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Norfolk Punt Open at Hickling Broad Sailing Club

by Greg Northmore 26 Jul 2012 06:59 BST 22 July 2012
Norfolk Punts at Hickling Broad © Tim Clancy

Fifteen Norfolk Punts came together for an Open Meeting hosted by Hickling Broad Sailing Club on Sunday 22nd July for what could be the largest gathering of the season for this fleet to compete on the largest and possibly the finest stretch of water in the Broads.

The weather forecast held true with southerly winds 12/13 knots building to 16/17 knots as the day progressed, providing perfect sailing conditions on the flat waters of Hickling for this regional development class. The fleet included 3 boats of traditional design, Chris Balls' "Shuck", Robin Slatter's "Cavender" and Geoff Tibbenham's "Limelight" sailed by Jim & Robyn Rosser, among the more modern Hard Chine and Morrison designs.

The wind direction provided the opportunity for Race Officer Greg Northmore to make use of the full extent of the broad setting a course which required only minor adjustments to mark positions during the day, and consisting of two windward legs, a beam reach and a run. The reach in particular provided for some exciting sailing as the wind built steadily throughout the day.

Sailing their Morrison "Peregrine" Simon and Rachel Clayton had a field day securing first place overall with wins in the first 3 races. The conditions for them were however too good to resist and they went on to make it 4 out of 4 in the final race. Competition amongst the chasing pack was intense with numerous place changes in all races, and just to demonstrate they were all taking matters really seriously there were a number of capsizes.

2nd place overall went to Rick Whitefoot and Chris Tovell in their Hard Chine "Comet", and 3rd place to Robin Slatter and Lesley Haines in the traditional "Cavender".

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