The River Fest is an event held at Newport Quay (I blogged about it May 2010-see old posting).
This year the MMA organised a Mirror dinghy race up the river with the finish line at the Quay.
Five Mirror dinghies took part on a glorious day of sunshine and a good F3-4 S to SW Breeze.
The start was delayed for about half an hour as the safety boat was still aground on her swing mooring, but once the tide had washed in a little more, the five minute hooter sounded and we all tried to gain the best position for a good start.
I was hoping to take photos of the actual racing but we had superb conditions for sailing and it became a very exciting race So I was very busy crewing!
Out in the open river (opposite Island Harbour) we had a fantastic sail; choppy water, a strong breeze and all the little dinghies with sails hauled in tight beating up against the wind, each trying to gain an advantage and calling Starboard on each other. It was tight racing.
We needed to tack all the way up river and as it was about 3 hours before High Water the river became more and more shallow as we approached Newport with a combination of this and the wind becoming less and less as we passed through the more built up banks of the Medina we needed to put in shorter tacks.
Carefully daring to tack last minute before hitting the mud, the race became tense and painfully slow. Every tack crucial, Skipper whispering "Lee ho - make it a good one".
We were in the lead by the time we reached the Newport Rowing Clubhouse, but slipped down to 3rd as we entered the Quay.
Amazingly bit by bit Skipper edged us back to 2nd and then it was neck and neck for the line. We put in two very quick tacks and got a little wind lift and using this to our advantage we glided over the finish line!!
We had won!
A brilliant race, quite exhausting but excellent fun!
So I'm pleased we have won a Cup for the season already.