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Swamazons Old Gaffers event at Walton and Frinton Yacht Club

by Bernard Patrick 1 Jul 2011 11:08 BST 4-5 June 2010

Pewit and Honeypot islands in the Walton Backwaters figure prominently in the writings of Arthur Ransome, so it is entirely appropriate that the annual event for open boats around these islands is called the Swallows and Amazons race. It is organised by the East Coast Area of the Old Gaffers Association and is for open boats only, with the emphasis on traditional rig, although there are enough classes - and prizes - to encompass everything from lug rigged smack boats to Mirror dinghies.

This year the race was held on June 4th and the brisk breeze made conditions quite testing for the 27 entries, who sailed a shortened course from the start off the Walton and Frinton YC, around Honeypot island and back.

A notable entry was Swallow, built for the film 'Swallows and Amazons' and recently refurbished, but she was sadly amongst those who had to retire to prevent rig damage.

Although the course was curtailed, enthusiasm was not and everyone enjoyed the fun, the friendship and the food.


1st overall on handicap and winner of the Nancy Blackett Cup: the Mirror 'Yellow Star'
1st Smack boat: 'Neva'
1st Spirit of Tradition class: 'Montmorency'
1st Traditional Gaffer: 'Melisande'

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