Lyra of London, the RCYC entry in EAORA, is lying second overall in the offshore series this year. As Miles Delap honestly points out – this is mainly because they have competed in every race. Other boats may go quicker but they are not out there; consistency pays off. And it is remarkable considering Lyra and the team started racing offshore last year.
The aim now is to sail faster, and their programme shows their commitment. Over the season Miles says they did OK in the North Sea Race coming above halfway in a fleet of 41 beating some quite impressive boats. Their worst race was tacking in light winds in the Thames Estuary Race – classic Swans are heavy for that although the team threw a lot of weight off the boat in the winter when they had their IRC rating endorsed.
The extra weight was useful during the Club’s Harwich Race on Spring Bank Holiday Saturday which was in lumpy conditions – Lyra won while two smaller boats retired. Miles and his crew spun round at the finish to come straight back to Burnham ready for the Houghton Cup on the Sunday. Miles reports, ‘We blew out the 1.5 oz along the way, which was a shame because we were really tanking along (13 knots downwind). We are at least getting some miles in. It’s the offshore regatta this coming weekend (21st-24th June) and I’m hoping we will do OK in the straight-line races… We’re off to Cowes after that for the Round-the-Island Race then back for Ramsgate Week.’
The team on Lyra is expanding. Harry Hastwell has been along this year - Miles says Harry is probably driving in the photo, and adds ‘there is also a decent number of cadets on board and I’m pleased to say the average age of my crew is substantially less than the other boats. We could do with a few more regulars, but the pool is becoming more skilled and hence we are sailing better. There is still an open invitation for club members that want to join us.’