Whoops, you’d think we’d been away on holiday or sailing? You’d be right a little more sailing….

The other big event on our calendar (did we mention we won Cowes Week?) Is Aldeburgh Yacht Club regatta. If Sweden made carlsberg and carlsberg did regattas, then this is it. Morning and afternoon races for everything from singlehanders and dinghies, to FF15s, K6s, trailer sailers and yachts. That’s where we come in, tävlar en tumlare…. Orford Dag.
The Tumlare (no, it’s not really a porpoise all you swedish fans), an introduction to ‘Zest’ the last of the fleet of Tumlares built at Aldeburgh in 1935 (ish), she has a sharp bow and rounded canoe stern, with a long keel,  Zest is bare below decks, sails, anchor, bucket.  “Tumlaren was once the most advanced type of cruiser in the world” Uffa Fox! Designed by Knud H Reimers

A huge overlapping headsail 170% as the light wind setup. The number 2 is an overlap of 155%! mainsail area is aprox. 15sqm

8.3m overall length

6.65m waterline

0.53m freeboard

1.27m draft

Zest was built around 1935 and she is raced with a crew of 3 or 4.

Orford day, this is a tradition at Aldeburgh. A race starting from Orford sailing club and racing around Havergate island (see pic)

Important things to remember, take lunch, plenty of fluids and most importantly always read the sailing instructions, if possible take a copy with you on board. The sailing instructions are just that, instructions for how to race, what the race will be, what the course is (see where I’m going with this?).

At Orford the discussion on board Zest pre start wasn’t so much, which end of the line. It was more which is the start line and which is the finish line? With no sailing instructions on board it was going to be a guess. Luckily the skipper has done this race a few times so once the start mark was laid the memory cleared and we knew which line was what and where to start.

A strong Ebb tide and a gradient breeze of over 15knots would make for an interesting start, the tide pinches at the start line so is probably running at 2knots!

With the fleet worried about the tide carrying them over and with few exit startegies (a small line with concrete at both sides!) they hung back a little too much apart from Zest, hitting the line a second or too shy of the gun saw them lead the fleet off the line, a port rounding off the island was shown on the board at Orford, easy peasey. Island on the port side, we can do this. tacking through Orford moorings, the tactics are clear on a yacht, push the edges as much as you dare without hitting the putty. Zest does have a depth gauge and drawing only 1.27m means we can nearly get the bow on the grass before “tacking!” is hailed, however all rivers on the east coast move and change shape underwater.
A turning mark at the most southerly point Buoy D saw Zest with a healthy lead, hoisting the kite she headed around the back of the island. As Zest came back to complete the loop of the island just in time for the large fleet of loch longs and lapwings, wayfarers all tacking their way off the start line, fun times!
The  K6’s and dragons (and dinghies all, started after the cruiser class) caught her just as they were approaching the turning mark P for the hook back to the line. dropping and tacking back up to the line to take line honours….the end.

Errr hang on turning mark P? not the cruiser class whose turning mark was in fact a further half mile up river! As Zest headed for home, the question of “have they shortened course?” from the next yacht led to some discussion. Then in an act of helpfulness the skipper of Zest helped the next cruiser EgaVega by encouraging them to go round the proper course (Argh! naughty, naughty).

By the time the crew of Zest had got ashore and checked the Sailing Instructions, it became apparent that the course “was not the same as last year” and we had in fact, blatantly used the wrong mark, now we owed the crew of EgaVega a beer for shafting their race too!
So the honourable exit of yotting hari-kari. A RTD for the team.

Without reading the Sailing instructions how do you know where to go! Fundamentals. Keep it simple Stupid. Everyday is a school day on a boat.
All ways take the negatives, learn from them and then glow in the positives. What positives? we were fast, good start, even better the result doesn’t count in the overall Regatta results!
regatta report to follow.