Damp autumn grass from overnight showers and bright intermittent sunshine amongst brooding rain-laden clouds set the scene for 2017 Junior Regatta. Early morning winds were breezy but not overpowering. Prospects for the rest of the day were good but with risk of showers.
None of this was daunting for the (sixteen) young sailors who turned up to participate. The jetties and front lawn were by 10.30 brimming with sailors and their attendant family members rigging up with spars, sails, foils, boat covers and other paraphenalia littering the launch areas.
Alongside supporting family there were a handful of senior club sailors who turned up with mindful anticipation of a gentle Saturday sail. Unlike their junior counterparts they were easily dissuaded from rigging by the menace of approaching darker clouds.
Thus began the day and race officer Peter Hone set the course, hailed the competitors and from the comfortable confines of the gently bobbing Committee Boat started the first race. The more experienced sailors took the beat in their stride whilst others grappled with ‘head to wind’ flapping sails. Once around the first buoy all competitors progressed with more ease and motion. The figure of eight course may have seemed a distance to cover for some of these youngsters but they stuck at it and in the end will have been relieved to hear the final hooter.
Immediately following was a shorter race for the three brave Optimist sailors. They were not blessed by good weather and rain fell upon them.
At least lunch beckoned and gave a chance for stomachs to be filled and for socialising and chat.
The afternoon’s races faced lighter winds which proved to be a challenge for everyone. Competition was keen amongst the leading boats and places were being fought for. Anxious and proud parents watched on with the occasional heart flutter as alongside assistance was needed for rigging re-attachment or towing from being grounded.
In the end a successful event for all present. Results as follows;
1st G Burnett (Topper)
2nd N Bell (Topper)
3rd Z Cicero (Topper)
1st P Whyley
2nd T Timmans
3rd A Winter
Thanks to Peter and Liz Hone with Bob Towler for race management. Thanks too to Julie Harris and all those who helped in galley to provide a seamless service.