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  CHSC/YSC Challenge Race, 2023 New Page 1

The Yare Challenge Trophy race is an annual event sailed between Coldham Hall Sailing Club and Yare Sailing Club.   It is traditionally preceded on the previous Saturday by the YSC social dinner, held this year at The Ferry House Surlingham.  Around sixteen sailors and non-sailors enjoyed a fine meal provided by Sonia and her team.

Sunday morning’s gathering saw six boats getting ready to sail. The presence of Wandering Rose, Alice Rose and Flight in addition to the three CHSC based boats made the decision of the club splits fairly easy: thus Anna, Glory and Morning Calm, being the only CHSC members, formed the CHSC team, and Wandering Rose, Alice Rose and Flight formed the YSC team.

There were great discussions prior to leaving the bank about the wind.  It was forecast to be westerly 16mph rising to 17mph with gusts approaching 30mph so it was not so much a case of ‘shall we reef’ but more of ‘how many reefs shall we have’.  In the end all of the fleet reefed to some extent.

All six set off as a single start, easily managed on the CHSC line.  The fleet immediately sorted themselves out into a fast group and a not so fast group, with the Roses and Glory soon opening up a large gap. Flight, without her topsail, seemed to manage the wind best out of the rear fleet, with Anna and Morning Calm forming the rear-guard positions. 

The turning mark, which some at the briefing remembered, was the red and white tape tied to the smaller of two trees just short of Langley Woods – which blew away a while ago – to be replaced by a stile – which was also removed a while ago and replaced by a fence, which thankfully is still standing.  Luckily everyone had it fixed in their mind exactly where it was.

At the turn the Roses, split by Glory, were romping back whilst the rear fleet were still passing the time of day with bankside fishermen, with whom many a kind word was exchanged. Flight, Morning Calm and then Anna turned and, as the downriver leg was against the tide and completed without a tack in sight, it was a different story sailing upriver.

Whilst Flight slowly pulled away, Morning Calm and Anna seemed to spend a large amount of time in Buckenham Reach sailing side by side, calling for ‘room to tack’ on one bank and tacking short of the fishermen on the other. They eventually approached the start of Train Reach amid comments on board Anna never before heard in mixed company and echoed apparently on Morning Calm of ‘Thank God we’ll soon be in Train Reach.’  At this point the Roses and Glory were nowhere to be seen and we could only assume that they were moored up and in the pub. Flight however was still within reach and although Anna did eventually get past Morning Calm and staged a valiant attempt, Flight crossed the line some distance ahead. Up in front, David Radley in Wandering Rose eventually crossed the line first ahead of Alice Rose and Glory thirteen seconds later.

At the prize giving the trophies could not be located, but in true improvised style, Joe Farrow received the stand-in jug on behalf of YSC who retain the trophy. The overall winner of the race also receives the Bessie Bell Trophy and a keg of beer, which this year went to Steve Burton in Alice Rose.

All in all an enjoyable sail with thankfully no major incidents.


last edited on:  04/07/2023 at 16:37   by: The Editor