2024 Squib Broadland Regatta:

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 years!, 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 3 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 mis-demeanours 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.

Pos Boat Name Sail No Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1st Ric‑O‑Shea 136 Tom Jeffcoate Mark Hogan 1 1 1 1 2 6
2nd Flame 802 Richard Smith Graham Reeve 4 4 2 2 1 13
3rd Lady Penelope 819 Malcolm Hutchings Andy Carley 3 3 3 3 3 15
4th Clever Dick 810 Richard Sullivan Sue Harper 5 7 4 6 4 26
5th Paramour 90 Chris Schonhut Victoria Marfleet 7 5 5 4 5 26
6th Echo 853 Gary Fuller Paul Welham 6 6 DNF 5 7 35
7th Brimstone 73 Bryan Riley Jenny Riley 2 2 DNF DNC DNC 37
8th Croc 855 Chris Jordan Gill Jordan 8 ET DNF 7 6 40
9th State of the Hart 744 Bob Mann Fergal O’Driscoll 10 10 6 8 8 42
10th Firebird 50 Simon Marfleet Stef Oosthuysen 9 9 DNC DNC DNC 51