Cruisers battle it out for honours at Norfolk Broads YC
A field of 24 river cruisers had four hard-fought races at the weekend for three trophies at Norfolk Broads YC.
Stu Rix, sailing Meggie – owned by Stuart Gentle – out-performed the other 10 faster boats in the 'A' start to take the Achievement 75th Anniversary Bowl by the narrowest of margins. He based his success on a first and second in the slightly windier conditions of Saturday, beating his two principal rivals, Chris Bunn and team (Raisena) and Richie Dugdale and team (Zingara), their finishing order co-incidentally matching the final order.
Bunn ensured runner-up spot with a third race win while Dugdale, with two thirds and two fourths put in the most consistent performance, and Paul Howes and Simon Lampert brightened an otherwise mundane weekend with wins on Sunday.
Two of the 14 slower boats were even closer at the finish, Paul Carrington and family counting two wins and a second, as did Tim Frary, helming on Saturday, and Malcolm Thompson on Sunday. In fact they went one better as their discard was another second as against Carrington's fifth, but, the all important final race counted, hence Carrington taking the Moth Salver and also the Eastwood trophy for the combined result.
Hickling hosted the Bitterns on Saturday for the Syd Wren trophy sailed over three races with a decent wind. John Atkinson and Leona Levine won all three races, with Ken Green and Diana Wilson taking two second places, finishing in that order, while Bruce Thompson took a second and third to finish third overall.
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On Sunday 11 Punts enjoyed four races in a decent Force two ENE breeze. Golden Oldies John Parker and James Savage won the first three, either by leading all the way or driving through the fleet to lead at the time that mattered most, while Robin Slatter and Leslie Haines recovered well from a first race retirement to take two seconds and a final race win to emerge runners up. three points clear of David Long and Andy Pegram.
Close on 30 assorted cruisers, keelboats and dinghies joined in Horning's down-river to Thurne, starting from Woods Dyke, on Sunday. The Cruisers, the largest fleet, started first and found the strong tide and light wind not entirely desirable, Dennis Hands (Maeve) being over at the start and unable to return for some time, whilst another sailed into the trees and turned round, and others took ages just to get round the first bend. While Pip Roney (Vixen) romped away to win, in both directions, two cruisers finished outside the time limit.
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Several also grounded in the assorted shallows. The return was even worse, with the wind lighter, and this time the dinghies ran out of time, except the lasers sailed by Kim West, Curtis Drew and Roger Hannant, who finished in that order.
There was ample wind at Wells on Saturday, about force 4, for Frostbites' visit to Wells for the second leg of their 60th anniversary match against Wells SC. The hosts' hospitality is renowned, but this did not extend to the water, where the home team completed a comprehensive whitewash to reclaim the Braconash Trophy for the first time in four years.
The Wells team doubtless found it useful training exercise for the forthcoming Sharpie Championships.