The Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club’s 160th Annual Regatta held in the splendid theatre of Bridlington Bay was enjoyed both on and off the water by more than 100 competitors sailing in a fleet of 24 yachts entered for racing. No less than 34 magnificent silver trophies were up for contention.
The sailing programme followed traditional lines and was managed by a team led by Peter Crooks on board the Committee Boat, so as to ensure windward/leeward racing.
On the first Saturday conditions were overcast with light airs for the Fleet Review as boats sailed past to salute the Commodore and Flag Officers who then made their judgement on the smartest yacht and its crew. This year Yorkshire One Design yacht Yilt received the accreditation. This event was then followed by the Lady Helmsman and Cadet races which were both, as it happens, won by Charlotte Jones.
The first full day’s class racing saw visiting yachts from Whitby, Scarborough, and Grimsby and Cleethorpes yacht clubs competing alongside the Bridlington boats. The day was blessed with warm sunshine and light conditions for the 5 distinct classes of yachts. The smaller YOD and Squib classes sailed a course in the bay, whereas the 3 Cruiser classes raced in variable conditions around the headland to Filey Brigg and back. This race proved somewhat testing – partly owing to a course extension involving boats completing a bay circuit prior to steering a course for the Head. Thence having rounded Flamborough Head, competitors found the wind on the bow, only to find themselves contending with a wind shift and another beat back from Filey into Bridlington Bay; the race lasting for almost 10 hours – the longest Filey race I can recall!
Throughout the next three days sailors enjoyed good breezes, sunny intervals and at times choppy seas. Thursday proved to be a beautiful day with racing in lighter airs than previously. However the elements changed and on the last full day of competitive racing, skippers and crews were greeted with strong winds, gusting to gale force accompanied by choppy seas, dark clouds and squalls. These conditions prompted some boats to retire.
After a total of 11 races the winning yachts in each class of the series were:-
- Class A Cruisers: Aquaholic (Mr & Mrs M Abbey)
- Class B Cruisers: Happy Daze (C Maw & N F Frost)
- Contessa 26: Tessador (K Richardson)
- Yorkshire One Design: Iolanthe (R G Gray)
- National Squib: Ghost (G P Dyson)
- The Commodore’s Rose Bowl for the greatest number of 1sts during the week also went to Iolanthe.
- The Guy Shackles race is usually held on the second Saturday to herald the completion of 8 days of continuous racing, but unfortunately the race had to be cancelled owing to gale force conditions – despite some welcome sun.
The Club is very fortunate to have a group of worthy advertisers and sponsors of the week’s racing whose generosity facilitates a high standard of prizes; thanks are due to them as well as to those individuals who give their time to ensure enthusiasm and rivalry at sea, alongside enjoyment of the social events.