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Deben Gaffers at SYH Classic Regatta

Suffolk Yacht Harbour (SYH) at Levington on the River Orwell ran their annual racing weekend for classic sail and motor yachts from 9 – 11 June, 2023 hosted by Haven Ports Yacht Club. Seven Gaffers made passage out of the River Deben, crossing the bar by the newly charted route through the surf on a rather blustery Friday. Four Deben Cherubs left Woodbridge Boatyard and three boats departed the Tidemill Yacht Harbour in company: ‘Tannhauser’, classic Bermudan built 1963, ‘Cachalot’, a gentleman’s yacht celebrating her 125th birthday this year after a 10-year rebuild and ‘Dolce Vita XI’, our ‘mothership’.

At 05:10 with the sun just peaking over the Tidemill, four intrepid Deben Cherubs, ‘Cherub’, ‘Lindy Lou’, ‘Lynette’ and ‘Jubilee’ set off from our jetty in search of the River Orwell, Levington and Suffolk Yacht Harbour. The sail down the Deben was spectacular with breeze and tide building as they went, the crossing of the Deben Bar took concentration as ever but went without incident and then a rather blustery and bumpy sail down the coast brought everybody safely to the Orwell in record time. The Cherubs are moored up in pride of place in Suffolk Yacht Harbour ready for the Classics Regatta, bunting and battle flags are aloft and the sailors are left to prepare their boats further or have a nap!

It only seems right to share some photos to celebrate the champagne conditions, and stunning classic boats! The regatta was a lot of fun and a wonderful showcase for a hugely diverse collection of boats with a fleet spanning the 21ft gaff-rigged Cherubs through to the new 72ft Spirit Yacht ‘Gwenhyfar II’ via a Vertue, a 6 Metre, Stellas, an International One Design, several other Spirits and Holman designs . . . without listing all the Faireys and other power and motorboats! The oldest boat racing was the smack ‘Primrose’, owned by Ash Faire-Ring with two of our team crewing and bringing home line honours several times.

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