Carrington's sailing crown

PUBLISHED: 11:30 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

Paul Carrington and Christian Young dominated the 34 Cruisers contesting the Coronation Trophy at last weekend's Open meeting on Wroxham Broad. Between them they collected 6 of the 12 guns and left the rest of the fleet standing.

Paul Carrington and Christian Young dominated the 34 Cruisers contesting the Coronation Trophy at last weekend's Open meeting on Wroxham Broad. Between them they collected 6 of the 12 guns and left the rest of the fleet standing. Carrington won the event with five points from one win and two second places, while Young counted a second and two thirds to give him 8 points. Suffice it to say that the third placed helm, Martin Broom, despite a last race win which left him with 20 penalty points still finished third overall, two points ahead of Mel Farrar and a further two ahead of Richard Lord and Len Funnell. The very nature of the class means that different conditions favour different boats, and for two boats to achieve so much superiority is indeed testament to their skills.

Unfortunately the event will be remembered for rather different reasons. Saturday's racing was in light winds, while Sunday produced a shade more, but nothing to cause concern. It was all the more remarkable that the weekend produced three broken masts. First to go was Peter Jeckells' Moonraker, whose mast collapsed in the second race on Saturday following a rigging failure. The sensation came in the final race on Sunday when Willie Bentall's Forester, heading north, passed Richard Parker's Starlight Lady, heading in the opposite direction. The Box, and spectators on the clubhouse verandah, had a grandstand view as each heeled slightly towards the other, bringing sails and spars into contact. When two boats, around 4-5 tons each, meet in opposite directions at 4-5 knots something has to give, and in this case it was both masts, Starlight Lady's aluminium Bermuda rig, and Forester's traditional gaff and topsail, which came crashing down with a thunderous noise, accompanied by gasps from spectators and Peter Jeckells' rueful comment “They've stolen my thunder!”

The good news was that both crews escaped unhurt, but the owners are left to face a sizeable insurance claim and also the need to be back in action for Wroxham regatta in four weeks' time.

Barton Broad hosted a Norfolk Punt and International Canoe Open meeting over the weekend. 10 of the former and 2 of the latter competed, although the Canoes found most of the Punts too much to cope with. Saturday's wind started well but faded to such an extent that Val Khambatta was actually seen going backwards! The first race was duly shortened but eventually the second got under way after a brief delay and change of course which Race Officer Kath Mason decided should include a Committee Boat start. Four boats went for a port tack flying start, which might have worked had they not, been over the line.

James Jarvey demonstrated the art of capsizing while flying an asymmetric, and Chris Wood showed how to deal with a protruding asymmetric pole. A somewhat hilarious race ended with Peter Bainbridge firstly working like a Trojan to get into the lead then throwing it away by rounding the last mark the wrong way.

Kath Mason's woes continued with zero wind on Sunday morning, and then it filled in from the east. Peter Bainbridge pulled out a lead from the first mark, which he retained, to the end, with other front-runners Chris Wood and Simon Clayton in hot pursuit. That left everything at stake for the last race, in which Clayton got away to a flying start with Bainbridge close behind and the rest nowhere near. Second place was good enough for Bainbridge to take the honours from Jarvey on the tie-break, with Clayton one point adrift and Wood a further point behind.

There are only two major events next weekend. The River Cruisers move downstream to Thurne Mouth for EACC's Open meeting, while NBYC hold another double-header for Stars and Wayfarers, both events starting at lunchtime on Saturday and running through to Sunday afternoon. The following weekend, July 8th and 9th, sees Yare SC's Open meeting for Cruisers at Cantley and NBYC's Open for White Boats at Wroxham on both days, while on Sunday only Hickling host the Punts, RNSYC hold their Scroby Sands race and picnic, and GYGSC have their passage race.

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