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126th Annual Regatta at Minima Yacht Club

by John Forbes 9 Sep 2015 17:25 BST 5-6 September 2015
Dinghies on the bank during the Minima Regatta © John Forbes

Saturday's cold north wind made for a delightful afternoon's sailing on the first day of Minima's 126th annual regatta. By contrast Sunday's warm sun and balmy breeze may have pleased the crowds and bands at the town's carnival, but what is good for reggae is not necessarily good for racing dinghies.

The competition, generously sponsored once again by TWM Solicitors, was always close, with the lead changing hands from lap to lap in most classes, but it has to be said there were times on Sunday when almost every helm in the fleet would rather have been elsewhere as the weak westerly wound itself over and round the trees on the Middlesex bank, occasionally disappearing completely.

Saturday's northerly ran straight up and down Minima's bit of Thames, and although not much over force 2 most of the time there were a couple of full-on toe-strap testing beats, which made a refreshing change after a pretty quiet past few weeks, and there was certainly no trouble keeping warm. Even less so on Saturday night, with the traditional regatta knees-up propelled by hot jazz sounds from Graham Wiseman's Broadway, who I swear sound better every year.

There were 24 boats on the river, well up from last year, with some new faces from Minima and welcome visitors from Thames, Tamesis and Twickenham, although sadly only Martin Hunter's solitary rater graced us with its mighty mast.

Story of the day was nearly Ed Mayley's. He was in a Topper competing for a trophy previously won by his grandfather in a Mirror crewed by his dad, who at the weekend was driving the safety boat for Minima, but he was pipped by Alistair Banks's Rocket in the hard-fought handicap class where a different boat won each of the three races.

Overall Results: (Minima unless stated)

Handicap Class
1 Ali Banks (Rocket 368)
2 Ed Mayley (Topper)
3 Tom Hill (National 12, Twickenham)

Enterprise
1 Robin Broomfield, Paul Bloomfield
2 Alex and David Cane
3 Robert Brignell (Twickenham)

Merlin Rocket
1 Patrick Rayner, Nikki Erskine-Tulloch (Thames)
2 Paul and Eileen Barry
3 Ken Duffell (Tamesis)

Solo
1 John Kemp
2 Rob Brooks
3 John Metzner

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