Acle Regatta silverware for Stevens

Strong southerlies of Force 6 welcomed Acle Regatta competitors on Saturday. It was fortunate that the heaviest winds, which came riding on an intense black cloud gusting to Force 8, arrived shortly before the start of the first race.

Strong southerlies of Force 6 welcomed Acle Regatta competitors on Saturday. It was fortunate that the heaviest winds, which came riding on an intense black cloud gusting to Force 8, arrived shortly before the start of the first race. Nevertheless nine cruisers went out, close reefed, and all survived, with Paul Stevens taking the Curiosity Cup, closely followed by Steve Seeny and Richie Dugdale. The only other race on Saturday was the Keelboat race for the Alan Johnson Cup, won by Ian Stewart. Sunday proved considerably calmer, Force 3 or thereabouts, and the first event was the Cruiser Pursuit Race for the Cruiser Trophy. The handicappers clearly got this right as all 11 starters finished the course with 400 yards separating first from last, Richie Dugdale leading the fleet.

With the cruisers out of the way, the Mixed Keels, one YBOD, one Yeoman, and the delightfully named Lumenitis Reducta, set forth for the Barclays Bank Cup, won by Roger Wilson.

In the afternoon, slightly falling winds and more than slightly falling rain saw the final series, Paul Stevens adding the Cordy Cup to his collection and Ian Stewart taking the Bridge Inn Shield.

Acle Regatta is renowned for its fund-raising efforts, and, thanks to sponsorship from Whitegate Farm Cider, Acle Parish Council, and several other local businesses, close on £1,000 was raised, to be shared between Acle Voluntary Aid, Cancer Research, and the Ormiston Family Trust.


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The early afternoon squall on Saturday hit Wroxham Broad just as the seven-strong Norfolk fleet were rounding the gybe mark for the fourth and last time on their first race.

Martin Broom and Alan Mallett had both completed their gybes and were storming down the broad as the next two, Geoff Coulthard and Alan Mitchell, reached the mark.

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Mitchell went haring off in the wrong direction and eventually wore round, while Coulthard was unluckier as his (borrowed) bamboo mast shattered and eliminated him from the weekend, while Broom was left to concentrate on demolishing Mallett's challenge, which he did.

Broom eventually won the Marks Cup with two wins on Saturday, and a second on Sunday, when Christian Young won both races.

Sally Dugdale, crewed variously by her offspring, finished second overall.

A baker's dozen of Optimist sailors from NBYC and WOBYC were at Grafham for the Optimist Inland Championships, sailing six races over the two days.

Oliver Chapman and Jack Rushton competed in the 63-strong “Regatta Fleet” for the juniors, and did very well for their first major event, Rushton finishing eighth overall.

Among the “big boys”, two local girls took the honours.

Flip Foulds was the more consistent, with two sixth places contributing to her 10th overall, while Lara Cator exceeded all expectations by finishing strongly with a second and a fifth in the last two races, and rounding the first mark first in both.

She eventually finished in 15th place, which was 15 places ahead of Thomas Paine, recent winner of the Eric Twiname Regatta for members of the National Squad.

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