13 Jun 2017
A report from the Streaker Class:
Streaker open within Smugglers Trophy weekend Royal Harwich Y.C.
In a gusty SW wind and lots of sunshine, 5 Streakers entered the Smugglers Trophy regatta at Royal Harwich YC on Saturday 10th June. The conditions were quite exciting with the wind strong enough to cause several spectacular capsizes both in the Streaker fleet and among the other dinghies taking part. The wind was across the River Orwell and very shifty as well as gusty.
Veronica Falat got away well in the first race which was sailed over a triangular course and she led throughout. Alex Reindorp and Mark Langston had a close race for second place with Mark ahead at the finish. Derek Lyne of the home club suffered a capsize near the windward mark and needed help to recover from the moored yachts and he decided to call it a day.
There was a delay at the start of race 2 as the committee boat was drifting in the strong wind and this time it was a triangle-sausage type course. On the first beat Veronica and Mark had split tacks but were now coming together again and both seemed to be getting lifted. Mark looked to be crossing ahead on starboard only to find that the port lift was longer lasting and he capsized to windward while Veronica sailed clear. Alex took second place while Mark was swimming and held that position to the finish.
For race 3 the committee boat moved position and a new trapezoidal course was set slightly downstream. The committee boat still found it hard to keep station and our start was delayed again. This meant that when we eventually started the fleet of Lasers and Handicap dinghies, which had started first, was now coming through the line as we set off, adding to the general excitement. Alex led at the first mark and along the first reach but the run to the next mark was quite dramatic and he capsized while gybing, allowing Veronica to take the lead. A lap later, that leg of the course was still very tricky as the gusts kept on coming. Veronica decided to wear round rather than gybe and Mark shot past, only to capsize with a huge crash when his gybe went wrong. On the final lap, Veronica again wore round – she’s not afraid of being called a wimp! – and went on to win the race. Alex came in second and so took 2nd place overall, while Mark was 3rd. Nick Billingsley was 4th.
This was the first time that Streakers had raced as a fleet at Royal Harwich and we were very pleased with the warm welcome we received. The clubhouse is really excellent and the lawn gives a lovely view over the Orwell so we could relax in the sunshine after sailing as we swapped tales of capsizes and lucky shifts.