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Wroxham Classic Regatta at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club

by Philip Wilson 22 Aug 2013 13:22 BST 10-11 August 2013
Wroxham Classic Regatta © Rosie Wilson

The weather was perfect this year for Jamie Campbell's classic regatta at Wroxham Broad. Saturday dawned bright and sunny with very fluky conditions in light airs. The event kicked off with a very informal briefing where the competitors were informed of the planned format for the weekend with a very well organised father and son team manning the race box. Racing was to take place in figure of eight pattern on the assumption that in the fickle wind that a beat would ensue at least somewhere on a lap even if it was on a different leg each time! Surrounded on the prevailing side by large trees the lake had a reputation for producing interesting wind shifts.

Turnout was boosted by the event following on from a Raid tour of the broads which had climaxed on the Friday evening ensuring a colourful line up for the first start. Choosing the clubhouse end of the line the National 12s and Merlins were first to the windward mark with a solitary Enterprise close behind, following a collision however the Enterprise dropped back and Howard Chadwick's 12 took the lead closely followed by the Merlins of Richard Pausey and Merlin 1066 aptly named ten sixty six sailed by Tim Bury which was sporting a reportedly original suit of cotton sails.

Second and a short third race followed on the Saturday after lunch with Richard Pausey's Merlin 2040 taking the overall lead by teatime with a 2-1-2 before having to leave us early. Howard's National 12 continued to be strong in race two but took a battering in race three scoring only tenth. However addition of this race which was unscheduled allowed everybody a much needed discard in the final scoring on the Sunday. Nick Crickmore's Merlin 2972 took the top spot in race three accelerating him right up the rankings.

In the middle of the fleet and enjoying the light airs Tim Gatti's Beautiful 1930's Uffa Fox designed National 12 was showing her class slowly working her way up through the fleet. This boat demonstrated perfectly the sheer labours of love that these boats represent held together by literally hundreds of hand finished copper rivets. The light airs suited her and some close on the water racing resulted between herself, the 12's and the solitary Enterprise 472 sailed by Philip & Amy Wilson. This Enterprise was returning to the broad for the first time since restoration having been built over 56 years ago here by local builders R Moore & Sons.

Saturday evening brought a relaxed atmosphere with abundant amounts of BBQ food lovingly prepared by Jamie and his team. Super hospitality and a relaxed atmosphere is surely the overriding memory of this event for us! The weather held out bringing a lovely warm night for the campers. Sunday morning promised more wind and for once the forecast was correct with a steady force 2-4 blowing through the trees by the time racing commenced. Having lost Richard Pausey and Ben Marshall's Merlins the start line was quieter not least because the remaining 'Raiders' from the previous day had also packed away and headed home on the Saturday evening.

Race four saw Philips Enterprise 472 first to the windward mark and holding the lead until the end of lap two. A large grin was evident from his young crew who gave a sterling crewing performance in this her first season of competitive sailing. Howards 12 and Nicks Merlin eventually overhauled the Enterprise but not by enough to steal her first bullet of the event. Despite being rather tippy in the stronger winds the Uffa Fox 12 sailed by Tim Gatti recorded its best result in the meeting with a fifth.

The final race saw more action with capsizes starting to occur. Jamie Campbell's Sharpie with its large sail area came into its own recording their first win of the meeting closely followed by Philips Enterprise and Howard Chadwick's 12. Howard's consistency had paid off allowing him to discard his tenth place the previous evening and win the event with a 1-2-2-3 overall 8 points. Fourth was just enough to bring Nick's Merlin 2972 up to second place with 12 points leaving the Enterprise in third overall. A well earned fourth was earned by Chris Dunster's 14 K859 who had been forced to retire from the last race due to a capsize with the kite up and the ensuing problems with righting the boat.

All in all a super event and one we will be adding to our calendar for next year!

Overall Results:

PosBoat TypeSail NoBoat NameHelmPts
1National 122683HoooooHoward Chadwick8
2Merlin2972NitroNick Crickmore12
3Enterprise472All Shook UpPhilip Wilson13
4Fourteen859WistfulChris Dunster17
5Merlin1066Ten Sixty SixTim Bury18
6Sharpie97Sirius IIJamie Campbell20
7National 123541GruffaloTim Gatti28
8National 122345Bakewell TartBrian Herring31
9Merlin3340Silver DollarE Gilder45
10Merlin2040Robin HoodRichard Pausey56
11Merlin1477Mata HariBen Marshall68
121KateMervyn Mervyn85
13Punt19PrawnBill Glover123
14Canoe YawlPathfinder 3Colin Cumming128
15Trouper12CavatinaMichael Rogers131
16LeeBoardsHuibertjeWilhem Leopold168

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