The social before this year's Yare Challenge Cup race was
very poorly attended, with just the Branscombes, Kilners and Chris Dowsett (with
Chloe) turning out for the meal at Surlingham Ferry. With a number of
other events elsewhere over the weekend, it would seem there were simply too
many clashes. Nevertheless, the five people present had a pleasant evening
with the usual copiously filled plates and plenty to make conversation about.
On Sunday it blew. Despite (or, perhaps, because of)
this, seven yachts turned out to contest the race, which was also part of
Coldham Hall's Sunday club series. Vixen was only eligible to sail for YSC
and Stratus and Swallowtail only for CHSC, so Bob Branscombe as de facto race
officer, split the remaining four boats as fairly as he could, according to
handicaps, with Glory and Melody joining Vixen, and Anna and Morning Calm being
allocated to the Coldham fleet.
Once things had settled down after the brisk start, a
procession led by Glory set off down Train Reach on a gusty close haul.
Melody and Stratus had a bit of a "discussion" just after the start,
which effectively put them both out of contention and Bill Clark may well have
regretted putting two reefs in Morning Calm as he was steadily overhauled early
on. Once out of the trees Glory, seemingly at a permanent 45 degree angle,
pulled away from the rest of the fleet, followed by Vixen, who had somehow
managed to sneak past Swallowtail and then Anna into a second place on the water
which she never lost, despite the Branscombe's best efforts.
There was a lot of reaching and a lot of spilling of wind;
one nerve wracking dead free run and a bit of tacking on the way back.
Happily, with the flood tide, after turning just above Langley Woods, the second
half of the course passed quickly and the welcome sight of Coldham Hall and the
finish soon came into view, with Anna nearly, but not quite, catching Vixen on
the line. It turned out that Glory had not managed to stay far enough
ahead and so Colin had to be content with second place behind Vixen.
However, with both boats sailing for the YSC, this ensured they retained the
challenge trophy by 9 points to 12.