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  Reedham Regatta, 2019



After the dreary wet weather we’d had during the past week, it made a pleasant change to have a day without rain - even if it was for only one day. By the time the boats assembled for the Harriet of Reedham trophy race there were sunny periods as well. There was also plenty of wind!


Eight boats set off in two divisions from the usual start line at Hardley Cross. We had the honour of using the new blank cartridge firing mechanism for the first time, so we thought that we should try it out at the moorings first. It worked perfectly, thanks to bosun Neil Johnson and in future if there are any mutterings while manoeuvring for the line of, ‘Has the gun gone yet?’ all you have to do is look for the enormous plume of smoke which accompanies the bang!


We could see from our vantage point on the start line that the wind was becoming a problem for some of the boats, with Melinda retiring during the first round. The wind didn’t seem to be an issue for Alice Rose and Pippinjack, who opened up a sizeable lead over the rest of the fleet. That was until Paul Stevens on Pippinjack heard a mysterious bang from the top of the mast and the rigging went slack. Shroud problems are not what you need in a lively wind so she was retiree number two. 


The next to retire was Morning Calm, through being over pressed, followed by Pan who was driven hard into the reeds and had to be towed out. That left four boats sailing, two from each start. Alice Rose romped home ahead of Sabrina II, Graying and Stella Genesta; the final result being as they crossed the line.


David Archer very kindly offered to present the Harriet of Reedham trophy to a delighted Steve Burton.


Bob Branscombe

Sunday morning we were greeted with the forecasted fresh to strong southerly wind; 8 yachts came to the line for the passage race to Buckenham.  The first start all decided a reef was required and, watching from Hardley Cross, this looked to be a wise decision.

Pippinjack appeared to misjudge her speed during a brief time check and soon found the windward bank approaching fast. Paul quickly had her out and she appeared to be unscathed.

With a running start on a flood tide, I was prepared for boats over the line, but all judged the time well.  Melinda, Pippinjack, Alice Rose and Sabrina 2 all made a good start.

The second start saw a split decision between skippers deciding to reef or not.  Stella Genesta ,Modwena and Pandora III made a clean start, leaving Pan behind, still adjusting her rig, before then hoisting and crossing the line a few minutes late to bring up the rear.  A fast sail to Buckenham saw Stella Genesta take the win on handicap, followed by Alice Rose in second place and Sabrina 2 into third.

To our surprise we found new tenants in the pub, who welcomed us in just before the heavens opened.

Stella Genesta and Modwena needed to get back, so took an early sail downriver to Reedham and Paul had found that Pippinjack had suffered some damage during the morning collision and so decided sailing back wasn’t going to be a good idea.

I was very grateful to Janet of Buckenham Sailing Club, who had kindly offered to start our boats, allowing me to return to Hardley Cross to set up for the finish.

Melinda, Alice Rose and Sabrina 2 made up the first start, with Pandora 3 and Pan in the second.  Melinda and Alice Rose, now with reefs removed, pulled away, with Melinda first across the finishing line, but hot on her heels was Alice Rose, then followed by Sabrina 2, Pandora 3 and Pan.

Alice Rose took the win and with two first places also took the overall weekend trophy.

Kevin and Sabina Priest

last edited on:  18/06/2019 at 12:58   by: The Editor