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Championship of the Alde at Aldeburgh Yacht Club

by John Adcroft 1 Nov 2017 16:48 GMT 29 October 2017
Aldeburgh Lapwings during Classics Weekend © John Adcroft

Once again this year the "Championship of the Alde" lived up to expectations as a great finale to the season's racing at AYC.

The race is quite straight forward, start from the club line sail down river past Orford then leave Dove Point at the southern end of Havergate island to the prescribed side and return back to the club line. A total distance of 15 miles, made all the more interesting this year by a steady force 6 with gusts up to force 7.

A total of 24 boats entered including 7 from the Loch Long fleet, 3 from the resurgent Flying Fifteen fleet and 5 K6's. With the wind out of the west it was a slog down with the tide to Orford with a lot of the course being a close fetch which allowed the FF's to stay with the K6's until it turned into a beat round the back of Havergate. A gybe round Dove Point and then it was Spinnakers up for a white knuckle ride back along the island at low water, a tight fetch from the top of the island to Orford Quay then chutes up again! The bend in the river by Pigpail mark meant it was chutes down and a beam reach back to the finish line.

Line honours went to Ian Robson in his K6 who completed the 15 miles in 1hour 41 minutes, but that was not going to be enough on corrected time. Hero of the day was Simon Davies in a Laser Radial, the only dinghy competing, who completed the course in 2hrs and 2 minutes; this giving him the win by over 4 minutes. It was however close with the Flying Fifteen of Nick Barker being only 21 seconds behind Simon on corrected time. The top four were joined by Robert Mulcahy's Loch Long less than a minute behind the K6.

Although club racing continues till the middle of December with the Winter Series, the Championship marks the end of the season for many members, and what a season we have had at Aldeburgh in 2017. One of the highlights must be the opening of the new "Riverview" lounge which together with new caterers has taken the club facilities to a new level.

On the water there have been many outstanding events including the Big Kids Sailing Project which helps disadvantaged youngsters from Inner London. The Classic Boat weekend attracted 35 entries from around the U.K and our two summer regatta weeks saw strong participation defying the trend seen elsewhere. Junior Regatta saw 171 entries for the morning and afternoon races and the Senior Regatta the following week saw 172 entries. The strong K6 fleet has been augmented by a brilliant revival in the Flying Fifteens with more than 10 boats arriving in the dinghy park. Our Loch Long fleet continues to flourish and this year went to Lake Como and there are signs of a revival in the Classic Dragon fleet.

This all points to 2018 being a fantastic season and cements Aldeburgh Yacht Club's position as one of the East Coast premier clubs.

Championship of the Alde: (top three)

1st Laser Radial, Simon Davies
2nd Flying Fifteen, Nick Barker
3rd K6, Ian Robson

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