Regatta season ends in perfect fashion

The three-day fiesta on Barton Broad – the two-day Open event hosted by Norfolk Punt Club followed by Barton Open Regatta on Monday – proved a fitting climax to the 2013 regatta season, in which 60-plus craft from a dozen or so classes competed for trophies in every race.

The event, based on the NPC pontoons, is unique in so far as access and viewing can only be done afloat and additionally is particularly noteable for the involvement of whole families with often three generations involved.

Barring some rain on Saturday, the event was sailed in clear, often sunny, warmth and a fair wind around the Force 2-3 level giving good sailing on all points for the dozen or so classes competing, and excellent viewing from the surrounding three Wherries, and visitors aboard the steam launch Falcon.

Junior participation is massive. William Pank, 10, took home three junior trophies, while his father Chris took the Cruiser honours on Monday. Likewise, Max and Felix Dixey, rather older, prospered in the faster dinghies, while Eliza Bolton, 14, made her mark in her first efforts at helming a Punt, coming third in the Junior Punts, while Ruth Myerscough, just out of the University and sailing Commodore Neville Khambatta's Gamecock, won the Forbes Cup.

Joshua Means, James Mason, Phoebe Scott, and Alex Knight, whilst unable to keep young Pank back, still gave him a good run for his money.


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At a higher and more experienced level, Simon and Rachel Clayton, in their Wayfarer, took three trophies home, as did Chris Bunn and Niki Tansley in their YBOD, while Peter Bainbridge took two in his historic Great Yarmouth Helen. Top entries were in the YBODs and Cruisers at around 24-30 starters.

Youth was also the name of the game on Wroxham Broad when NBYC hosted the National Scout Sailing Regatta over the weekend.

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Four races each in nine categories were sailed over a soggy Saturday, with light and fickle winds, and a drier Sunday, the categories being Fast and Slow Handicap and Single-handers for Under-13, 13-15, 15-18, and Leaders and Networkers over 18.

Club Senior Race Officer Robert Self, assisted by Geoff Evans, presided – 140 youngsters took part, probably the largest junior event hosted on the Broads, and entries ranged from Merseyside and Tyneside to the Midlands, Southern England, and locally where Norfolk was represented by 8th Norwich and 1st Blofield and Brundall Sea scouts, both of whom were involved in the organisation, and 1st Hoveton/Wroxham.

In a strong field the local youngsters acquitted themselves well.

Michael and Oliver Howes (Blofield/Brundall) were second in the Under-18 Fast Handicap, losing out to 3rd South Shields' David Robertson and Liam Matemore, whose triumph earned them the honour of representing England at the 2014 World Scout Meeting for the Koch Cup, to be sailed at Long Beach, California.

Tim Haines (Hoveton/Wroxham) doubtless found his local knowledge as an NBYC member and Wroxham Week competitor helpful as he made second in the Under-18 Single-handers, emulated by Under-15 William Penny.

Norwich's Ali Hammond and Angus Jamieson won the Under-15 fast handicap and Henry Whipp and Peter Russell (Hoveton/Wroxham) and also NBYC members, won the Under-15 slow handicap. At the top level David Russell and Will Penny of Hoveton/Wroxham came second in the Leaders and Networkers.

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