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  Dragonflies at Breydon. 2005

Victory at Breydon Regatta has gone to Chris and Leone Dowsett's 100 year old giant Dragonfly. The 38 foot gaff centre-boarder was simply untouchable in the stiff reaching winds and big gusts which dominated the weekend's major event. For Breydon in their yacht's centenary year campaign, Chris had assembled an elderly, retired or close-to-retired crew, but the self-styled 'gerries' and their wooden centenarian quickly combined to overcome younger craft with more youthful complements, taking first place in the opening passage race to Reedham and back. Farthing made the fastest passage to finish second ahead of Anthony Landamore in Matilda.

Dragonfly then went on to win the first of the two Sunday races confined to Breydon Water. With Sunday's winds blowing up to 25 miles per hour across the three mile course, the only yacht capable of matching Dragonfly in reaching conditions was Mels Farrar's Farthing. Hard-pressed, and in constant danger of broaching, Farthing's crew made a valiant attempt, followed by a wiser decision to retire rather than take damage. Privateer had earlier looked out on Breydon, and returned to reef.

Dragonfly won from Amaryllis with the Landamores' Matilda in third, this despite a ten minute period when the wind fell away to 8 mph during a shower, and left her struggling against the tide.

As the gusts returned and then rose to approaching 40 mph in the final race, most of the 14-strong fleet opted to join the audience. These included the Dragonfly 'gerries', who with the two wins, and the regatta trophy safely under their belts, were perhaps feeling their ages more than the yacht. Or perhaps it was Frank's barbecue?

The best of the surviving six yachts set off, with a heavily reefed Privateer looking the most comfortable, whilst Rebecca and Matilda headed her towards the Bridge end buoy, their progress punctuated by broaches. Behind the first division was Dave Mackley's Honey, which was enjoying a stiff joust with with Paul Steven's Amaryllis, whilst Phil Leftley's Nutcracker tore along in the middle. Honey proved the eventual winner, from Amaryllis with Privateer third.

It's a tribute to the condition of the many elderly competing yachts and the care of their crews, that no significant damage was taken. Also worthy of particular mention were Robert and Sally Self from NBYC, who ran a faultless bridge operation, in this, their first-ever Breydon.

Yare Sailing Club Breydon Open Regatta Results

Passage Race (Sambrooke Sturgess Trophy) 1. Dragonfly (C. Dowsett), 2. Farthing (M. Farrar), 3. Amaryllis (P. Stevens). Fastest Passage (Greyhound Trophy) Farthing. Snipe Trophy Race (Sunday a.m.), 1. Dragonfly, 2. Honey (D. Mackley), 3. Matilda (A. Landamore). Berney Arms Cup Race (Sunday p.m), 1. Honey, 2. Amaryllis, 3. Privateer (T. Child).

last edited on:  08/08/2005 at 17:15   by: The Editor