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  Ray Perryman Memorial Race, 2023 New Page 1

This year, with the chilly weather lingering, the forecast for the Ray Perryman race promised sunshine!  Sadly not that much breeze, though it was in a favourable direction for Beccles.

With Egret the first to arrive, she was joined throughout the afternoon at Somerleyton by May, Anna, Retribution and Flight.  Bravely, the YSC Vice Commodore set forth to the Duke’s Head to test the waters: these were reported to be potable and the natives friendly.

With varying work commitments, several competitors continued to arrive at different times: Pan stayed put in the marina overnight, with Farthing and Puck arriving just in time on Saturday morning - one of them hiding upstream of the railway bridge.  Special mention should also be made of Marigold, appearing for the first time with Ship's Cat Clawdia on board.  Sadly, this was a guest appearance only, as they felt it prudent not to travel too far from Somerleyton.

Duly briefed on the course, all the racing yachts left within a short space of time, taking advantage of the swing bridge being open.  This year our ‘start gate’ was from 11am to noon, although with a late low water at Somerleyton, it didn’t pay to leave too early.

First to start was Pan, with Flight and Farthing then following.  Puck led the next trio, with May and Anna starting as late as possible. Both Flight and Pan were ultimately met with a series of incredibly fluky gusts as they tacked to Oulton Dyke, which didn’t help with boatspeed!  Given this, bearing away toward Burgh St Peter was a great relief!

Sadly, with ever encroaching tree growth, the remainder of the course became challenging to sail, even with a following wind.  Thankfully the sun shone, and all competitors were very, very brave about it all.

Flight passed Pan in the vicinity of the Waveney River Centre, with Farthing catching them by Worlingham parish mooring.  Her booming out gear and large rig were clearly perfect for the conditions, she made it look easy!

Somewhere behind, May and Anna battled it out with each other for the whole length of the course, neither feeling they were doing very well. 

Sadly for most, in the reaches between Aldeby Hall moorings and Boaters Hill, sufficient time was lost by all the other competitors in the doldrums to ensure Farthing gained an unassailable lead  of 11 minutes on corrected time to win the trophy for the third year running.  Anna and May surpassed their expectations by coming in second and third respectively, with Flight just 18 seconds behind in fourth place.

Our hosts at Beccles sailing club kindly timed the competing yachts in, and also provided cold beer for us to enjoy whilst their afternoon session of club racing completed.  Later that evening they also hosted a delicious BBQ which many YSC members enjoyed.

The following day Flight, Pan and Egret, joined by Vixen with the crew of Retribution on board, made the short trip up to Geldeston, where they enjoyed a sunny lunchtime in the garden of the Locks Inn before returning downriver to Beccles Yacht Station for the evening.  Here, some ate on board, while others ventured out for beers and a curry in town, thereby rounding off a pleasant weekend. 

All in all, a perfect, sunny start to the season.


last edited on:  31/05/2023 at 12:24   by: The Editor