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Minima Regatta - 2010

posted 6 Sep 2010, 00:03 by Domain Admin   [ updated 6 Sep 2010, 00:34 by Graham Morley ]
The east wind visits Minima occasionally on Regatta days, and has its own special challenges.

It’s hard on centreboards, as the general principle is to sneak along the Middlesex bank as long as possible without tacking, but the gravel punting ledge runs a couple of yards out, and just when you think you can squeeze along another few feet then crunch goes the plate. If you are not careful you are on a lee shore with your mast stuck in a tree and the main sheet woven into a bramble bush. Sometimes the only solution is to send the crew overboard to shove off. Ah, the joys of river sailing.

And you can have difficulties with anglers. The first weekend of September, is  a popular weekend for the last events of summer, and most years they sit in silent and solitary competition, but when the easterly drives sailors within range then those who stray over the lines listen nervously for the patter of maggots on the mainsail.

It was a fluky wind at the weekend, would have been blustery if it had the strength, so one minute boats were running, then a quick gybe and they were heading upwind in a maddening sequence that the best helms were able to read and anticipate, but from time to time most of us were stuck in irons watching the burgee spinning round.

Generally east and evil, the wind was wicked in a good way when it strengthened in the last race on Sunday providing particular excitement for the Enterprises and Solos, who were sailing short and increasingly hectic laps in front of the club house. The Raters and Merlins were on a longer course, coinciding with the others at the bottom mark, where clumps of boats occasionally accumulated shouting at each other and watching their competitors going round them.

The Merlins seemed to have the least fun, sailing long tricky laps without ever having a steady enough breeze to keep the spinnaker flying.
Minima was well supported by friends from Thames, Twickenham and Tamesis, with 30 boats on the river. Thames of course supplied the raters and a bonus Merlin, Twickenham taking the handicap honours with two neat-looking National 12s, and Tamesis as usual supplying Ken Duffell and Brian Corking to take the Merlin prize.

The barbecue on Saturday night was sold out, Minima hospitality at its best with the jazz floating out over a the balcony and reasonable weather. With customary generosity TWM solicitors, sponsors for the 4th year running, provided champagne for the winners. Ever stylish, the Thames crew actually finished their bottle before heading home up the river. Skipper Martin Hunter was probably drowning his sorrows – weather conditions were ‘terrible’ he said, but like the rest of us, he’d had a good time.

Results (Minima Yacht Club unless stated):

A Rater (all Thames SC)
  1. Martin Hunter, Sue Williams, Roger Stafford
  2. Chris Martin, Matthew Jones, Peter Cuckow
  1. Ken Duffell, Brian Corking (Tamesis)
  2. Ben Marshall, Matt Alan
  3. Dennis Lockwood, Debbie Cass
  1. Alan Jales, Brian Cheetham
  2. Les Rowlandson, Mike King
  3. John Forbes, Andy Cowan
  1. John Metzner
  2. John Kemp
  1. Alastair Edwards, Amy McElroy (Twickenham)
  2. Tom Hill, Julie Hill (Twickenham)

(Written by John Forbes of Minima Yacht Club)