More than 20 races held over the weekend
Beneath the ramparts of Mont Orgueil Castle, more than 80 boats battled it out in testing conditions at the 150th Gorey Regatta.
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Entrants from the UK and France joined Channel Island sailors for the two-day
historic event, which saw over 20 races attract cruisers, dayboats, dinghies and
A Force 5 westerly breeze provided challenging conditions on the first day, with
plenty of dinghy capsizes, a couple of retirements and some minor breakages.
The youngsters in their Optimists stood their ground among much bigger
craft on the congested start line. Indeed one of their number, Fleur Moisan, was
presented with a new award, the Edward Heath Memorial Trophy, for her tenacity in the demanding conditions.
Seven Merlin Rockets and an RS 400 came over for the event from the UK and the
Merlin crews were so impressed that they promised to return to Jersey in greater
numbers in the future.
Race Officer Rodney Waller set races that could be easily seen from the shore
where a large crowd of spectators were enjoying a quayside food fair organised by
Jersey Tourism in conjunction with local traders.
The Gorey Regatta Association hosted a commemorative dinner in a marquee on
the quayside at which competitors were joined by representatives from the event’s
sponsors, Jersey Post, and supporters (including Jersey Harbours, St Helier Yacht
Club, the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club and the St Catherine’s Sailing Club.)
The dinghy racing on the Sunday was cancelled due to the Force 6-7 southerly
wind but a cruiser race went ahead, giving some lively sailing that tested both boats
‘I think that the weekend provided a mixture of many of the things that make
sailing so much fun,’ said GRA captain Nick Bailhache.
‘We experienced the highs and lows, fine and foul weather, excellent camaraderie,
good food and engaging entertainment and there is no doubt that this historic event
will remain in our memories for a long time to come.’