Lyme Regis Regatta

Saturday, 13 August, 2016

Following visits to Appledore, Paignton, Teignmouth and most recently Rame, possibly the largest Clevedon contingent of the summer season headed to the Jurassic Coast for a day’s racing.

On the sheltered beach in the shadow of the Cobb our base was established, hiding us from a rather brisk breeze which was only to be found once atop the harbour wall looking out to sea.

Blackbird’s lack of time on the water recently became immediately evident, when bailers were required after the short 5 minute row from the launching slip to the beach. This initiated a well-rehearsed routine after each and every race where the gig would be hauled up the beach and rapidly bailed by a team armed with not only bailers, but children’s sandcastle buckets. This worked brilliantly, though the kids were not so impressed I suspect!

The course was the familiar triangle/kite shape with two buoy turns, starting and finishing just off the end of the Cobb. Conditions were generally good, with a moderate breeze and enough swell for a little fun on the water.

Joined by Bridport, Bristol, Brixham, Clifton, Exmouth, Ilfracombe, Langstone, Portland, Swanage, Torridge, Weymouth and the hosts, racing began at 10.30am with the Super Vets.

The ladies started things off well with a 5th placed finish in a field of 10, the men 10th in their race beating 3 other boats across the line. The Juniors race was made up of both U14s and U16s making our younger crews’ 5th place finish very impressive indeed, beating Torridge, Weymouth and Lyme.

Next up were the A crews where the results almost mirrored that of the Supers. The ladies finishing 6th and the men 10th in races that were won by Ilfracombe and Lyme respectively.

A swift changeover saw Ladies B take to the water and finish 6th ahead of both Bristol and Ilfracombe. Ladies C followed with an 8th place in a race won by Weymouth – one of their four race wins of the day.

Then it was the turn of Men’s B who finished 10th ahead of our neighbours Bristol and Clifton. The penultimate category of the day was the Vets where the ladies took 12th and the men 9th. A special mention must go to Ed who made his coxing debut guiding the ladies vets around in an incident-free, confident and calm manner.

The day was rounded off by the Mixed race. 12 crews took to the sea where the swell had really picked up and Clevedon found themselves 3rd into the first buoy, leaving many crews for dust off the line. It was rounding the first buoy that Bridport halted Clevedon’s surge, ploughing into Blackbird pinning the rudder and leaving them unable to turn. It must be mentioned at this point that Will (coxing) kept a remarkably cool head in a frustrating situation. Commendable!

Bridport eventually dislodged themselves, rowed on through having also opened the door for Brixham and Bristol. Clevedon recovered, reeled in Bristol, but ran out of water and crossed the line just behind them. 7th place on the scoreboard not a true representation of performance.

Of the 13 clubs in attendance Clevedon finished the day 8th overall. With their glossy programme, array of delicious refreshments and beautifully blue sea, Lyme certainly put on a good show and we very much look forward to heading back down there again soon.