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Norfolk Punt Athene Cup Race at Norfolk Punt Club

by Tom Moore 17 Sep 2012 21:15 BST 15 September 2012
The Athene Cup 2012 at Thurne Mouth © Mary Moore

8 Norfolk Punts from both Hickling and Barton came together at Thurne Mouth for a down river race in glorious conditions. They were treated to 10–15 knots from the west in bright sunshine which allowed race officer Tom Moore to set a really good beat from a start line at Thurne Mouth. The punts were sent to a turning mark in the St Benett’s reach, then up the Thurne to a mark beyond Womack Dyke and then finally to a mark that should have been by the Black Mill down towards Acle.

Unfortunately ‘someone’ had deemed the buoy was an obstruction to navigation and had moved it to beside the bank! Rapid and effective work by the safety boat crews ensured the competitors all turned at the same place so a result was possible. They all agreed that his was one of the best sails of the season, having had a race of nearly two hours. The possible exception to this was Brian Wilkins and James Hammond in Shoveller who had an argument with their spinnaker and went for a swim opposite the OOD.

The Hickling Punts were the emphatic winners, with Richard Whitefoot and Chris Tovell in Comet taking the overall Athene Cup on handicap. Simon and Rachel Clayton were second, and took the Blackbird Trophy for the fastest elapsed time, and Chris Balls and crew, sailing the lovely old traditional punt Shuck was third. A very fine autumn day was had by all, and it was an excellent coming together of two of Broadland’s finest clubs.

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