Yeoman Y210 2013
Yeoman: Maybe (2013)
Posted by Queren Stewart, 14st June, 2013
Weather, Northerly up to 15 dropping to 0 at some point between 19:00 and 23:59, going westerly for a time before returning northerly and back up to 10. Well that was the forecast anyway.
The Race from my viewpoint as I was a bit busy to watch everyone else’s race!
Note that most references are to do with the Yeoman class as I was sailing Y210
We started poorly, well back in the pack in start 4, not that it mattered, most of the rest of us had a turn in the lead because as soon as you got in front, you were blanketed by everyone else as we were running. By the time we reached the church bends Charlie Brown under spinnaker was disappearing into the distance leaving the rest of us behind.
Then came the Ant the unusual Northerly caused chaos on the Normally Chaotic Ant leg. Most years with the normal south westerly, the Ant is a series of swerves both up and down the river. This year it was a definite tack up to the bridge and a run back. Tacking in that crowded narrow river was bad enough but we had some very committed sailors from the previous starts some under Spinnaker charging down towards us! Somehow we safely reached to top buoy, to hear the roaring of an engine as a 40ft tourist motor boat came under the bridge and was thrown into reverse when they saw the chaos in front.! It was then our turn to run the gauntlet of tacking boats including the first of the cruisers arriving which you had to dive past when they were in mid tack as they filled the river when going across.
It was then time for the South Walsham leg which was quiet, until we reached the moorings just before the broad. Then with the shelter of trees it was a slow motion version of the Ant. Then a burst of wind as several boats tried to get to the buoy to drop their tags in the basket at the same time. On returning to the shelter of the moorings area, where there was a man on a large sailing yacht moored up, shouting at people and wandering up and down the side of his Yacht with a large fender.
After that it was nice to return to the comparative peace and quiet of the Bure for the long Run down to Acle.
We arrived at Acle to find Two Yeoman moored and lowering their masts, we decided to go for a drop in the river. Layout all the halyards on the floor, Kicking strap off, unhook boom, drop main, furl jib…. Unfortunately at that point the jib jammed, after a few seconds of trying to fix it I shouted drop the lot and the mast came back which I caught and dropped into the support. There was a large cheer from above as to outsiders it looked like a perfect drop with the mast only a couple of feet from impact with the bridge.
We coasted through passing the two Yeomen and immediately raised the mast only to jam the halyards beneath the foot of the mast, mast back to 45 degrees keep a pull on the halyards push mast back up, everything free haul it all up again. I carried on helming on the run to below Stracey while Tony spent the whole run, first tidying up the mess of ropes on the floor and then re-rigging the forestay halyard to give more purchase on the forestay, before clambering onto the foredeck to see what was wrong with the jib. The top of the jib had wrapped itself round the forestay. We rounded the lower Bure buoy and discussed what to do while tacking back to Acle. We decided to go to shore to lower and raise the rig this time, which we did, intending that if there was a still a problem to sort it when above bridge, however when we did pull it back up the extra purchase sorted everything out and off we went passing another Yeoman.
The many tacks all the way to Potter Heigham were fairly uneventful, as the river was busy including tourists coming under the bridge we tied up to lower this time which went well, the tide was with us as we paddled through both bridges easily, the raise was in the river and went smoothly that time, also passing several non-Yeoman boats. The sail to the Hickling turning was mostly a long reach and relaxing, before the narrow section up to Hickling where we met many different boats while tacking up the river. As the river opened up it became a pleasant long tack, short tack, Charlie Brown and Two C Sons, passing us on their way back, eventually we spotted the buoy almost as far as you can go to Hickling sailing club. A good rounding and a very nice run back to the Thurne.
The wind started to drop now as we reached back to Potter, we dropped the mast while mid river this time, according to the tide tables we should have been with the tide (by over an hour) but after some quick paddling against the light tide we could see there was still some tide coming in. We tied up to raise the mast and then set off down to Thurne mouth in company of Y25 River Mist and Half-decker Limentis Reducta. By the time we reached Thurne mouth it was just us and River Mist, we rounded the bend onto the Bure tight to the bank but River Mist was out in the middle and almost came to a halt against the tide which had now turned.
We crept up the bank as far as the nearest pumping station to St Benets straight overtaking a very large cruiser while leaving River Mist behind. At this point the large cruiser and ourselves made several attempts to move forward but were washed back, so both of us grabbed some reeds for the duration, behind us River Mist was visible by her lights having to stop when she rounded the corner. After a while River Mist appeared through the err… river mist, and came along side so we realized we could sail on and did so as did the cruiser, we passed River Mist shortly after as she misjudged the bank in the darkness and stuck her nose into the reeds.
During the crawling along the bank severe back and neck ache occurred as I lent out on the leeward side to follow the bank; nearly a week later and I am still suffering…..
We then went on for a short while before we again ran out of wind and grabbed some more reeds. We laid out on the seats for a break and sometime after I was woken by Tony, we were adrift as I had let go when I had fallen asleep, a quick grab for the controls and we made for the opposite bank hoping to hold on again but while crossing we realized we could sail again and crept on, up river, suffering a large wash back as we rounded onto St Benets Straight, recovering from that we crept on up alongside the moored boats till we ran out of wind again and had to moor up in a gap.
After 15 minutes looking over the moored cruisers I saw that a Yeoman and Charlie Brown were tacking at the end of the straight. So we had another go and again crept on up river. Once we had passed The Ant it became easier with less tide and more wind carried on in pursuit we gradually caught up the unknown Yeoman which turned out to be Windy Wendy, whist seeing glimpses of Charlie Brown further ahead. We finally passed Windy Wendy near the Horning Ferry Pub and carried on catching Charlie Brown. Sadly for us she made it to the line before we got there.
On reaching the club we were astonished to find we were third Yeoman, as we had assumed the three retired Yeomen were ahead of us. Also we were surprised to find we were only 8 minutes behind the first Yeoman and were first Yeoman home without spinnaker.
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