Dragon Easter Regatta 2014

»«Tuesday 22nd April 2014

The first big event of the Dragon calendar got underway on Good Friday with 15 dragons including four visiting boats from as far afield as Belgium lining up for a club line start. The usual Burnham weather vagaries kicked in right away, with the race being lead by Scorpio until a wind shift in the last leg gave the boats on the south shore an advantage, resulting in a win for Storm sailed by the Brown family. Then we toasted the launch of Herbie, BEL 82 with some Bruges Zot provided by Xavier Vanneste.

Saturday morning saw the fleet heading to the mouth of the Roach for windward/leewards courses run by Edwin and Kim from Phoebe. After a brief postponement the racing got underway and three close races resulted in three different winners - Avalanche, Quicksilver VI and Scorpio. The fleet then enjoyed some post racing drinks and nibbles in the bar before a good turnout joined the club "Round the World" bistro and a few stalwarts finished their day off dancing to 'COAST'.

On Sunday the fleet headed to the mouth of the Roach again in fairly breezy conditions, where they found Phoebe sporting a sad face on her stern saying "Ouch!" after an unfortunate Saturday start line incident.

A somewhat eventful three races followed. There were a number of boats (locals and visitors alike) who managed to find the Burnham mud, with Roger the RIB earning a few free drinks as his services were required to rescue some of them.

A number of rather unconventional spinnaker drops were also sighted (although I suspect trawling with a 'large brightly coloured net' only has limited success as I'm not aware that anyone actually landed a fish), and the strong tides, especially at the windward mark, resulted in a few misjudged approaches and rather dizzy competitors from the resulting 360s.

The last laugh was, however, generated by a local competitor who was spotted nudging Fairway 1 on the way home! Despite the strong competition, Avalanche had a great day and secured a comfortable overall lead with three firsts. Luckily the torrential downpour hit after the fleet had reached the shore, and stopped before they returned to the club to drown sorrows or celebrate the day with a few Pimms and a superb meal at the regatta dinner.

Monday dawned bright and almost windless, but by 10:30 there was enough breeze for a depleted fleet of ten boats to start the final race off the club line. After a couple of turns into the Roach and a bit of a battle, Quicksilver VI came home first.

Avalanche’s consistency over the weekend gave them first overall, with Quicksilver VI in second and the first visitor, Rackham, in third.

René Nel