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Chairman Gilbert White, to loud cheers from huge crowds, read out the Royal letter at the Regatta opening ceremony. Unfortunately it didn’t bring much


luck.


The sailing and local rowing were described as descending into ‘chaos’ because of violent and bitter gales that swept in from the Atlantic.


Many yachts involved in the sailing competition were capsized, one was dis-masted and another split her mainsail, giving the safety boat crews a nightmarish few days.


It was described by the chairman as “The Coldest Regatta in History”


– not a moniker which would inspire fond recollection. But his stoic demeanour in the face of such a terrible destruction of what was supposed to be a fun event was an example for us all.


“May I express my thanks to the many competitors who so nobly carried on in spite of the weather and also to the committee and other helpers who stuck to their work and did such an excellent job,” he said after the event finished.


“Financially, we shall be down, but personally I am sure the committee also went to bed on Saturday night with a feeling of elation rather than depression


because never have I had so many good wishes from so many people.”


The good news is the next year the town celebrated a regatta in glorious sunshine and crowds thronged the town.


It brought complaints from the old guard that it was now simply a commercial event, which cared nothing for tradition, and incidentally, brought lots of visitors to the town who made it difficult to park.


How life repeats itself? Happy Regatta! By Phil Scoble


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