9 K6’s participated in the first Open meeting of the year at Aldeburgh Yacht Club over the weekend of 8th & 9th May braving a forecast which all week had looked very problematic. The entrants included six boats from the now nine strong home fleet and three visitors whose effort to attend in these still restricted times was much appreciated.
True to the forecast, Saturday morning dawned cold, wet and windy and as the fleet gathered at 10am it was soon agreed to postpone racing until Sunday. But a late change to the forecast also made it clear that the weather would soon improve and importantly that the Saturday evening outside supper could go ahead. That evening 18 sailors and accompanying family sat down in groups of six to drinks, fish & chips, dessert and a delightful cheeseboard in half sunshine sheltered from the worst of the wind by the Clubhouse. A good time was had by all.
Sunday morning saw perfect F3/4 winds and a generally sunny day although a few light showers came through mid-morning. Race officer Simon Fulford led the fleet to where the river conveniently aligned with the southerly wind giving a true windward leeward course beating upwind against the flood tide for all except the final race.
The front of the fleet saw some tight battles off the start line but Ian Robson & Stephen Fulford sailing 162 just got their bow in front in each of the first three races – reflecting perhaps that the Aldeburgh K6 fleet has been racing since Easter whereas all of the visitors were out for the first time in 2021. Behind 162, Peter Kirkby &Will Elson were the most consistent scoring three second places whilst Nick Jones and Keith Ballantyne turned in three thirds. Each race saw plenty of tacking up the beats and some periods of planing downwind in the gusts – generally champagne sailing.
Meanwhile further down the fleet the flooding tide made for close tacking upwind excitement near the bank and at the marks with several close shaves. John Adcroft & Steve Dewberry led the middle pack on 109 Just ahead of 204, the Liddell brothers and Fraser Elms, sailing with daughters Laura & Anna on 166. First time visitors 114, Tony Harper & Nick Dempsey, finished a creditable 7th despite parking up on the mudbank in the first race.
In the fourth race Peter & Will turned the tables on Ian and Stephen and led off the line and sailed away to win from Stephen and Ian with the consistent Nick and Keith third. At the prize-giving all agreed that it had been great to be able to ease back towards normality and left looking forward to the rest of the K6 events planned for later this season.