Ellis makes Kitten purr on way to success at Thurne

Eight YBODs enjoyed four thrilling races at Thurne last weekend in winds ranging from 17-21 knots.

The course for all four races was three rounds starting up the Bure towards St Benets, and then returning to sail up the Thurne to Coldharbour, and returning to sail down the Bure towards Acle. Wind strength was sufficient to prompt some crews at least to gamble on reefing and sailing three up.

The first race was led from start to finish by Richie Dugdale. However, he failed to capitalise on it when, after an indifferent start to the second race in which he finished outside the top three, and then ended on a sad note with a gear failure retirement in the third. That left the way open for Matt Ellis, another relative newcomer to the class, to fight it out with Matt Ford.

Ellis, undaunted by his boat Alder Kitten's formidable reputation under the previous owner Mike Evans, went on to win the second race from Ford, and settled matters in the third race on Sunday morning when he came home second to Ford, with only four of the eight starters finishing in the freshening wind. Only three braved the still increasing wind for the final race, Ellis, now sailing three up, earning an unassailable win over Ford and Richardson to win emphatically.

Sadly, only two Stars came to contest the Star Championship at Wroxham, and after Nick Eastwood and Sam McNamara won both of Saturday's races, Danny Tyrrell faced a mountain to climb. In the event he suffered a broken mast in the third race, leaving Eastwood to take the honours with three wins out of three.

Also on Saturday, NBYC sailed their annual team match against Oxford and Cambridge Sailing Society, won by four races to two by the visitors.

Rollesby finished their Summer Series on a high note when the Solos revelled in the wind, taking all three gun positions in both races, which were joined by several winter regulars who migrated during the summer.

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Nonetheless the series, both morning and afternoon, went to John Saddington and Dennis Manning in their Albacore. Next week the club starts its winter season with the Autumn Series.

n Mark Funnell, a prominent businessman in the Broads boating industry and a member of RN&SYC, died suddenly last week.

In his earlier days he was one of the original River cruiser Storm crew under Matthew Thwaites, and crewed Stu Rix when they won the Yeoman national Championship some years ago. At Lowestoft he regularly provided committee boats, most recently for the Laser Nationals.

A memorial service is to be held at St Mary's Church, Wroxham, on Wednesday at 4pm, and the family request friends to 'dress in a relaxed manner'. He leaves his parents, Len and Hazel, a sister and two daughters.