Cantley Regatta got going on Friday evening this year, with Lisa Burton giving a demonstration of how to use a defibrillator. There was a good deal of interest from her audience, with a number of questions being asked and everyone left feeling much more informed on the topic of resuscitation.
Lisa swapped rôles for the next day, having taken on the task of running the weekend’s races. Saturday’s course involved three buoys and some different lengths of loops, but it was all drawn out in a handy diagram, which was much photographed by the competitors.
The fleet set off in two starts, reaching upriver in the light airs and then tacking through Langley Woods, past a long row of forbearing fisherman and round the mark (which was a welcome sight for some and felt to be too soon for others – can never please everyone) before running and reaching down to a buoy just above the factory. Two more loops up to the third mark below Langley Dyke and everyone completed the course, apart from Marigold, much to the race officer’s disappointment.
Morning Calm, to their astonishment, won the race, followed by Vixen and then Flight in her first ever race under Joe’s ownership. In fact, this was only the second time Joe had sailed the boat, having brought her round from Upton the day before after nearly a year’s hard work of restoration.
23 members enjoyed a communal meal in the evening, despite having to put their hands in their pockets for raffola tickets after they had eaten and the evening’s pleasantries continued in the bar afterwards.
Sunday dawned hot again and with even less wind than the day before. This time, the course had four buoys, although in the event only two were used, as the race had to be shortened. Vixen showed what she thought of this by picking up one during her pre-start circling and carrying it away. Happily the crew got it off and were back under sail before their 5 minute gun. Just.
The race itself was a bit of a lottery in the fluky wind, which frequently changed in both strength and direction. The first start spent a long time tacking below Langley Dyke: the second start reached straight past. Flight and Morning Calm tacked back and forth in dead water below the top mark: Vixen found the wind to reach along the bank and around the mark and both the other boats in one fell swoop.
The reach and run to the bottom mark on the tide was uneventful, but the tack back past the factory was somewhat taxing. The fickle hand of fate struck again at the bottom mark, with Flight and Morning Calm rounding it smartly, leaving Vixen floundering in no wind against the tide and drifting ever downstream until the breeze picked up again. She then caught the other two boats, but was becalmed again before the finish. No doubt every boat in the fleet can tell similar tales of triumph and woe.
In the afternoon, the course was shortened to the confines of Cantley Reach and the wind freshened slightly as the sea breeze kicked in. Due to time constraints, this running and tacking race was a fairly short one, which rather favoured the slower boats. Nevertheless, Sabrina 2 came out on top, as she had done in the morning, to take both races and therefore the overall trophy.
After the trophy presentation, only the raffola remained, drawn by Joe in the absence of Terry and ably assisted by Michelle. Many then left to make passage through Yarmouth, while others lingered to enjoy the hot and sunny weather.