Snowflake SC see off their winter series in fine style

Action from Snowflakes SC Picture: Ian Symonds

Action from Snowflakes SC Picture: Ian Symonds - Credit: Archant

Snowflake Sailing Club

Action from Snowflakes SC Picture: Ian Symonds

Action from Snowflakes SC Picture: Ian Symonds - Credit: Archant

The final regatta of the winter season for Snowflake Sailing Club was a resounding success.

The format was simple: three races for Yeoman and three for all-comers dinghies with trophies for various stages of the day.

The weather was as good for sailing as it had been all winter and while the gusts were strong, if a little unpredictable, this only served to make the Yeoman crews and the dinghy helms work harder to stay upright.

Five Yeoman got the day going and soon spread out as they battled up river; these five then continued up to a mark set at the entrance to Black Horse Broad and here they experienced the toughest conditions of the day.

Action from Snowflakes SC Picture: Paddy Wildman

Action from Snowflakes SC Picture: Paddy Wildman - Credit: Archant

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The 10 dinghies set off five minutes later and the first beat up river tested them as they watched for the best side of the river and for the sudden strong gusts from between the houses. It really was a case of blasting along one moment and then experiencing a patch in the doldrums the next. One blast caught a Yeoman so viciously that the crew decided discretion was the better part of valour and retired. The dinghies fared slightly better and the attrition rate expected did not materialise, the Splash and Topper held out well against the remaining eight that were all Lasers.

The Yeoman results saw a battle between John Parker in Kittiwake, Marty Thomson in Crystal, Paul Barker in Brandy Bottle and Ian Hanson in Kittiwake. In race one it was Parker, Barker then Thomson; in race two Parker, Barker then Hanson and in race three Thomson, Hanson and Parker. In the final count the Davies Barometer went to John Parker and daughter Jane Pye in Cherokee.

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The dinghies also saw results shared between a few, but enjoyed much closer and tight hauled racing. Race one saw Matthew Thwaites in Laser Rio win, Will Symonds in 213791 second and Chris Haslam in Perdey third. These three set the tone and in race two it was Thwaites, Haslam then Symonds; in race three Haslam, Thwaites then Symonds. In the final analysis Thwaites won the Dunn Cup and Regulars trophy for the overall win, Haslam the Millhouse Cup for the third race win and Will Symonds overall third place club trophies.

Rollesby Sailing Club

At Rollesby Broad Sailing Club, a strong westerly breeze coming over the trees on the west bank meant conditions were tricky – given the number of capsizes it was impressive that there were only two retirements amongst the 15 starters.

The Solos were dominant in the single-handed fleet; Roger Wilson started fast in race one, having shut out Daniel Bull in his Laser to round the first mark on a lifting wind-shift and gain an already good lead from Ian Ayres. Bull worked hard to catch up but capsized both times he looked like putting in a serious challenge. Meanwhile, Tamsin Highfield in her Streaker was leading the pack with Terry Palmer in close attendance. Palmer was close enough at the finish to give the Solos a clean sweep of the podium places.

In race two, Wilson was again away first but infringed Steve Whitby in his Minisail and had to do turns. Phil Highfield, having taken over the Streaker, led up the second beat pursued closely by Ayres. But a large shift coming through the trees turned the top six upside down and it was the Lasers of Keith Sykes and Stuart Highfield who led the rapid charge back down the broad with Kevin Postlethwaite leading the Solos. Alas the Lasers could not cope so well upwind and Ayres spotted an early wind-shift to take the lead up the next beat. Highfield slowly closed in, especially downwind, but despite splitting the Solos on the water could not beat Wilson on handicap.

Despite a capsize in race one, Dave Houghton and Jon Symonds (Wayfarer) won both multi-sail races. John Saddington and Dennis Manning retired after suffering the same fate, whilst Bob Sparrow and Steve Gibbons sacrificed speed for safety, flying their jib rather than genoa and took (an albeit distant) second in both races.

Frostbite Sailing Club

Despite the testing conditions in a strong, gusty north-west wind 11 Norfolk Dinghies, one reefed, shared a congested start line.

Sam Woodcock sailing B20 'Kelpie' and crewed by Sam Archer were first away leaving the rest of the fleet initially in a bit of a log jam. The beat to the top mark was very difficult both in terms of the strength of the gusts but also the varied direction of the wind. Once round the mark the leaders had to be wary of the other boats still beating up but happily there were no incidents.

The bottom mark lay in a lull under the trees, giving respite and enabling some helms to catch up and others to lose their positions. After three rounds Woodcock came in first after 41 minutes, followed within a minute by David Mackley sailing B6 'Lucifer beyond repair' crewed by daughter Kate George and in third place was Kevin Edwards in B19 'Minnie' crewed by his daughter Pippa. On handicap Woodcock held his time in first place, second was Danny Tyrrell in B53 'Twinkle' crewed by his son Jonathan in a rare but welcome visit and in third place was Ray Johnson sailing B54 'Coot' and crewed by Wendy Bush.

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