Classic boats have always been food for the eyes of any true sailing addict, so when you are given the opportunity to go sail on one, amongst a fleet of 60 odd of the best the east coast can offer, you don't turn it down!
Karen and Patrick had asked me to come along and do foredeck on Vreny, who is a really pretty Stella class, at 26', and 50years of age. The event was the Suffolk Classics regatta, out of Suffolk Yacht Harbour, and event now in its 8th year, and seemingly getting bigger every time.
Vreny was one of 16 Stellas entered, which meant that we had our own start, so even better than just racing her, we had class racing.
The weather couldn't have been kinder, with 12kts and warm sunny skies...
The first race set us up nicely for the weekend... we'd watched the forecast, and seen that it was suggesting the wind would veer through the day, so as we all set off on Starboard off the line, we tacked early onto Port.... everyone else held the starboard tack, expecting the shallower water to get them out of the foul tide, and 10 minutes later realised that they were being steadily headed, and we, having tacked alone were being lifted up towards the first mark.... an hour later, we remained close hauled, laying the mark without having tacked again, while the rest of the fleet, now some way behind had freed off to the point of reaching... yes they had better boat speed, but we were a long way ahead.... and so we rounded the windward mark first!
Eventually, a quicker boat (funded with a large budget, including new sails, a near professional race crew, and the very best of everything equipment wise) overhauled us on one of the downwind legs, but we beat them fair and square on the tactical front.... a 2nd place in the end, and 3rd over the line as the faster classes overhauled us... we ended up 4th on handicap across all the fleets.
The second race saw us tick off a 3rd place...
The evening was great, with a live Blues Band, and a few pints with friends... and Sunday dawned to be another glorious day...
A 4th place was put in the bag... it seemed a bit of a lottery as the wind died completely mid course, but again, we'd guessed which side it would reappear from, and set ourselves up nicely to consolidate our results...
By 17:30, after prize giving, where Vreny took her 2nd in class, to roudy applause (they're a great bunch, the Stella fleet!), I set off home, alittle sunburnt, and thoroughly satisfied with what proved to be a wonderful weekend.
Thanks Karen and Patrick... hope for an invite again next year!
Miles logged 30nm
Miles this season 314nm
Miles since this blog started 4,211nm