On Saturday 16 June the RHYC organised on the river Orwell a Pursuit Race for dinghies and keelboats as part of its 175th Anniversary celebrations. The event was generously sponsored by Fox’s Marina and Chandlery. Some 30 boats started in order of a local handicap formula. There were around 30 entries, including many different classes: Access303, Ajax, Finn, Hornet, Laser, National 12, Optimist, Solo, Terra, Wanderer, and Wayfarer, amongst others. Amazingly, the ages of the skippers ranged from 8 to 89!
The event started at 12.00 hrs with the Woolverstone Project Access 303 and sole Optimist helmed by RHYC immediate past Commodores grandson (age 8!) leading off, closely followed by a bunch of visiting RS Teras from visiting clubs like Brightlingsea. At 60 minutes the WP Access 303 and Optimist were still battling it out for 1st place with the WP Access 303 crewed by Peter Hibberd and Luc taking the glassware.
At the 120 minutes stage the WP Access 303 still led this time from a RS Tera Pro with the other WP Access 303 crewed by Robbie Johns and Johnty Dickinson (at age 89!) being in 3rd place.
During the final hour the Wanderer crewed by Mike Clayton and Pete Smallwood went on to win the overall event at the 175 minute stage followed at some distance by Simon Ruffles and Jon Russell in a Wayfarer and Will Patten in his Finn.
The event was a great success and a lot of fun – thanks to the organisers and to all of the participants, both RHYC and visiting sailors, many of whom are keen for this to become an annual event.