Late starters benefit from a lie-in ahead of Yare Race

Predominantly light winds characterized the 36th Yare Navigation Race sailed on Saturday in sunny conditions.

The predicted lateness of low water on Breydon influenced crews picking their start time on the basis of their respective boats' predicted performance and, of course, the wind.

When the first starter, Biddy Collier, set forth at 10am in solitary state it was on a barely perceptible breeze west of south, and on a 23pc handicap she doubtless expected a long day.

She got that right, finishing after 9 hours and 8 minutes, not quite the last, but it earned her the Breeze Trophy for the longest passage, and with it, spiritual reward in the form of a large bottle of rum.

With the wind fitful and plenty of dead passages early on, the more experienced, and those with faster boats, opted for a long lie in, half the fleet setting forth after midday, with Martin Broom's Raisena and Richie Dugdale's Zingara the last away at 13.45.

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In Broom's case this proved the right decision, as he made the fastest passage of 4hrs 48 minutes, benefitting from a wind shift around 2.00pm from west of south to east of south, and increasing in the open down-river stretches.

Tom Moore's Moonshadow, rated a couple of points slower than Raisena, and helmed by Chris Bunn, started an hour earlier and took barely two minutes more than Raisena, but, with the handicap, it sufficed to take the premier award, the Yare Navigation Trophy and the Starlight Lady Trophy for the largest boats.

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Given the conditions, it was hardly surprising that the faster boats had a field day, particularly those opting to start after midday.

Indeed, only one pre-noon starter, David Thompson's Cordon Rouge, made the top 20. Geoff Angell's Pippa, on 8pc as against Moonshadow's plus 6pc and Raisena's plus 8pc, made a 13.00hrs start and Angell could consider himself a little unlucky to miss out on the main porize by a mere two minutes, taking the 'chief Bridesmaid's' position for the second or third time in recent years. It did earn him the Jeckells Trophy for the 25-28 footers, while other early starters Firebird (Robin Richardson) and Breeze (Colin Chettleburgh) took third and fourth, ahead of Raisena, overall, and all three moved up one place in the Starlight Lady Trophy.

For the smaller starters the target was to win the Wilberforce Smith Trophy for the under 25 footers, and Chris Sales Kingfisher won this year, finishing 16th overall after a close battle with Mike Partridge's Amantani, having gained 5 minutes on the passage and pipping him by just 3 seconds on handicap.

This year was the first for many years that all starters completed the course, without serious mishap, although several touched bottom on various occasions, Marigold (R Russell) having the misfortune to do so for a lengthy period.


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