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  Turkey Race, 2021

For some, the Turkey Race weekend began on a dull, cold and occasionally wet Friday morning, with a trip upriver to Coldham Hall, where the five mariners in question enjoyed a few pints and a bubble and squeak lunch in splendid isolation.  With the club dory transferred from Egret to Vixen, the three boats (the third being Marigold, whose crew demanded hot chocolate and rum before they'd even tied up) made their way the short distance to Surlingham Ferry, where most of the weekend was to be spent paddling around on the shore with the exceptionally high tides.

The pub beckoned remarkably quickly, led by the Commodore, whose excuse was that she needed to buy Joe Farrow a pint for his heroic efforts in launching the dory and then making a special trip out to Surlingham to attend to its starting issues.  Needless to say, no-one then left the pub until they had spent plenty of time enjoying each others company and, joined by Eve, a very pleasant meal.  Having all had an early start to the day, there was a collective drooping and departure to their respective bunks at 10 o'clock.

Joe was back bright and early the next morning to lay the course buoys, assisted by Margaret, before the clear, concise and well-thought out briefing.  Making it up as he went along?  No, never!  After some early rain, the day was now clearing up and the race looking more attractive than it had.  The calm became a perfect sailing breeze and the clouds disappeared to leave blue skies and sunshine.  With the slow boats set off first to ensure they got back in time for lunch, all enjoyed a lovely sail, with at least two skippers saying they would have liked another lap or two!  Wandering Rose gained style points for playing Christmas music as they sailed round and the Rheads in the dory had nothing better to do than consume coffee, cake and brandy, handed to them by the owner of one of the riverside houses.  And some people question why we sail in December: it was all superb.

However, all good things come to an end and there was lunch to be had, at which it can safely be said that no-one starved, and the home made table decorations to be admired.  These were judged by the completely unbiased Jemima, one of the pub staff.  She placed Di Branscombe's excellent arrangement of greenery and lighting in second place and adjudged the Wandering Rose yacht with lights for rigging and a YSC burgee to be the winner of some suitably rose coloured gin.  An honourable mention should be given to Joe Farrow, who had a similar idea, but had made his own river cruiser from scratch, rather than simply decorating an existing model yacht.  The less said about its keel, the better though...

The race results were then announced, with Modwena (who had arrived at 1am that morning) winning the pheasants for third place. Vixen took second place and the ducks, with the trophy and a giant turkey being awarded to Wandering Rose.  No-one racing gets left out at this event, so Marigold were presented with a couple of bottles of cider as a consolation prize for their fourth (and last) place. It should be mentioned that Team Wandering Rose had promised to give £10 to our trophy restoration fund for every top three place they achieved in races this year.  The Turkey Race was apparently their 18th placing and so, after the prize-giving, they duly donated a most generous amount.

Of course, the afternoon was rounded off by the raffle, compèred by Terry Secker in his usual completely non PC fashion.  There seemed to be even more ticket colour-confusion than normal, perhaps not helped by the fact that his assistant was somewhat distracted by his daughter - our youngest member Saoirse, who was sporting her YSC onesie.  The prizes were pretty fairly spread around the room this year, with Ben Heath (Modwena) winning the hamper.  Most then departed, but those with yachts moored there stayed and enjoyed a very sociable early evening which, for the Wandering Rose boys, was rudely interrupted by their other halves insisting they left to go and visit the Lincoln's new cat. The remaining five stayed until it was late enough to bring out the cheese and port, before retiring to their bunks.


last edited on:  06/12/2021 at 18:34   by: The Editor