Big turnout as the sun shines at Barton

As summers go, it hardly came, but Barton had no complaints as the 2007 Regatta season wound up over probably the best weekend of the season, certainly far better than last week at Oulton and last year's Bank Holiday weekend.

As summers go, it hardly came, but Barton had no complaints as the 2007 Regatta season wound up over probably the best weekend of the season, certainly far better than last week at Oulton and last year's Bank Holiday weekend.

The Punt Club's Open regatta, sailed on the Saturday and Sunday, attracted 630 starters from 20 different classes, ranging numerically from the Cruises and YBODs down to single appearances from a Topaz, a Waveney, a Wanderer, a Flying Fifteen, a Star, a Mirro, and Peter Bainbridge's beautifully restored Yarmouth One Design.

A further 279 entries on Monday brought the total over the 900 mark. Throughout the weekend there was much sunshine, and winds, south west on Saturday, thereafter north west, all in the Force 2-3 range with the odd gust hitting Force 4. It really could not have been better.

Andrew Friend started the weekend where he left off after the Punt Championship and two wins and a second were enough to gain him the Forbes Cup in the Punts, beating Simon Jenner by a couple of points.

Peter Bainbridge's Yarmouth saw off challenges from George Whitefoot's Yeoman to win the Balhom Cooler by a similar margin over the four races, with the rest nowhere near them,and Ian Mairs RS400 followed suit in the Dinghy trophy series, well clear of the rest, despite losing two races to Norfolks, one helmed by Jan Hubbard, the other by Q Stewart.

Seventeen juniors competed for the Quincey Salver and the race saw an impressively close contest between S Richards and A MacFadyen, both sailing Toppers. It was won by Richards, while MacFadyen's younger brother also threatened on Saturday.

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Other winners included Pat Woodcock in the ladies race, John Clabburn in the MODs, which, interestingly, included a Norfolk sailed by Q Stewart, Richie Dugdale and Geoff Angell in the Cruisers, Mike Rvans in the yBODs and George Whitefoot in the Yeomans.

All races over the weekend were started from a pontoon down broad, manned by Tom Clarke, with Patrick Richardson and Stuart press, who had come planning to sail but volunteered to help out, and Chris Moule and Carl Brady. The Regatta atmosphere was enhanced by periodic visits from the Museum of the Broads' delightful steam launch Falcon bringing visitors to watch the sailing.

On Monday, highlights included Kevin Edwards' victory in the Norfolks for the 10th time in 11 years, regaining the honours from last year's winner Ray Johnson. For good measure he also took the Barton Broad Challenge Trophy and Cup for the midday Allcomers series. David Adler won the Punt Challenge Cup, Jordan Rumsby the Juniors Points series, while Jake Sallis and Henry Smith showed the Splashes and Lasers how it should be done.

The final series produced a touch of romance when Emma Lewis gained a surprise advance wedding present (she will marry William Daniels this weekend) when, in a dramatic finish, she moved up, over the final 100 yards, from fourth to pass Robin Richardson and David Ling and then pipped Chris Bunn on the line to take the Yare and Bure Challenge Trophy.

Elsewhere, Northern Rivers paid their annual visit to Wroxham for the four race series contesting the Founders Cup, won by Peter Thompson and Andy Tufnail - their first regatta win, while Carol Pointer won the Novices Race.

Saturday sees young sailors congregating at Wroxham Broad early in the morning for the NSBA Youth Regatta, one of the most popular events on the calendar. WOBYC welcome the Merlin Rockets, while over the weekend Horning host the YBODs on Black Horse Broad, and the Leisure Owners Association gather on Barton.

Three events are planned for the following weekend, Lowestoft having an Open Squib meeting on both days, while Saturday sees Buckenham's Triple B race, followed on Sunday by a Leader Open.