This year it turned out to be a ‘home boats only’ event, and although the entry was modest the competition was red hot! Exceptionally light airs on the Saturday forced the cancellation of racing but four Series One boats came to the line in superb conditions on the Sunday.
Steve Parry was at the helm of his much-loved and largely rebuilt 4615, supported by his very special crew for the event, Andrew Watkinson. Andrew is not only one of York’s leading violin virtuosos (who has been struggling to teach Steve the instrument) but he also used to sail a GP14 in the dim and distant past. This was his chance to find true fame!
Mike and Angela Craggs are regular competitors in 8921, and Ian Graham dusted down 11837 and teamed up with his very-nearly-eight-year-old son Nathaniel. Jens Kuhn, still glowing from his victory last year as crew to Peter Dewhurst, took out 7941, with new crews Alastair Girling and Almut Braun taking turns in the front of the boat.
Three 45-minute races were held under the watchful eyes of Race Officers Pete Craggs and Phil Nelson, with a lunch break after race one. Steve and Mike battled hard at very close quarters in races one and two, achieving one win each. Ian and Jens achieved a similar outcome in the contest for third place.
So it was all down to the last race and wind strength had freshened to a good force 4/5. Suddenly the violinists discovered how to play in harmony and the Old Yellow Boat began to perform like a pro. Pulling well clear of the field she achieved a decisive victory to win the day. Mike and Angela held on to second from Ian and Nathaniel in a very creditable third place.
It was a great day with lots of family support. York RI SC will be running the event again next year and would love to see visitors from other clubs. All you need is a GP14 with round holes in its transom!
Photos by Kate Skelton