What a gas and a great opportunity for Stella‘s to shine!
The team at Suffolk always put on a great event.
4 races planned for the weekend!
Six Stellas were present, : Persephone *6, Acamar *19, Rollicker *42, Lodestar *64, Stardust *89, Timoa *91. There were 28 classics in all.
Friday evening was a stand alone race for those who could make it. Stardust and Timoa both made it and had great fun. They got soaked in a downpour but enjoyed the delights of a stunning double rainbow setting the scene for the first event for many since lockdown. Both were seen hanging their spinnakers up to dry on the beautiful sunny Saturday morning.
Saturday morning, fickle light wind, flood tide, an upwind uptide start at Beacon Hill.
The wind was so light and holey that many boats in the previous start were still trying to cross the line when we started. But we mostly made it across the start line! and two of us, Stardust and Lodestar, made it past the Harwich breakwater, sneaking along out of the tide and popping past the swirly whirlpool just off the end, when the race was cancelled! Simply too many boats in the following start could not even make the start line.
The race was then restarted an hour or so later at Pye End Buoy, with a reasonable steady F2 breeze, and we all 6 had a great two laps a round a course which lasted nearly three hours and all six of us finished with 20 minutes of each other, and all in the top half of the Regatta Fleet as a whole, So Well Done Everybody!
This in the end was the only race of the weekend that counted!
Saturday evening in SYH was a triumph of organisation beating the Covid rules by having boxes of beer and gin and tonic widely distributed by the organisers around the boats, music playing over a tannoy, and Pizzas being cooked to order , so we had a really nice party on our boats without breaking any rules.
Sundays race was very different. It was an almost dead downwind start in a fresh F4 which grew into a F5, veering to a reach, for the first mark, Penny Hole.
Rollicker found their bilge pump unequal to the day, and retired before the start. Stellas are great but they can be rather leaky when worked other then gently.
Timoa shot across the start line with the Spinniker up, milliseconds after the gun, the rest of us followed very close behind and hoisted our kites in short order, and had a wonderful chase . Then it got more interesting as the wind picked up and veered! We saw a kite ahead from the previous start, blow to shreds, and took that as a cue to hoist the No 3 and drop the kite while still somewhat under control. Everybody managed to get their kites down one way or the other. Timoa was first around Pennyhole for a beat to Outer Ridge, then Acamar, then I can’t remember the order! On Lodestar we were very happy to have chosen a small headsail and had a wonderful time , initially chasing after Timoa, then tacking towards the windward mark, successfully crossing the bows of the rest of the fleet, feeling very pleased with ourselves, completely oblivious to the news that the race was abandoned at some point ! We finally took notice of the squawking radio once we had rounded Outer Ridge and made our way back to harbour with everyone else.
Despite there only actually being one completed race on Saturday and Sunday it felt like a very successful Classics and it was really nice to see Acamar and Rollicker join in the racing, it feels like there is a rolling programme of Stellas being restored and raced over the years since we bought Lodestar in 2011.
Actual Results, in order from 1st to 6th, Timoa, Stardust, Lodestar, Persephone, Rollicker, Acamar.