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2024 Squib Broadland Regatta at Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club

by Chris Jordan 25 Mar 15:31 GMT 23-24 March 2024
First run during the 2024 Squib Broadland Regatta © Kevin Appleton

The first Squib Open Meeting of 2024 was held over the weekend at Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club. The turnout for the event, like last year's, was affected by the forecast - not many people want to make the effort to travel with 35mph forecasts.

The visitors, including Mark Hogan who had travelled from west Wales, were craned in on the Saturday morning, before three races were held on the Broad in a strong to gale force westerly wind. Like all breezy days, the mean wind was very sailable - but it was the gusts that made life interesting!

Off the start in the first race, Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan in Ric O'Shea tacked soon after the start and just squeezed across on port - and immediately got into the swinging wind on the beat to build a good lead. The locals could only sit and watch, especially as our local stars were squeezed out at the start and had to work their way up to 2nd place during the race.

The second race followed a similar pattern, with Bryan and Jenny Riley in Brimstone once again dropping behind at the start, before making their way up to 2nd, ahead of Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Carley in Lady Penelope in both races. This was the race where the crews had to find shelter to avoid the 10 minutes of a very heavy hail storm - hail can hurt!

The third race proved the interesting one! With the port end of the line firmly fixed as the place to be - that is where the fleet all tried to be. This time Brimstone timed it perfectly and they led neatly up the first beat, with Ric O'Shea back in the pack. The wind had eased slightly to the 20-24mph area, thus allowing the fleet to stay bunched together. Approaching the windward mark, THE GUST of the afternoon hit, just as Brimstone was putting in her final tack onto Starboard for the mark. The sudden wind hit the main, and spun her back onto port - 2 quick tacks in succession and the boat was stopped in the water. With the wind still blowing (the nearby weather station at RN&SYC recorded 49mph), the boat just blew to leeward, scooped up water and filled up. Bryan knew (from the last such incident back in the mid-1980's!) the idea is to stand on the keel to get the boat upright again - but this time the wind dropped a little and the boat righted herself, and it was then down to a busy time with the bucket! Meanwhile, the same gust caused Croc (Chris and Gill Jordan) to do 2 quick tacks and stop dead, Echo (Gary Fuller and Paul Welham) broke their outhaul and others were nursing their way around the buoy.

A great meal in the evening at RN&SYC was followed by some of the fleet (Mark and Tom!) attending the local night club until early the next morning:-). The many contenders for the club's Potty Trophy, presented for the best misdemeanours over the previous year by Richard Sullivan the Fleet Captain, were all very pleased when it was presented to Bryan and Jenny for their swim in the Squib!

The second day, and we were expecting 4 or 5 mph less - but it was still gusting to 28-30mph, with the wind now from the north west meaning we had a tricky broad / beam / close reach with gusts appearing suddenly around the trees. The second day saw much closer racing in the fleet, with Ric O'shea losing the lead halfway up the 2nd beat (although they did grab it back again) in the first race, and Flame (Richard Smith and Graham Reeve) finding their speed again at the end of the meeting to win the final race.

All visitors were craned out, and the free lunch eaten, before the prize-giving: With Ric O'Shea winning the event, and Paramour (Chris Schonhut and Victoria Marfleet) the Silver fleet. The Race officer (Richard Fryer) and the other club workers were thanked at the prize-giving.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1stRic‑O‑Shea136Tom JeffcoateMark Hogan111126
2ndFlame802Richard SmithGraham Reeve4422113
3rdLady Penelope819Malcolm HutchingsAndy Carley3333315
4thClever Dick810Richard SullivanSue Harper5746426
5thParamour90Chris SchonhutVictoria Marfleet7554526
6thEcho853Gary FullerPaul Welham66DNF5735
7thBrimstone73Bryan RileyJenny Riley22DNFDNCDNC37
8thCroc855Chris JordanGill Jordan8ET DNF7640
9thState of the Hart744Bob MannFergal O'Driscoll101068842
10thFirebird50Simon MarfleetStef Oosthuysen99DNCDNCDNC51

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