SYH Classic Regatta 2018 – Race Report

Suffolk Yacht Harbour’s 18th annual Classic Regatta, run in conjunction with Haven Ports Yacht Club took place over the weekend of 9th-10th June.  The event sees classic yachts from across East Anglia and further afield race in three classes (Fast, Slow and Stellas) across two days in Dovercourt Bay, Harwich Harbour, and the Orwell and Stour river estuaries.

Gaff Cutters, West Solents, Stellas and modern classics gathered at SYH on Friday 8th for pre-regatta drinks and socialising, before crews were up early for briefing and bacon sandwiches on Saturday morning.  The forecast predicted light winds, particularly in the mornings, but as both days progressed the wind filled in and the fleet enjoyed a pleasant 8-14 knots across the weekend.

Day one saw a shorter race in the morning, which was won overall by Timoa with Stardust second, Lodestar third, Centaur fourth and Lyra fifth in the Stellas. The race was not without its drama elsewhere in the fleet and on the final spinnaker reach the Norwegian Iversen 40 Square Metre Spissgatter Venya’s mast broke, which earned her owner Rufus Gilday the Spirit Yachts’ sponsored hip flask for someone “in need of a stiff drink”!

Race two brought more wind and some competitive sailing across a longer course, with Timoa taking first, Lodestar second, Lyra third and Centaur fourth in the Stellas. Sadly, the engineless Stardust, launched just a few days previously after extended works, had to retire due to a lack of battery capacity to keep up with the demands of a bilge pump having to cope with planks that were still taking up!

The sun was shining as the yachts made their way back to Suffolk Yacht Harbour for an evening of socialising and live music aboard the Haven Ports Yacht Club lightship.

Sunday morning brought a cloudy start with light winds, which increased as the sun broke through the clouds for race three.  This final race brought the most challenging leg of the weekend, with crews having to take advantage of the tide on a beat from the Penny Hole to Outer Ridge marks that was fraught with tricky wind shifts.

Timoa won again to make it a clean sweep with a trio of Stella class wins and take the regatta trophy overall. Lodestar came second in the Stellas and Stardust was back out on the race course and battled hard for a well-deserved third. Centaur was fourth and Lyra fifth, having battled all the way round!

Stella results overall: Timoa first, Lodestar second, Stardust third, Centaur fourth and Lyra fifth. Well done all for being there and contributing to a wonderful, memorable weekend.

Timoa’s Andrew Gilmour commented, “This is our seventh Classic Regatta at Suffolk Yacht Harbour and Jonathan Dyke and his team have delivered once again on competitive and varied racing as well as providing a fantastic venue for socialising with like-minded people.  I have members of my family as part of my crew every year; it’s the perfect event for sailors of all ages.”

Suffolk Yacht Harbour managing director Jonathan Dyke added, “Despite a late spring delaying many people’s maintenance and launch plans, we have enjoyed a strong turnout of 35 boats this year, proving that the classic yacht scene is alive and well on the East Coast.”