Great Fun in aid of the RNLI
Organised and funded by Fox’s Yacht Sales, the event is free to Beneteau owners, we ask only that a donation is made to the R.N.L.I. This year we are delighted to have raised approx’ £3,000.00 for this worthwhile cause, approx’ £15,000.00 since we started 10 years ago. Based off the Suffolk coast on the weekend of 7th & 8th June 2008, the Beneteau Owners Weekend comprises of a rally/race for sailboats and a water bourne Treasure Hunt for motorboats on the Saturday, an overnight stop at Fox’s Marina for a prize giving party in one of the big workshops with food, bar and a band, then a pursuit race for the sailboats on the Sunday morning. With the weather forecasts for the weekend becoming progressively worse, we thought the committee boat was going to be the only boat on the water for the Saturday handicap race. However, along with the driving rain, 32 Beneteau’s appeared for the 11.30 start off Harwich Breakwater on Saturday morning, sailing in two classes, white sail and three sail.
Ranging in size from 21ft to 50ft the course was set: out to sea, round Stone Banks and Outer Ridge, back into the harbour, up and down the River Stour and then up the Orwell finishing up river of Levington.
Four boats were late for the start including the First 21.7 “Scorpio” – attempting to start at the finish line was not ideal – causing them to start 30 minutes late! The whole fleet completed the course with the majestic FIRST 50 “Spirit of Max” taking line honours.
The Treasure Hunt was definitely affected by the weather with only two boats completing the task of photographing the 20 “clues”, the Flyer Open sportsboats sensibly didn’t fancy spending 4 – 5 hours whizzing around in the wind and rain. There’s always next year!
Saturday evening saw a rather tired and wet fleet moored up in Fox’s Marina. Things soon warmed up at 7.30pm when the bar opened and the 250 guests assembled for the meal and prize giving.
Sunday morning saw blue skies and sunshine for the pursuit race. Start times had been given to those competing based on the actual sailing times on the Saturday, with the slowest boats starting first at 10.00am. The winner was the boat leading at 1.00pm The 10 boats with the fewest hangovers from the night before entered. Mike Delph in the Oceanis 311 “Chelmarin” held the lead right up to the last minute when Team Eggett in Oceanis 361 “Sealeggs” slid past them with seconds to go.
1st Tim Dearing Oceanis 393 “Serena”
2nd Tony & Cherril Powell Antares 7 FYS
Spirit of the Event
Andrew Clarke First 21.7 “Scorpio” – Determination – For starting late on their own and completing the course.
1st Team Eggett Oceanis 361 “Sealeggs”
2nd Mike Delph Oceanis 311 “Chelmarin”
3rd John Harding First 36.7 “BigWig II”
4th Colin Thomas First 50 “Spirit of Max”