Barton competitors on the trophy trail
Alone among the traditional events Barton Broad Open Regatta is entirely water orientated, with the broad lined either side with cruisers, and is organized by an independent committee.
Whilst the raison d'etre is competitive sailing, the atmosphere is more akin to the traditional water frolics, spectators being based on the club pontoon and their own cruisers, a splendid brass band entertaining all and sundry from Albion lying alongside, visitors from the nearby Museum of the Broads calling in for an hour or so aboard the steam launch Falcon, and, to cap it all, the spectacle of Giles Bryan's dog solemnly helming his lugsail tender, a spectacle which the photo accompanying this article enchanted all who saw it.
This year' sailing went well, and although the Force 3 and gusting westerly prompted reefing among the cruisers in the morning, it abated sufficiently to enable the programme to carry on without any problems. In a wide variety of entries, the 22 cruisers just topped the 21 YBODs, and amongst the other classes it was worth recording that for the first time in many years, there were 2 Great Yarmouth ODs out, Peter Bainbridge's Helen and Paul Bown's Siskin.
Bainbridge, after his three trophies over the weekend, started the day well winning the Ant Challenge Cup, but was unable to make a serious impression on the other MODs. Chris Bunn and Nikki Tansley swept to victory in the morning MOD race for the Loynes Challenge Cup, with Richie Dugdale, James Clabburn, and an inspired Graham Waring, crewed by Christian Young, following in that order ahead of the other 26 starters. Bunn went on to take the Yare and Bure Challenge Trophy in the final series of races, in a contest which saw the first ever black flag imposition, and a fine shiny new flag it was, too! Waring, another weekend trophy winner, sailed a good race to see Paul Howes, Robert Self, and Nick Gill off in the afternoon contest for the Fixed Keel Challenge Cup. Amongst the dinghies, Tim and Lucy Riley, chilling out from Dubai, won two major races in their Wayfarer, taking the Drop Keel Challenge Cup, but losing out on the aggregate to Geoff Tibbenham for the Barton Broad Challenge Cup despite winning their section of the race. Juniors provided a large contingent of dinghy entries, Isobel Richards' Topper taking the Junior Challenge Cup over two races on the back of two consistent performances with a third and second, whereas Cameron McFadyen and Eliza Bolton each won one of the races but couldn't get high enough in the other.
Other juniors who did well included Laura Galloway, Simon Richards, and Joanne Moore. At the other end of the scale the Cruiser battle for the Rogue Tankard was no less intense, and consistency again proved the key as Steve Seeney triumphed with two second guns in a strong fleet.
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At the prize-giving Regatta president Ian Masters paid particular tribute to Tom 'Biggles' Clarke, who after 25 years service as Race Officer, decided to stand down and view future events from above ( his aeroplane I hasten to add). Jeremy Richards then prompted laughter when trying to explain, without becoming politically incorrect, the conversion of the Ladies trophy to one for awarding to a nominee of the President, the lucky recipient being Paul Howes, and the day ended in raucous mirth as Level Evans and his motley crew of guests celebrated their triumph when their motor cruiser Marinka won the 'Best Dressed' award.
The Punt Club Open regatta over the weekend experienced sunshine, thunderstorms, and hail. Peter Bainbridge won three trophies in his Yarmouth OD, while Simon Clayton won two in his Punt. Graham Waring also starred winning the Tracey Tray while Cameron MacFadyen, Joanne Moore, Izzy Richards, Ollie Buchan, and Ben Campbell were the leading Juniors. Saturday afternoon provided another challenge when a brief but vicious squall hit shortly after the start of the first section of the cruiser race, followed by thunder, rain, and hail. As the storm moved eastwards those not sailing enjoyed spectacular views of cruiser sails backed by lightning. The downside was the inevitable demise of the wind, and although a few catspaws encouraged the OOD to start the second part of the cruiser race it was in vain, and that race was perforce abandoned when no-one finished within the time limit, and the final series was cancelled. Sunday was much fresher and at times windier, and Glyn Howarth was the main casualty when he lost his mast in the cruiser race in the series which Steve Seeney won.
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Fourteen Northern Rivers SAC craft made their annual visit to Wroxham Broad. On Saturday Tom Parkinson and Chris Morchett won the first race by over 7 minutes, and then took advantage in the second by finishing before the wind died, with a resultant lead of 22 minutes! Sunday was a different story when Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax won both races to finish third behind Parkinson and Wordingham. Peter Came won the Novice Cup.
NBYC members were saddened by the death of Ruth Eades, a long standing member of the club and in earlier years crew of Alan in the Yeoman class. She is particularly remembered for her unstinting work on the House Committee and on the social side especially during the 1978-1980 seasons as Alan rose through the ranks of Flag Officer to Commodore in 1980. A memorial service is to be arranged.