Dragon Easter Regatta

»«Monday 17th April 2017

The Dragon Easter Regatta saw ten boats from across the UK and Belgium in a “Four Nations” battle for the top honours. Conditions over the four days were challenging with a strong breeze and variable gusts. The 8-race event started with a club line course on Friday up to Ron’s Pike and a course round Wallasea Ness. It was a close affair up front with the lead changing hands on several occasions, with Ian Gray on Scorpio having bad luck with his traveller that eventually took its toll and moved him down the running order. Peter Marchant helming Beauty & the Beast was victorious taking top spot over Mark Wade on Avalanche and Martin Makey on Ganador in third.

Day 2 on Saturday was a committee boat start and a windward/leeward course for three races. There were some good competitive tussles over the day and Scorpio put day one behind them to secure first in race two, Avalanche taking the third race of the event and Beauty & the Beast winners of race four. The Belgian visiting boat Chapter VI (helmed by Michel Van Cauwelaert) secured a fine second in race four only to then run aground during their on-board celebrations.

Day 3 on Sunday was another committee boat start and more wins for both Avalanche and Scorpio and a well-deserved first in race six for Chapter VI. At this stage, the overall standings were tight and Beauty & the Beast were challenging top spot for the Regatta with consistent top three performances.

The last day on Easter Monday was back to the club line and one race to settle the matter. Again, Scorpio was victorious and took the last race with Ganador taking second, but with Beauty & the Beast securing a third they won the Regatta by one point over Scorpio.

It was a great four-day event with all taking part certainly feeling the effects of a tough early season schedule. There was a dinner on Easter Sunday with a fine menu, plenty of post racing analysis and banter. Class Captain Andrew Moss delivered an amusing speech with the Belgians offering their regards for the event and the warm welcome the club has provided from a visitor's point of view. There was also one of the longest toasts to the Commodore I have witnessed at the club!

Overall, a fantastic Regatta with superb racing and hospitality and the foundations firmly established for a competitive season ahead.

Dan Churchward