Whitefoot claims Athene Cup victory

Barton and Hickling Punts came together last Saturday at Thurne for the Athene Cup race.

Helped on their way by a 10-15 knot westerly, competitors set off on a beat from Thurne Mouth to St Benets, then back and up the Thurne to a mark just past Womack, finally returning to Thurne and heading down the Bure to a mark supposedly set by the Black Mill.

This became interesting when it was found that a passing Ranger Launch had deemed the mark an obstruction to navigation and helpfully moved it alongside the bank.

Fortunately the safety boat was on hand to remedy the situation.

With only one possible dissentient the crews of all eight starters agreed that the race was two of the most enjoyable hours of the season, the exceptions being Brian Wilkins and his crew of Shoveller, who capsized after a disagreement with their spinnaker.

Simon and Rachel Clayton were fastest round the course and took the Blackbird Trophy, but not fast enough to save their time on Richard Whitefoot in Comet, who gained the Athene Cup. Chris Balls in his old traditional Punt Shuck, came third.

Predictably there was a good turnout of 24 starters at Wroxham for their YBOD competition for the second Clabburn Trophy. The meeting rapidly evolved into a Thwaites/Tims battle, Tims winning the first race, in which Thwaites did not start, from Paul Carrington and Robert Self, and then enhancing his advantage by winning the second, with Thwaites second and Anthony Landamore, who also missed the first race, third.

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Sunday produced a turnaround, and, with all at stake, Thwaites won the third ahead of Tims and Carrington, leaving him needing another win to finish level on points with Tims and win on the tie-break. This he achieved, to take the honours, with Tims again second and Christopher Gibbs exchanging places with Paul Carrington to take third gun. Carrington finished third overall by a clear margin either way; Gibbs' last-gasp gun edged him into fourth, ahead of Self, again on the tie-break, well clear of the rest of the fleet.

Last week a team of Norfolk businessmen, from businesses in financial, landscaping, furnishing, pubs, and marine industries, entered the RYA Sailability Sunsail regatta, a charity event sailed in the Solent.

Team Waring, led by Graham Waring and crewed by six other local businessmen, including Ian Tims, who masterminded the action, won two of the four races to take the honours from several other teams, some comprising professional crews and skippers.

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