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Webbers retain title as NBYC hosts Yeoman National Championship

PUBLISHED: 09:06 23 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:07 23 May 2018

Action from the Yeoman National Championship Picture:  Ivan Ringwood

Action from the Yeoman National Championship Picture: Ivan Ringwood

Archant

There was much excitement when the Norfolk Broad Yacht Club (NBYC) played host to the Yeoman National Championship.

Action from the Yeoman National Championship. Picture:  Ivan RingwoodAction from the Yeoman National Championship. Picture: Ivan Ringwood

With the weekend line-up including three past champions, alongside the current title holders Bill and Diana Webber, sailing Swift, this year’s five-race competition promised to be intriguing – and it did not disappoint.

The weather was fine and sunny, while the wind proved to be somewhat fluky. Most of the time it blew from the north east but, as often happens on Wroxham Broad, it sometimes shifted, making course setting difficult for race officers.

Sailing in such conditions is challenging, and less experienced competitors found themselves slip from a respectable placing to the back of the fleet after one ‘unlucky’ decision, whilst the top sailors gave a master-class on how to cope.

Saturday’s first race produced an exciting finish with the Webbers pushed to the line by Paul and Janet Barker (Brandy Bottle).

Action from the Yeoman National Championship. Picture:  Ivan RingwoodAction from the Yeoman National Championship. Picture: Ivan Ringwood

Behind them Chris Bunn and Adam Barker (Peridot) were pipped to fourth place by Roger Hannant and Chris Tuckett (Firefly).

When the crews took to the water for the second race, they were dismayed to find the wind had fallen, although they were given some relief as the sea breeze blew in from the north east.

After early jockeying for places, the Barkers took the lead at the end of the first lap, a position they held to the final bell.

Sunday dawned bright and clear.

Bill and Diana Webber, Yeoman National Championship winners. Picture:  Ivan RingwoodBill and Diana Webber, Yeoman National Championship winners. Picture: Ivan Ringwood

Soon after the start of the third race wind conditions continued to challenge, as much of the fleet became massed around buoy five, leading to some lively exchanges. However, the Webbers and Sally Dugdale, crewed by Martin Thompson, (Lavinia) broke clear, a position they maintained to the bell.

The fourth race saw the Webbers and Barkers again take the honours. The final race was won by Peridot, followed by Swift and Brandy Bottle.

And so, after an impressive display over two days, the Webbers retained their title, whilst Paul and Janet Barker were runners-up. Mario Tinge and Michelle Ackroyd, who finished seventh overall, were the leading non-spinnaker boat.


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