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Holmes hat-trick of third places is enough to claim victory for Moth Salver

PUBLISHED: 08:30 28 June 2018

Moth Salver Trophy winner John Holmes, centre, with his crew Debra Westowski and Robin Hines. Photo by Sue Hines

Moth Salver Trophy winner John Holmes, centre, with his crew Debra Westowski and Robin Hines. Photo by Sue Hines

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A strong turnout of 21 Broads yachts congregated at Thurne for the annual River Cruiser Class Open event, organised by the East Anglian Cruising Club.

Martlet, chased by Solace, about to round a buoy in the RCC Open regatta at the weekend. Photo by Sue HinesMartlet, chased by Solace, about to round a buoy in the RCC Open regatta at the weekend. Photo by Sue Hines

River Cruisers, ranging from traditional vessels over 100 years old to modern designs, travelled from as far as the Southern Broads and Wroxham to compete in three different races over the two days for the Moth Salver.

It was won, not by the winners of individual races, but by John Holmes in Sabrina II for his hat-trick of thirds.

The programme kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a 100-minute Pursuit Race, in which the slowest boat starts first and the fastest last, the aim being that at the end of the 100 minutes, if all boats sail to their handicap, they should finish together.

The first boat to leave was the smallest, the 111-year-old Martlet, sailed by Hilary Franzen, who held her position in the lead for a complete round of the buoys on the Bure until Solace, sailed by John Aves, took a convincing lead to win. Beth, sailed by Glynn Howarth, last year’s winner of the Moth Salver, took second place from Sabrina II, sailed by Holmes, with just two minutes to go.

Martlet chased by Solace in the River Cruiser Open regatta at the weekend. Photo by Sue HinesMartlet chased by Solace in the River Cruiser Open regatta at the weekend. Photo by Sue Hines

The northerly winds which began as a force 2 to 3 filled in to a brisk 3 to 4 making for some nail-biting, close contact sailing when all the boats, tacking into the head wind, converged at the end of the race.

Sunday brought perfect sailing conditions with more warm sunshine and a lighter northerly breeze favouring the lighter boats. The morning race allowed helms to decide their start times, as long as they began and finished within a two-and-a-half-hour window, and the order they should take the three buoys on the Rivers Bure and Thurne. This allowed most of the fleet to thin out and sail in clear air. It was won by Richie Dugdale in Zingara, with Paul Carrington second in Lyra, and Holmes taking another third.

The afternoon race was a traditional round the buoys race with four starts, the fastest boats setting off first and the slowest last. It was won by Carrington in Lyra, with Matthew Ford in Mystery second and Holmes again taking third.

Awarding the Moth Salver to Holmes, race officer Malcolm Duffield said his achievement proved winning was more about consistency than first places.

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