Shadow of tragedy hangs over regatta

Coldham Hall Regatta last weekend was inevitably overshadowed by the tragic drowning downstream of a member of the local club, which became known after the conclusion of the racing.

Coldham Hall Regatta last weekend was inevitably overshadowed by the tragic drowning downstream of a member of the local club, which became known after the conclusion of the racing.

The regatta itself was sailed in the variety of conditions almost traditional with this event.

Saturday saw sunshine and north-westerlies up to Force 3, and produced wins in the Waveneys and earlier Allcomers for Trevor and Jake Balls.

Neil Bowles gained some revenge for his earlier defeats by beating Balls in the final race.

Henry Joy had a comfortable win to gain the Broom Challenge Cup for juniors, while David and Kate Mackley built an enormous lead over Ray Johnson and Wendy Bush to take the Norfolks, with the rest of the fleet almost out of sight.

Sunday dawned equally sunny, but windless. The Local Boats trophy went to Matt Ellis by virtue of a perfect start and consequent clean wind (insofar as there was any) in his Laser.

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The second series of class races saw Neil and Dee Bowles re-establish their superiority with Dave Plummer second, while the Mackleys maintained their usual form in a lengthy race, with Johnson again finishing second ahead, this time, of Jan Hubbard and Henry Joy.

It was entirely understandable, but also unfortunate, that the race officer decided to shorten subsequent races to two rounds only, which had the unfortunate effect that the subsequent Cruiser race, starting just as the sea breeze came in, took the winner 15 minutes.

Things were better for the rest of the afternoon, although the wind continued fluky and indeed quixotic, reducing apparently invincible leads to nothing within one tack.

Geoff Little became the third winner in the Waveney series, Ian Barker gained his second win in the Wayfarers, and Dave Woolston, having come second to Dave Hickman in the morning Yeoman race, reversed the position to take their trophy.

The Mackleys, however, maintained their control of the Norfolks to give David the trophy, yet again, while Kate won the lunchtime combined Allcomers Challenge Cup, and Matt Ellis the Jack Points Trophy for the highest CHSC member.

On Sunday and Monday the wind effectively boxed the compass for Hickling's spring regatta, causing the race officers to tear their hair out as planned windward starts suddenly became running starts.

Monday proved rather better with a lunchtime best around Force 3, but falling away again later.

Simon and Rachel Clayton proved themselves the best scoring partnership in their Punt, taking the Norfolk Punt Cup, the Cordy Cup, and the Thurne Cup in the Allcomers Pursuit, while Andy Hobson took the Shearwater Cup and Martini Cup.

Visitors included Nigel Blake, well remembered locally as a keen Enterprise helm in the days of our long past youth!

Local juniors have been making their mark last weekend. Flip Foulds qualified to represent Great Britain in the Optimist European Championships in Holland at the end of July, while 17 local youngsters made the journey to Grafham Water for the Magic Marine Topper Inlands at the weekend.

Sadly, Sunday's racing had to be cancelled owing to total lack of wind, and while Saturday started off better with a shifty Force 2-3, it fell away at the start of the third and last race leaving many of the 253 entrants to be disqualified under the black flag rule. Ryan Langston (BASC) came out 24th overall, three places ahead of Fergus Barnham (Snettisham), while Anna Ackroyd (NBYC 46th) won highest placed Junuior Development Squad girl.

Hickling's Jordan Rumsby's best race 13th put him 90th overall, and he celebrated on Monday by winning the Harold Swan Cup at Hickling. Cameron Jones and Nathan Ackroyd, both NBYC, also finished comfortably in the top half

Next weekend NBYC have Open meetings for Stars and Wayfarers on Saturday and Sunday, while GYGSC have Opens for Splashes and conventional monohulls on Sunday 7th, and Beccles entertain the Norfolks for an Open meeting.

A reminder that the memorial service for Shaun Tusting will be held at St Georges Church, Sprowston Road, Norwich, on Tuesday at 3pm.