The Turkey Race always promises to be an interesting event. This year, as the race briefing is interrupted by a River Inspector who then begins to question a competitor (as the majority of the YSC shuffle backwards) you know it’s going to deliver.
This bizarre Mexican standoff concluded (no competitors were detained) the YSC learnt of their course: ABABABA. Not a tribute band as you might think, but a well thought out circuit which’d take us up to Bramerton Common, then back to just above Surlingham Ferry several times.
Spurred on by the dead heat at the top of the YSC club championship, we had a bumper attendance of 8 yachts: Vixen, Marigold, Morning Calm, Modwena, Alice Rose, Wandering Rose, Honey and Flight. Special mention goes to Honey, who was attending her first YSC event under her current ownership. Sensibly, our starts were reversed to enable slower boats a clear run at the course; this in part being justified by the fact it would be an early HW and we’d race against an ebb throughout the day.
Weather-wise, a bright day with a moderate ENE breeze promised a good mix of running/upwind sailing, although during the race it was decidedly flukey both in direction and strength. At times you’d be facing a SE, or even a westerly… well it made for an interesting sail!
Within the first lap, it was evident that the fleet would have its work cut out. All competitors found themselves, at some point or another, in close company with each other! Especially at the marker buoys. Those with taller rigs, including topsails made better progress through the trees.
This advantage was somewhat undone by these yachts also all going aground, sometimes in close company, on the same bit of the river… in truth, of 8 yachts, 5 managed to go aground! Without identifying the guilty skipper, all that will be said is to carry a quant at all times is very sensible.
Although the upper Yare is heavily tree-lined (and shallow) everyone managed an enjoyable sail, in cool, crisp conditions. Even better, a dry day enabled some to de-rig their mainsails at lightning speed before the roast potatoes hit the plate!
Sonia and her team delivered a delicious meal for our members and their crews to devour - each year the phrase ‘all the trimmings’ manifests itself as more and more deliciousness. A cruel suggestion was made that next year, we could try having the race after the Turkey lunch. A relatively stern look making to quash that nonsense before it could gain traction!
Highlights of the afternoon included the ‘best dressed reindeer’ - which came complete with a bowtie and a come hither look… Our faithful raffle-master Terry excelled, perhaps spurred on by tickets in his favourite, somewhat controversial colour (!)
Special mention must go to Marigold, who kindly donated a new trophy for the TR this year, the ‘Packso platter’ given to the boat that’s been most stuffed. So for her first YSC event in 2022, Honey duly got stuffed. Ahem.
For those who are interested in such things: Alice Rose came third to win the pheasants, Flight got the ducks and Morning Calm, enjoying her first visit to this event, won the Turkey and a shiny trophy. “Pam from the pub” won the hamper in the raffle, much to her delight and everyone else’s.
Finally, huge thanks to everyone who supported the event, either by competing, spectating or by undertaking many of the countless tasks ‘behind the scenes’ which make this event work. A perfect end to the year.