especially when pitting a nine year old against the Maidie boys and all enjoyed a romp up and down Cantley Reach. Less than a minute covered the top four finishers, with James Dugdale on Maidie winning the new Jenner Trophy by just twenty seconds from his arch rival, Tom Heaffey on Melinda.

The regatta proper began with the equally loved and hated pursuit race in the afternoon. The tide clearly had an effect here, with the earlier starting, slower boats soon being caught up and overtaken by the middle of the fleet, who were themselves then overtaken by the faster yachts during a long beating reach past the factory

Having rounded the bottom mark, the fleet then bunched again on the run back upriver, before the stretch back up Cantley Reach shook up the order once again. Maidie, starting last, could not make up her time, but the second fastest yachts, Melinda and Zingara did, coming in second and first respectively.

A short race around the buoys on Sunday morning was most noted for the challenges of the top gybe mark, with some tricky moments as running yachts approached those tacking away from the buoy against the tide. As the race officer later commented, it was fair to say that this was not a popular set up. John Holmes on Sabrina 2 eventually triumphed, coming out a comfortable winner from the closely matched Catspaw and Sally in second and third places.

The peripatetic trophy, the sought after Crystal Ball, was on offer for the winner of the afternoon race, which was deliberately set as a lengthy and suitably challenging course upriver past Langley , round a loop and then back down to Hardley before returning to finish. In the brisk wind, this was quite hard work for the crews, but it also presented a challenge to round the top mark, which had been placed in the shelter of some trees. A few yachts ended up going so far past it on the tide that they unfortunately felt retirement from the race was the only option.

The real battle was in the fourth and last start, where the rivalry between Adrian Lincoln on Pixie and Steve Burton on Sally was played out, eventually resulting in a 38 second win for the latter, thereby not only winning Steve the race, but also the overall trophy for the weekend, the Crystal Ball and the Diamond Jubilee Trophy for the completion of a season-long series.

last edited on:  01/10/2017 at 14:47   by: The Editor