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Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association Ramuz Trophy

by Claire Grasby 27 Sep 2011 20:51 BST 25 September 2011

The annual Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association Inter-Club Championship for the Ramuz trophy was held on Sunday on Oulton Broad.

Since the trophy was first presented in 1950, many different classes of boat and clubs have been used to host the event. This year, the championship was hosted by Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club, and Waveney Sailability provided Access 303 dinghies for the competitors use. The event was organised by Janet Gilmour, who said that “we are delighted that we have both able bodied and disabled sailors taking part. The Access 303s will be a challenge for some of the region’s top sailors representing Clubs from across the Broads while the less able bodied will have the advantage of familiarity and experience sailing these adapted boats.”

This year was the first time that the specially modified dinghies have been used in the championship, and provided a new challenge for the sailors, many of whom would not have had the chance to sail with Waveney Sailability, who runs weekly sailing sessions for disabled people at WOBYC on Tuesdays throughout the year.

Sailors from ten clubs were present on the day, and were divided into two heats of five competitors, that took place throughout the afternoon.

General sailing conditions were pleasant for most of the day, with a Force 3-4 southerly breeze, and remained the same for all of the afternoon’s races.

Heat 1 commenced at half past one, starting from the committee boat, and after three laps was won by Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club sailors Richard Smith and his crew, Bethany Freeman. Michael Cullum and Chris Barker from Hickling Broad Sailing Club came second, followed closely by Jonathon and Edward Blankley from Beccles Amateur Sailing Club.

Heat 2 followed shortly after and was won by Philip Highfield and Tamsin Butcher from Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Yacht Club, with Richard Dugdale and James Patience from Snowflakes Sailing Club second, followed by Kim West and Hugh Tuston from Horning Sailing Club.

Six boats sailed in the final, on a figure of eight course. The early leaders on the first lap were Philip Highfield and Tamsin Butcher but on the final reach of the lap Richard Smith and Bethany Freeman powered past, and were never seen again! After three laps, the host clubs sailors emerged as the clear winners of the trophy, which was originally presented in 1950 by LR Ramuz. In second place were SFSC’s Richard Dugdale and James Patience, followed by Jonathon and Edward Blankley in third place.

After the racing had finished, the prize giving took place in the clubhouse, where the trophy was presented to Richard Smith and Bethany Freeman by Janet Gilmour and Mark Wells from the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association.

In addition to the usual Sunday morning racing, the Waveney fleet had their ‘two rivers’ race, which five boats took part in. After nearly three hours Geoff Little and Piers Arnold took first place in Niaid (24), followed by Gordon Stables and Helen Beech in Celedine (27), with Phil Cooper and Karen Moore arriving in Myrica (22) to take third place.

Overall Results: (NSBA Ramuz trophy final)

1st Richard Smith & Bethany Freeman (WOBYC)
2nd Richard Dugdale & James Patience
3rd Jonathon & Edward Blankley (BASC)
4th Philip Highfield & Tamsin Butcher (GYGSC)
5th Michael Cullum & Chris Barker (HBSC)
6th Kim West & Hugh Tuston (HSC)