Christmas Cracker 2023

The Christmas Cracker hasn’t taken place for several years for reasons largely related to a pandemic, so for those of you who don’t know, it has been a tradition to have a ‘one-off’ race at Colemere on Boxing Day for the Christmas Cracker Trophy.

It was great to get the event going again this year and Boxing Day started with brilliant sunshine, albeit light wind, however, there was a breeze on the far side which was enough to set a course (due to very light winds close to the boat park, one participant had to be towed to the start – a clear illustration of the enthusiasm for the occasion).

No idea why it looked this dark during the race on
the camera, but it’s a nice photo anyway!

This year there were four competitors – Nick Blore, Ellen Dimelow, Graham Heryat, with his crew, Sarah, and Will Lloyd (magnificently supported by his fan club/family).  The race was indescribably exciting (I’m saying that because it avoids the need for me to write about it in any detail) with Nick Blore gradually pulling away from the field (if he’d had a decent sized plate of turkey the day before it could have been completely different with the weight telling against him).  The main competition was for second place with Ellen and Will jostling for second place, but eventually Will got the upper hand and managed to get a sufficient lead to overcome the handicap and take second place.  Graham and Sarah were fourth, just outside the podium places, with the wind never quite being sufficient to get their Wayfarer flying across the surface.

The ’awards ceremony’ was held around the blazing fire in the Clubroom – thank you to Cassandra Lloyd for coming armed with turkey sandwiches, mince pies and home- made biscuits to supplement everybody’s lunch.

Okay, so only one of them has the trophy, but they’re
all winners!

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable morning and lunchtime, and, hopefully, more of you will be encouraged to come along with your families for Boxing Day 2024 (your family and friends are all welcome on Boxing Day, irrespective of membership).  Maybe, in line with the spirit of the occasion, we might also consider an additional handicap system so that everybody has a chance of winning – Nick might be required to carry, or tow, a 6 foot Christmas tree!

Finally, part of the Christmas Cracker tradition is that the Commodore is Officer of the Day, but my thanks to Carol for helping out, not least as chief photographer.

Matt Gilbert