Yare Navigation race

It was a weekend of two halves for the two major events.

Saturday's Yare Navigation provided the good news as the ebb tide was scheduled to turn at lunchtime, enabling competitors to enjoy breakfast laid on by CHSC before departure.

Most opted to depart between 10am and 11.15 am in the hope of riding the tide down to Breydon and then riding it back, in a friendly wind with virtually no dead patches, giving, broadly, a run down to Reedham, a beat on to Breydon, and reversed for the return.

The only downside was that there were a few gear failures, mainly on Breydon where the wind proved quite strong and gusty, and several craft tested the extent of the dredging, or lack of it. A Gordon in Mimosa, sailing on 16pc, got his timing right, starting at 11am and finishing 5hrs 9 minutes later after an uneventful day. The art which, this time, he mastered was matching his handicap with the wind, and tide, which most of the faster rated craft failed to do.

Chris Bunn, in Raisena, was the last to start and, despite taking almost an hour less than Gordon, remained almost 20 minutes adrift on handicap. Second to finish was the 9pc rated Sparklet, sailed by M Swale, who started half an hour after Gordon, and finished 13 minutes earlier.


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Fortunately his transit of Reedham Swing Bridge heading upstream, achieved in the nick of time, which left him on the correct side by bow into the nearby pub (to the delight of spectators), fell within the time exclusion zone, but he remained five minutes clear of the third boat Waxwing, also 9pc, sailed by Simon Clayton, which had sailed 15 minutes later.

There are subsidiary awards, three size-related. Mimosa and Sparklet took those positions for the over-28ft, third-placed Waxwing took the 25-28ft Jeckells Trophy with just a minute to spare from Tim Frary's Dryad in a highly successful season.

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With Paul Carrington a minute further adrift in Morning Calm this category was easily the closest contested sector.

Adrian Lincoln won the Wilberforce-Smith for the smallest craft and D Ellis, whose elapsed 7hrs 1 minutes retained the Breeze Trophy for the longest passage. Richard Parker's Starlight Lady took the Moonraker Trophy for the fastest passage for the fourth time in five years, 4hrs 10 minutes.

The NSBA Interclub Ramuz trophy, on Sunday, was another story altogether from the previous day's events on Breydon.

Horning staged a well-planned event, providing six Yeomans plus two reserves, and the early stages, in Force 3-4 SW wind, went off without many hiccups. Each crew sailed two heats, and the top six scorers thereafter would sail the final. Guy Coleman and Carl Brady (NBYC) won the first heat, Matthew Thwaites and Tony Knights (RNSYC) the second, and Hickling (Richard Whitefoot and Rupert Reddington) the third. Then it got lively.

The ominous forecast swung in with vicious gusts as the last heat started, and added rain squalls. Midway through, and leading comfortably, Coleman's and Brady's kicker wire sheared, and, mindful that they were in a borrowed boat with brand new sails, facing a dead run, decided to retire.

Race Officer Trevor Lewis was faced with a claim for redress which was refused by the Protest Committee and, in the light of the deteriorating weather, the final was abandoned and the Ramuz trophy awarded to WOBYC, one of three clubs all on four points, the key element being that WOBYC had beaten both RNSYC and HBSC in the heats, having achieved two second places, whereas their rivals had not sailed against each other. The decision not to allow redress caused much comment and Coleman and Brady considering an appeal to the RYA over what is, locally at any rate, an almost unprecedented situation.

There were two Opens, both at Wroxham. On Saturday the Pank family cleaned up at the Optimists, William winning the Gold Fleet and Grace the Silver. The 27 contestants included visitors from Harwich and also Royal Bermuda YC. On Sunday Ian Tims and Charlotte Harper won the Norfolks 1985 trophy.

Hugh Tusting is one of Broadland's most respected sailors with a successful career of over 50 years, during which time he has enjoyed much success in a variety of craft, notably in winning the first ever Three Rivers race, and his many friends will have been delighted by Tony Hall's excellent cartoon in Tuesday's EDP. Especially the tag on his cap!

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