Cruiser Fleet Opening Muster 2014

»«Monday 14th April 2014

As is usual in the Cruiser Fleet, the weather was sunny, and a mix of cruisers made their way by water up to Fambridge. The Coyles' Clara, the Heasleys' Star Swan and the O'Connell/Brown's Raffles were at the start.

The morning upstream race to windward ended with Zoe O'Connell and Sarah Brown's family crew on Raffles taking turns at helming and enjoying their self-tacking jib; they achieved a good third place. The winner however was Tracy and Robert Coyle's Clara, again with a self tacker, but only by 50 seconds from a full, eleven, exhausted crew on Star Swan.

The race back – third again was Raffles with a much reduced number of crew. Star Swan's crew, reduced by only one to ten, had lost some of their hangovers from the Goodall/Hastwell Wedding earlier that morning, managed to finish just ahead of Clara. So with one first and one second each the decision was made by the Class Captain that the Wizard Cup series was won by Star Swan as he judged their combined times, after handicap adjustments, was 45 seconds quicker than Clara's and he had never understood what countback is.

George Winder (Race Officer) on Committee Boat, Sprite, and Team Eagling in the RIB, providing essential back-up, steamed up in the sunshine for lunch as did John Heathfield's Aquarius and Malcolm Hutchins and Jackie Tracey's Penelope Pit Stop. Early season snags with gear and fitting out problems caused Quick Reflex, Jack, Verlette, Miranda, Livewire and Papa Romeo to miss the starting blocks but most crews still managed to reach the Ferryboat at Fambridge by various means, including bicycle.

Fambridge Yacht Haven had kindly waived mooring fees and Sheena, Good Hope, collected £100 in lieu for Burnham Lifeboat amongst the Cruiser members.

Another Cruiser – Nightsong – Chris Goodfellow, instead of coming to Fambridge set off on his second circumnavigation of Britain, heading West this time, and sailed down river on the morning of Thursday 10th April. He logged his arrival in Plymouth at 11:00 on Saturday 12th April – he says it was a tropical sail not cold.

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Arthur Heasley