SYH Classic Regatta 2019 – Race Report
Suffolk Yacht Harbour’s 19th annual Classic Regatta, run in conjunction with Haven Ports Yacht Club took place over the weekend of 22nd-23rd June. The event sees classic yachts from across East Anglia and further afield – this year including a beautiful Spirit DH63 up from Guernsey – race in three classes; Fast, Slow and Stellas. Racing takes place across two days in Dovercourt Bay, Harwich Harbour, and the Orwell and Stour river estuaries.
Gaffers, Stellas and modern classics gathered at SYH on Friday 21st for pre-regatta drinks and socialising, before crews were up early for briefing and bacon sandwiches on Saturday morning. After a postponed start to allow all the yachts to get out to the line (including Stealaway who had an unfortunate engine failure on the way out), the slow, Stella and fast classes all set off in 5-7 knots without a hitch.
With the tide now flooding and the wind shifting out of the east / south east, the yachts negotiated oncoming currents on their way upwind to Foxes. Rounding the mark to starboard and hoisting spinnakers as they went, the fleet reached down to a shortened course finish line at Stone Banks. Timoa finished first with Scorpio second and Stardust third. Lyra finished fourth, Centaur fifth, Persephone sixth and Rollicker seventh.
After lunch on the water, afternoon racing commenced in 15 knots of wind. From a Stone Banks start, it was a beat up to Mark X to port followed by a reach across to Foxes. Unfortunately, Lyra and Rollicker had a port and starboard “coming together” during the beat and both retired with Rollicker having sustained significant damage. Rounding the mark to port, the remaining Stellas hoisted spinnakers and set a course for Penny Hole.
After some debate on the radio, the race committee confirmed a starboard mark rounding to keep things interesting! Spinnakers were dropped on the approach and the yachts made a 270 degree turn of Penny Hole before heading up and tacking round onto a reach down to Stone Banks. From there, it was champagne sailing under spinnaker all the way to the finish at the Beacon Hill line. First, second and third places were as race one, with Centaur Fourth and Persephone fifth.
Upon its return to SYH, the fleet was greeted by music from local musician Peter Hepworth drifting across the sunny harbour. Haven Ports Yacht Club lightship was bathed in afternoon sunshine as crews gathered for socialising and the usual post-racing analysis in the bar and on the dockside.
Day two began with light wind out of the east / north east and the three classes set off on time from the Beacon Hill line against the tide down to Stone Banks. A few yachts could be seen making the most of the tight reach and flying spinnakers and code zeros in an effort to get ahead on the long leg down to the mark.
By the time the fleet had hardened up around Fox’s to port, the sun was out, and the breeze had kicked in and made for a fairly wet ride!
Bearing away around Foxes, spinnakers were hoisted en route to Penny Hole. Rounding the mark to starboard, the fleet headed upwind to Outer Ridge, avoiding the channel on the leg home to the Beacon Hill line.
Scorpio prevailed in this race, with Timoa second, Stardust third, Lyra fourth, Persephone fifth and Centaur failing to finish.
Stella results overall: Timoa first, Scorpio second, Stardust third. With three boats finishing on sixteen points, the Sailwave scoring system placed the remaining boats in the following order; Lyra fourth, Centaur fifth, Persephone sixth and Rollicker seventh. Well done all for being there and contributing, once again, to a wonderful, memorable weekend.