Cantley Regatta started upon a similar vein to other YSC events previously hosted this year. In that it was raining, and I was tacking against the tide. Joy.
Saturday’s conditions were blustery, but given our enthusiasm 13 boats signed up for the initial race with no inkling of what was due to happen. I was crewing “Shruff” under the command of a mostly GWYC mob for the weekend. Jostling for the start was quite competitive, with sensible people like us staying far downriver whilst other boats came and tore up and down the line.
At this point, it all started to go wrong.
First to succumb to the conditions was the newly integral ‘Privateer’ who dived into the North bank to lower sail. From a distance we could also see ‘Brigand’ nestling in the south bank. ‘Aelfleda’ joined the casualties and left the course to be careened heavily to stop submerging. The third and final boat to hit this particularly jagged piece of piling was ‘Puck’ who tore off across to the North bank to reach terra firma before the inevitable submarine effect become permanent. Understandably with such incidents the race was abandoned, with boats returning to the pub for some liquid consolation.
In true form to Cantley the good vessels “Wisp” and battleship “Dragonfly” produced industrial forms of Pimms for consumption. Thinking of it as several of my recommended ‘five a day’ I duly sat down, shut up, and consumed. (It is the only way to eat fruit) John and Marion of ‘Puck’ were at this point safely installed in the capacious interior of ‘The Only Girl’ for the night, having had collectively about 10 berths offered to them by various boat owners. Tosh was playing for the rest of this evening, however suitable quantities of ‘Sygnus’ bitter made this less imposing.
Sunday dawned clear, hot and listless (well except Aelfleda, who during the process of being ‘tingled’ had about 10 collective mobile ballast persons on one sidedeck!) The first race involved both light airs, and a tack against tide making it slow going for most boats. Those with topsail however made very good progress. Unfortunately for my skipper, Louise, at this point I used brain, which is always dangerous, and employed the use of a water sail to help ‘Shruff’ on the run back to Cantley. However, at first this was considered an upside down reef by the committee. Then we were politely informed it was in fact an illegal sail, but due to us being at least 50 minutes behind any other finishing craft we were forgiven.
Sunday afternoon presented many good things. There still was sunshine, there was more wind, and most importantly ‘Puck’ had been raised from the depths and was looking more yacht like all round. Also worthy of note was the rapid response team of the Broads Authority who arrived after a mere 20 hours delay.
All I can say of the faster boats performance this race is that ‘Wisp’ tore off like a scalded cat with topsail set, ‘Henrietta’, ‘Anna’ and ‘Dryad’ lapped us. ‘Aelfleda’, ‘Inshallah’, and ‘Kingfisher’ all had good races on Sunday. ‘Shruff’ having a most interesting close race with “The Only Girl” who excelled in the strong reaching conditions as we were chased by our fine commodore for much of the course. There was also sibling rivalry at this point between Kilners, but in the interest of impartiality I cannot comment. Of particular note to us was we didn’t finish last. So with more unwanted action than any YSC event I can recall it’s with a note of trepidation I see Breydon looms!