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For once, Reedham Regatta was not grey and cold: instead,
we had sunshine and strong winds. Although seven boats entered for the
first race on Saturday afternoon, there was a certain amount of crew
amalgamation, changing of minds and slowness in reefing, all of which meant only
five yachts headed for the start line and only four of those made it across, as
the newly rigged Jessie May had her slab reefing lines in a twiddle and had to
retreat to sort them out.
A slightly unusual straight line course up and down river
was set, with two laps to be sailed, but also two intermediate buoys to be left
to starboard as they were passed en route in each direction. This confused
May, who overlooked the final one and unhappily left it to port by mistake,
thereby disqualifying themselves from their third place, just three seconds
behind Sabrina 2. White Rose took an unplanned visit up the bank and the
rescue boat was also kept busy rescuing an errant forepeak hatch and towing May
back to her moorings after an engine failure.
While all this was going on, Pippinjack won.
After the racing, people were invited to "spot the
buoy" by studying a picture taken at Reedham Regatta three years ago and
trying to decide where the racing mark was. This promoted much discussion
and many erroneous theories, but in the end Ruth Lincoln was less wrong than
everybody else and won a bottle of wine. An enjoyable evening was then had in
the pub, with members enjoying some excellent steaks for their meal and a few
beers, but all had staggered to their beds before closing time, under the light
of a beautiful full moon.
Sunday was still windy, but less so and the fleet was
joined by four more entrants, but again there was some crew swapping and
amalgamation and only eight raced, all of them with one reef in. This
tidily meant two starts of four, each led round by a Farrington 25 on the race
upriver, via a loop in Cantley Reach, to Beauchamp. This inserted lap
suited Pippinjack, leading the first start, as it introduced an extra tacking
section and they duly won the race by just under a minute from Sabrina 2.
In the second start, Vixen got away first, sometimes
sailing without a jib, but holding the lead on the water until just before
Buckenham, when Sally slipped past to take the second start line honours and
third place overall on corrected time. Some braved the pub to purchase
beer and cheesy chips, both of which were much enjoyed, even though sitting
outside felt rather like being in a transit camp, as the river was still fenced
off after the previous day's rave.
A running and reaching race back to Reedham in the
afternoon favoured those with more canvas and Sabrina 2 had pulled out a decent
lead by the time the first start got to Cantley, which she extended to win the
race from May. In the second start, Vixen again led on the water,
gradually extending her lead over Sally by means of a couple of cheeky luffs
along the bank, but the race was too short for her to beat the slower boat on
handicap, with just 22 seconds eventually separating Sally's fourth place from
Vixen's sixth. Jessie May split them, a mere seven seconds ahead of Vixen.
Meanwhile, during both races, White Rose and Puck, both on
15%, match raced all the way round, with Puck winning their private battle in
the morning and White Rose getting revenge in the afternoon. On both
occasions, less than a minute separated the two.
With a first and a second, Sabrina 2 took the Beauchamp
Arms trophy for the best overall on Sunday, but Pippinjack's two firsts from the
first two races gave her an unassailable lead when it came to winning the