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  The One Day Regatta in a Gale: Cantley Regatta, 2023 New Page 1

From afar, the forecast made it obvious that this year's Cantley Regatta was going to be a windy one. Very, very windy. Somewhat optimistically, the OOD (Simon Miles) set a course on Saturday afternoon, but it soon became apparent that the troops were quietly mutinying and the plan morphed into the idea of having three races on Sunday. The Race Officer's gazebo and the flagpole were firmly reefed and everyone somehow ended up on the pub's new terrace.

Soon, the Secretary turned up, armed with quizzes - Dingbats and cryptic flowers. Almost as hard as solving the answers was keeping the sheets of paper anchored on the table as the wind gusted but, hey, that's what empty glasses are for! After an hour or so of brain-scratching, the answers were revealed and the team led by Paul Howes duly won the box of Heroes. Kindly, these were passed around for all to share.

After a bit of a pause for some, most reassembled for the group meal, which reduced everyone to a state of fullness, which obviously had nothing to do with the quantities of beer that had been consumed earlier.

In the morning, it was.... windy. But, also sunny and warm and dry; and many could be seen tucking in reefs before the 9am confirmatory briefing. There was clearly still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the wisdom of actually sailing and only two yachts made the line for the first race: keenly watched by everyone else. Modwena, the slower boat, was set off first and then chased around the long loop of the course by Melinda. Paul, continuing his winning streak, brought Melinda home a minute ahead of Modwena on corrected time.

Within minutes of the latter finishing, the starting sequence for the second race was initiated, with those on the line wondering whether there would be any takers. However, the first two yachts were still game and they were joined by Glory, Sabrina 2 and Wandering Rose; all well reefed down, of course. It made for exciting viewing, but happily all made it around the single loop without incident, apart from a reefing line snapping with a loud and alarming noise on Wandering Rose. They'd also forgotten to pump out the boat before racing, so were carrying rather a lot of water round with them. Oh how they rued these things, when they found out they had lost the race by a mere 13 seconds to Melinda.

After a breather for lunch, when one or two even dared to shake out a reef, all five boats set off for the third race, now also joined by Honey. The buoys had been brought in a little, making a shorter course and allowing a lap and a half to be sailed. With the ebb now firmly set in, the large, white-capped waves had disappeared, but in their place was a slightly tricky tack against the tide. This hampered the two slower yachts and also had the effect of spreading out the fleet, with large gaps between them on corrected time.

Wandering Rose, properly reefed again and no longer carrying excess baggage, romped around the course, narrowly taking line honours in a closely-fought race with Melinda and thereby ending Paul's winning streak. Glory (Colin Brown) came third in both the races she did and thus third overall. With Melinda having won the first race and Wandering Rose the last, the second race turned out to be the decider for the overall trophy. Those thirteen seconds!! Paul collected the Sparklet Trophy with a smile and a speech of gratitude, while the crew of Wandering Rose tried their best to throw the blame on the absent Mr Radley.

As a footnote, Martham's large traditional hire boat, Silver Jubilee, has to be mentioned. First making an appearance at Rockland, where the crew of Wandering Rose reveled in having their own travelling apartment; they hired it again for Cantley, mooring it strategically close to the start line and inviting the Commodore and Officer of the Day aboard for beers. Now referred to as Rose Cottage, it is understood she will also be appearing at Breydon Regatta, where the OOD is open to more bribery (sorry, hospitality).

last edited on:  19/07/2023 at 15:56   by: The Editor