Photo finish at Rowhedge Regatta

Maria & My Alice at Rowhedge

Maria & My Alice at Rowhedge – picture courtesy of Ivan Beales

Finishes don’t come much closer than this! The finish of the regatta race from Brightlingsea to Rowhedge was a nailbiting affair, with Maria and My Alice running neck and neck for the last 200 yards or so.

Steve Heppell’s My Alice had led from the start at Bateman’s Tower, sailing off the line at full speed while Maria was bogged down in the fleet after slowing to avoid being over the line. Gradually, Maria closed the gap on the beat up the Colne, but it wasn’t until both smacks had passed the last of the moorings at Wivenhoe, next to the Roman River, that skipper Paul was able to dive to leeward.

From then on, the two big smacks were just a couple of feet apart as the tide swept them towards the line. Amazingly, despite being to leeward, Maria crept ahead for a moment, but My Alice had the advantage at the line by a yard or so.

It was a great spectacle for the crowds on the quay – has there ever been a finish like it? It was the subject of many pictures, too – click here to see some more.

A long race for Maria on the longest day
First race, first win