It was an early start! By 07:00 barges were starting to leave the Wet Dock and head down river for the start of the Pin Mill Sailing Clubs 50th Annual Barge Match. We had lots of time to spare as the Class B race didn’t start until 09:45 but the Skipper – Jonathan Webb – was keen to get going. The weather was pretty dull and wet. We motored down past Pin Mill and then back up before raising the sails. Jonathan timed his turn perfectly as we headed back down river under sail and were first over the line! We managed to hold the lead unto just outside Harwich Harbour where Repertor crept ahead. At this point the wind was quite strong and most of the barges were dropping their top sails. Repertor beat Melissa around the first mark but never really put any distance between herself and Melissa until we got back through the harbour and started tacking toward the finish line. Melissa came an honourable second with Reminder following behind.
Friday afternoon saw a “Procession of Sail”, arranged by the “Ipswich Maritime Trust”, which saw Thames Barges sailing up the River Orwell and finishing in the Wet Dock. Lots of barges were there, along with film crews and lots of visitors.
Melissa played host to Children from Chelmondiston CEVC Primary School. Throughout the day there was a constant stream of children being taken around the boat with David and Jonathan Webb telling the children all they needed to know.