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  The north wind doth blow: Autumn Open, 2022 New Page 1

Not everyone had the best start to the day on Saturday morning, as a sharp downpour after breakfast caught out some, including those setting up the line and the course for the day. However, after that, the weather settled down with a good sailing breeze and only a few light showers later in the day. Proceedings kicked off with the Junior Race for helms under 30 which, as so often, turned into a closely fought battle between Maidie and Melinda. The former, helmed for the first time in this race by Toby Pearce, squeaked home by 19 seconds.

Stella Genesta was first off this year for the afternoon pursuit race which, with the ebb tide setting in and an inconvenient northerly wind, was entirely an upriver course this year, heading off towards Buckenham before returning to a buoy outside the pub, then looping back upriver again. Maidie lost their position as the crew who play the brinkmanship game best, being on the water well over 5 minutes before their start. This year, that honour went to Marty Thompson and crew, who had borrowed Flight and started tying on the topsail for the first time ever barely 15 minutes before their start. With 90 seconds to go, they were still attached to the bank and untangling the topsail forestay, but they were on the water for their start and ultimately no later across the line than many other boats. Impressive, as well as entertaining for the line crew.

As the race progressed, the unavoidable tack through Langley Woods sorted out the big sails from the small ones and the leading boats were well spread out by the time the 100 minutes were up. No closely fought exciting finish this year! Sabrina 2 came out top, followed by Jessie May, attending her first YSC event under Sally Dugdale's ownership.

After a few pre-prandials, it was then time to cram into the pub for a group meal where, as usual, no-one went hungry. With everyone shepherded together, Margaret took the opportunity presented to go round the tables after the meal persuading people to buy club calendars and, for the first time this year, Christmas cards. This almost certainly had nothing to do with everyone disappearing back to their beds soon afterwards.

The inconsiderate northerly persisted into Sunday, but with less rain and more sunshine, at least until lunchtime. With a late morning high water, the upriver course was much more achievable for everyone today, although the course took a bit of understanding, with one long loop upriver and then three shorter ones in Cantley Reach. Flight was the only one not to finish, when a vital lashing came undone. They are blaming the owner and swear that they were leading the race at the time! Meanwhile, the fairer circumstances on the water led to a much closer race, with less than a minute covering the top five places on corrected time. Jessie May again came second, with Morning Calm taking the honours.

After lunch, a comment from one helm about "not enough tacking," led to the upstream mark being moved further away. This led to a good sail once you managed to get through Langley Woods and a very fast return back downriver, but unfortunately the slower two boats, Puck and Stella Genesta, couldn't make it against the tide round the difficult bend at Langley. They stuck it out until the last boat in front of them returned before turning to sail back to base. The OOD, very correctly, finished the boats as they returned downriver, with Farthing back first. She sailed down to the bottom mark anyway, rounded it and gave a good demonstration of how strong the tide was down there. Her bigger rig gave Farthing a comfortable win from Melinda, with the rest of the fleet well spread out again behind them.

Sabrina 2 picked up a third place in this last race which, along with their first from the pursuit race, meant they just pipped Jessie May's two second places to take the overall trophy. Sabrina 2 also triumphed in the John Mann trophy for boats built before 1940. Finally, the Diamond Jubilee Trophy was awarded, with three qualifiers for this three-event series (Reedham-at-Rockland and both Cantley events). Glory came in third, with Morning Calm tied on 15 points with Wandering Rose; the trophy going to the latter with their three first places against Morning Calm's two.

With our usual raffle callers sadly absent, the raffola was a Kilner affair, drawn by Margaret and Julia, with a good number of prizes happily going to those who had narrowly missed out on trophies. As always, the club would like to thank the Reedcutter for looking after us so well and everyone who turned up to support the event and so generously buy raffle tickets. Next event is the Turkey Race, which will decide the very close three-way tie for the Club Championship. See you there!

last edited on:  26/09/2022 at 17:20   by: The Editor