Trafalgar Day sees Lampert win battle
Seventy one boats, mainly dinghies, marked Trafalgar Day in style at three different clubs, and the wind was not dissimilar to that experienced by Nelson's battle line, very light at best.
Pre-eminent were the 49 starters in Snowflakes' Tri-Icicle event. It didn't look good first thing, but just about enough wind appeared to allow a clubhouse start, although the legs down to Ant Mouth, and back again, were afflicted by light, patchy, and fickle shifts confounding the smaller craft. Once past St Benets it wasn't too bad, as the fleet raced to Thurne Dyke, then back and down to Upton Dyke before returning home. Arguably the best feature was the ebb tide for the downriver passage and the flood on the return.
Given the conditions it was unsurprising that the 27 River Cruisers with their massive rigs and topsails dominated the event, taking the first 14 places on handicap, with Simon Lampert's Cuckoo best of the lot, ahead of Vixen and Cygnet. Of the rest, Gerry Hermer proved the fastest keelboat in his Rebel, Roger Claxton the fastest yeoman, and Richard Whitefoot and Matt Ellis proved too good in the centreboards for fellow Punt aces John Parker and Jane Pye.
The first race on Hickling's Junior Box day, racing managed by youngsters headed by Tim Percival, resulted in an unusual double tie, when James Jarvey ( Punt) and Peter Dearnley (Wayfarer) tied on handicap for first place, and then Kevin Postlethwaite (Solo) and Chris Barker (Laser STD) matched them for third.
The two subsequent races were more clearly defined, still featuring the same quartet, Jarvey beating Dearnley and Postlethwaite in the second, and Dearnley taking the third from Larter and Alan Kerrison, who, with Andy Hobson, were the other leading finishers.
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Meanwhile Frostbites started as they finished last year with Mackleys ruling the roost. David took the main race from class champion Paul Carrington by three minutes, and Kate then administered the double whammy, but by four minutes.
This Saturday, the River Cruisers race from Horning to Thurne, while rowers will compete in the Norfolk Long Distance Sculls racing from Bramerton to Whitlingham. On Sunday Snowflakes hold an Open Keelboat race to Thurne and back for the Greenhill Trophy, while WOBYC hold their Squib Open and end of summer season Regatta.
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