News 4th April

Our new Dragon fleet got its first real taste of competitive sailing in the RCYC Easter Regatta, with all three entered in a strong class of 14 boats, with visitors from other rivers and indeed from foreign parts.

The racing started on Good Friday, in what was reported as the wettest and coldest conditions the Dragons had faced in a long while. We finished 2nd and 4th in this baptismal race – a sign of good things to come.

On Saturday the weather we have come to expect from an early Easter continued, with lightening winds and a roaring tide, with the result that the scheduled three races became two. In the first of these we produced a winner – Chip Cole in “Anarchy”, with 4th place going to Dan Wastnage in “Sabbatical”. Just to show it was no fluke, in the next race Dan took the honours.

Easter Sunday saw three races, and try though our valiant sailors did, the years of experience in the Dragon fleet in the fickle conditions (to say nothing of the effects of the celebrations of the previous day? -Ed) kept our boats out of the winning positions.

Overall a good result for the RBYC Dragons, with “Anarchy” (Chip Cole, Nicola Hastwell and Simon Holland-Brown) on the podium in third place, and “Sabbatical” coming in 5th after a tie break for 4th.  The full results can be seen here.

Although it is a little early in the year for the RB racing fleets, while all this excitement was going on we had the annual competition amongst the cruiser/racers for the Williwaw Trophy.

There were three entrants: “Tifano”, “Double Trouble” and “Glorious Fools”. All entrants were competing under IRC and NHC handicaps. All courses were upriver in response to wind direction and to try to keep clear of the Dragon and Squib fleets which were holding regattas from the RCYC.
The first race on Saturday morning was in a light south-easterly. The finishing order on adjusted times was:

Tifano 2 3
Glorious Fools 1 1
Double Trouble 3 2
The conditions for the Saturday afternoon race were even lighter, with “Tifano” and “Double Trouble” struggling to get over the start line against the tide. “Glorious Fools” did better by keeping close to the North shore initially. “Tifano” sagely decided to retire before drifting too far towards continental Europe. “Double Trouble” started to make some headway by going over to the South shore but it was still heavy going against the tide for both remaining boats. In the end discretion triumphed over valour, and both boats retired.The conditions were better on Sunday morning, with a still light but filling WNW wind. The course was again upriver but carefully keeping clear of the Dragons and Squibs who were doing similar courses. “Glorious Fools” unfortunately couldn't make it to the start line so it was a closely fought duel between “Tifano” and “Double Trouble”, the latter narrowly winning on adjusted time under both handicap systems.

The overall IRC series winner and Williwaw Trophy winner was “Double Trouble” – but only after a tie-break with “Tifano”.

Congratulations to Duncan Hayley and the crew of “Double Trouble” who collected the Williwaw Trophy in the bar, along with the trophy for NHC winner. Thanks to the crews of all three boats for competing in less than thrilling or comfortable conditions!