Oulton Week is a huge hit with a century of races testing the crews

PUBLISHED: 17:23 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:23 28 August 2018

River Cruisers racing at Oulton Week Picture: Trish Barnes.

River Cruisers racing at Oulton Week Picture: Trish Barnes.


Oulton Week was as busy as ever with well over 100 races started during the six days and some 140 boats taking part.

Chris Bunn and his crew in Fox, winners of three race series during Oulton week Picture: Trish BarnesChris Bunn and his crew in Fox, winners of three race series during Oulton week Picture: Trish Barnes

Conditions varied from windy on Sunday and Friday to almost a flat calm on Tuesday morning.

The River Cruiser open meeting for the Phillips Cup was won on handicap by Matt Ford’s Mystery, ahead of 11 other boats.

Chris Schonhut’s Brandy Bottle won five of the six Waveney class races and Chris Bunn’s Fox was similarly successful in the Yare & Bures, as was Sam Cole’s Pipit in the Broads One Designs. Duncan Madin won both the lunchtime and afternoon Fast Handicap series in his K1 with clear leads, but in the Slow Handicap, their three series were dominated by different boats – Grace Pank’s Optimist in the mornings, Steve Harvey’s Comet at lunchtime and David Means’ Topaz in the afternoons. Vic Pennell won the Waveney Sailability Hansa series with a score of firsts and seconds while John Ling and Michael Collins were clear ahead in the Lasers and Norfolk Dinghies respectively.

The most impressive dominance of a fleet was shown by Bunn’s Fox in the afternoon Mixed One Design series. Fox won every race except one to finish 10 points clear of nearest rival, Pipit.

The morning Fast Handicap was closely fought between the Solos of Pete Matthews and Roger Wilson and Mark Langston’s Streaker, with Wilson winning the final race to secure the series.

Tim Frary’s Stellar was very strong in the Fast fleet, winning ahead of Maidie in the midday series and Zingara in the evenings. In the Slow fleet midday series there were race wins for Whisper, Mystery, Beth and Tamara but Matt Ford’s Mystery was the fleet winner, as she was in the evening series when all five races had different winners.

The final race was the Bloodbath Pursuit race on Friday afternoon. A squall came through just before the start so the race was postponed for a few minutes which perhaps accounts for some confusion regarding start times. Several boats were judged to have started too early, including the Lasers – disappointing for Joe Drake – who sailed well to take the lead. Ben Falat’s Phantom, having started last, overtook everyone except the three leading lasers but as they were disqualified, the trophy went to him.

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