Rescue boats busy at regatta

Hickling is always one of the more popular venues, and it was no surprise that there were good turn-outs for both their evening regatta and the subsequent weekend open regatta.

Hickling is always one of the more popular venues, and it was no surprise that there were good turn-outs for both their evening regatta and the subsequent weekend open regatta. The evening regatta attracted 31 competitors, possibly thanks to, but more probably despite, the stormy conditions. The 28 qualifiers for the Steele Cup were led by Peter Dearnley and Kate Hearsum in their Wayfarer, who counted a first and second, with Simon and Rachel Clayton runners-up in their Punt with a first and fourth.

The three rescue boats were kept fully employed rescuing not only boats with masts stuck in the mud, but also helms who fell overboard.

So to the weekend, with some 60 or so craft in competition. The weather was suffering a hangover from its excesses and winds, initially around Force 3, steadily faded to next to nothing.

Flag officers Matt Boreham, Paul Wren, and John Parker started the fleet from a committee boat on Saturday and the club line on Sunday.

Weekend stars were Simon and Rachel Clayton in their Punt, who took five trophies home, and visitors Trevor and Jenny Whiting, who, sailing their Wayfarer, earned two trophies.

Jane Pye won the women's event and James Wilson the junior event.

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Wroxham's informal Classic Dinghy weekend drew 13 participants, six Merlin Rockets being joined by three National 12s, two International 14s, and a vintage Punt and B Class Canoe for a series of informal races.

Visitors, from as far afield as Yorkshire and Cheshire, included veteran Mervin Allen.

Northern Rivers contested their Oby Thistle and Emblem Trophies over the weekend, in fairly light winds, so much that the latter was perforce reduced to one race held after the wind filled in at lunchtime on Sunday.

All three races produced identical results, Tom Parkinson winning from Nigel Wordingham, with Peter Thompson third.

Moving from the largest broad to probably the narrowest river boasting competitive sailing, Beccles Regatta started on Monday in overcast and occasionally rainy conditions.

Predominantly a dinghy affair, no fewer than 12 Norfolks, the highest number anyone could recall, comprised the largest single fleet.

They were backed by seven Enterprises and a host of Lasers, Optimists, Toppers, and others including a Silver Streak, while half a dozen Waveneys made their usual annual trip up to add some gravitas to the occasion.

After two days Trevor Balls, winner of Monday's Waveney races, had a narrow advantage over Tuesday's winner, Geoff Little. Kevin Edwards and his seven-year-old daughter Elena were just ahead of Adrian Coulthard in the Norfolks, in which class Elena crewed her mother to victory in the Helen James Cup.

Matthew Deller and Jack Payne were pacemakers in the Enterprise class, while Jake Shipley headed the Mirror and Topper competition for Juniors with four wins out of four, with brother Harry chasing him.

The youngest group, in Optimists, were headed by Hue Braidwood and Milo Phillips.

This weekend sees Buckenham's open meeting for Phantoms. RNSYC wind up Sea Week on Saturday with their Offshore Challenge, while on Sunday, Hickling host the Bittern class and Oulton kick off Oulton Week, running until Friday, followed by the Ray Perriman Cup on Saturday.

On the weekend of August 19-20, Barton Broad is the venue for the Punt Championships, and Horning the venue for an open Gull meeting. Green Wyvern hold their Round the Island Race on the Saturday, while Hickling host the Solo class on the Sunday.