Waldringfield Easter Egg Report

David Marlow - 26th April 2011

The following report is courtesy of Emma Harris.

Waldringfield Sailing and Eggie Bap Club Easter Egg Regatta for Larks

It was never going to be howling at the Waldringfield Easter Egg. The high pressure that had dominated the week leading up to the event was still stuck firmly over the river with the only hope of any racing resting on the appearance of a sea breeze. Actually, it was just as well that the wind gods decided not to play ball until the afternoon as the water gods had sucked all their stuff out of the river, only letting it flow back in during the afternoon by which time, a decent force 1 to 2, had appeared and racing could commence.

Unusually for the bit of river stretching up to Galleons Hard, it seemed to pay to be in the middle and left of the oncoming flood taking advantage of a lefty puff coming off the bank on that side. Under normal circumstances, the right bank would pay, but those that went the “right” way, soon found it was very much the wrong way and those that gambled against the tide were the winners. Both races on the Saturday were held on the same course, excellently set by Patrick Wilton, who managed to keep the six fleets apart, despite being limited by the amount of water, certainly in the first of the two races.

Emma Harris/Pete Gray were overnight leaders with two 1st s, from Harry Pynn/Adam Owens in 2nd with two 3rds. Other players were Steve Dunn/Edd McArdle who were 2nd in Race 1 and Matt Stearn/Karen Jewkes who were 2nd in Race 2.

Easter Sunday, from a tide and wind point of view, was pretty much a re-run of Saturday. It was hot, hot, hot and the sea breeze duly kicked in with a little more than the day before and perfectly timed as lunch in the galley came to an end. Racing was held in the same general area as the day before, but on a much smaller course. It was fenders out at the ready – there really wasn’t enough room for all the fleets to keep apart and a certain amount of chaos ensued. The Larks got the inevitable general recall on a very short start line and had to wait for all the other fleets to start before trying again, by which time there were Lasers, OKs and Cadets all racing through the starting area… Harris/Gray managed to round in first, but were quickly overhauled by Pynn/Owens who led to the finish.

Three races were scheduled for Sunday, so the fourth race was about to be interesting as the fleet didn’t know if the final race would be sailed and, therefore, whether the discard would kick in. On the slightly extended course, both Pynn/Owens and Harris/Gray had bad first beats and were fighting mid fleet to gain some places back – position in the fleet was reasonably immaterial, but position relative to each other was vital for overall victory. Pynn/Owens managed to finish 6th and get one boat between them and Harris/Gray, but it wasn’t enough to snatch victory if another race wasn’t sailed. Meanwhile, Henry Mills and Ollie Jones were flying at the head of the fleet, hotly pursued by Rachael Rhodes /Jane Alexander, Fiona Gray/Aaron Wolf and Nigel Scott/Harri Condie, all having fantastic races!

In the end, the PRO, Patrick Gifford, decided not to start the final race. It was long past Egg Bap O’clock by then and the galley were getting itchy feet, wondering if they were going to be left with a lorry load of egg mayonnaise at the end of the day. Emma Harris and guest crew, Pete Gray, had swiped victory, with reigning National Champion, Harry Pynn with his new crew, Adam Owens in 2nd by 13 points over 3rd place.

26 Larks entered, of which five were Lark National Champions, most sailing with new crews for the season. Three out of the top five sported female helms. Interestingly, the winning boat was 20 years old, whilst the 2nd overall boat was new last year, proving that you can still own an old Lark and be competitive.

Easter Eggs were presented to:

1st Emma Harris and Peter Gray, 12pts
2nd Harry Pynn and Adam Owens, 13pts
3rd Rachael Rhodes and Jane Alexander, 26pts
4th Ian and Alyson Videlo, 26pts
5th Fiona Gray and Aaron Wolf, 27pts

Full results will be available shortly.