International Cape Cutter Week 2015 Day 4: Racing on the Orwell

  We awoke to a bright but breezy morning. The wind was against the tide, so the Aurora was not sitting comfortably on the mooring. It was pleasant to have a leisurely start to the morning, sitting in the cockpit, watching the goings on. Eventually we set off downwind and with an ebbing tide and reached the confluence with the Orwell in good time. As the tide was still ebbing, we dropped anchor just above the docks and enjoyed some lunch.

We then had the rising tide with us to sail up the Orwell to the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. The winds are always flukey through the trees and it gradually became a beat up the river. 

  On arriving at RHYC, we Cape Cutters were rafting two deep and we managed nine boats in all. After a quick chat with Gordon Sutton of RHYC, a course was agreed and, though the tide height was not helpful, we did have a windward-leeward course.

  This was the first time that Cape Cutters had raced together and it was great to see so many boats together. The race generated a sense of excitement; Niki helmed Aurora and Alice asked to be on the crew too, a welcome addition. We made a very good start in the race and were at an advantage, as we were flying a Genoa, rather than the smaller Yankee which all the other boats used for their third sail. However, we did not take enough heed of the foul current in the channel and other boats sticking to the shallows at the edge had better boat speed. Nevertheless, the racing was quite close and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a tradition.

We then retired to the RHYC club house for debriefing over Adnams beer, followed by our Class Association meal- we had fifteen boats represented, with at least two potentIal owners present, as well as Bob Brown, owner of Honnor Marine, who build the Cape Cutters.

After the meal, several of us gave a short presentation on interesting cruising grounds for the Cape Cutter; Scotland, Dorset, Holland and, in my case Sweden. A long and enjoyable day, followed, by a sound sleep!

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