Stu has just enough puff to claim Cigarette Plate

A first race win propelled Stu Rix to victory in an intensely fought BOD contest for the Cigarette Plate at Wroxham over the weekend.

This fleet has become vastly more competitive, exemplified by the fact that there were four different winners, Rix being followed by Jimmy Tubby, Sam Cole, and Tony Shingler in the three following races, and the total 12 guns being shared amongst eight competitors.

At the end, Rix amassed 10 points, two better than Timothy Barrett, whose count was boosted by a second and a third in Sunday's races, enough to put him one point ahead of Tubby, who had to count a fifth and seventh.

Thereafter three helms all tied on 16 points, split only by the tie-break, last race winner Shingler, who had a second race third gun, pipping fifth placed Trevor Cave to the line and thereby on the overall.

Arguably Kingsley Farrington was the most consistent of the 19 contestants, coming in sixth without getting any guns, one point ahead of third race winner Cole.

The other place setter, for the record, was NBYC Commodore Jeremy Ives, third in the third race but overall well down the field.

Still, it looks as if the class will be a lot more competitive at the top end next year.

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Earlier, on Saturday morning, NBYC entertained frostbites for the second leg of their annual team match.

As the visitors arrived on the back of a whitewash in the first leg the hosts were effectively dependent upon not only returning the compliment, so to speak, but also getting the visitors to commit some indiscretion or other.

It was all over after the first race, when visitors Geoff Coulthard and John Atkinson, and Paul Carrington led the way, despite some unplanned intervention from a passing Wherry, with Antony and Linda Landamore heartening the hosts with a third.

Suffice to say, the visitors took control for the last race, and departed with the R O Bond Trophy for the first time in several years, and the Club chrome car badges awarded for the NBYC leg.

Northern Rivers' season ended on a high, at any rate for Brian Gray.Having been out of action for much of the year, he celebrated his return to health and his first regatta by winning the Club Championship.

This was sailed on Saturday as a Pursuit race from the clubhouse over a scratch 100 minute course, beating upstream to a mark at Oby, onwards to Thurne and up the Bure, and back again in a light to moderate north-westerly.

Despite conditions favouring the lower handicap boats, Gray' Sunfast 20, one of the higher, took the lead from John Redding and maintained it to the end, seeing off a late challenge from Tom Parkinson, and ultimately winning comfortably.

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