Please select your home edition
Leaderboard brokerage

Norfolk Punt Class Open at the Norfolk Punt Club

by Simon Lomas-Clarke 15 Jul 2015 11:07 BST 11-12 July 2015
Norfolk Punt Open on Barton Broad © Robin Myerscough

On Saturday 11th July Norfolk Punts gathered on for the Norfolk Punt Open on Barton Broad a gloriously sunny day with a breeze perfect for punt sailing. The first race got away promptly under the gradient North Westerly. Under the usual shifting conditions the fleet was well behaved on the line but with a short leg to the windward mark, jostling for position was fierce as the fleet converged. Woodpecker, Swallow II and Rhode Island Red broke clear of the fleet on the second leg but with individual handicaps these three boats needed to continue to extend whist fighting amongst themselves. After a capsize from Rhode Island Red, Woodpecker took a commanding win followed over the line and on handicap by Swallow II.

The breeze dropped slightly for the second race, favouring the conventional spinnaker boats over the asymetrics of Rhode Island Red and Woodpecker. Navigation errors at the first windward mark lead to some very close encounters with boats and pointy bows all heading towards eachother. After the fleet cleared the mark without serious incident, Woodpecker and Swallow II were seen unwinding themselves and rounding the mark in the correct direction while the fleet disappeared down the next leg. Some good working of the shifts by these two stragglers saw them back into the lead by the end of the first lap and extending away. A port/starboard incident saw Swallow II doing turns but then working the shifts again to finish first on the water and on handicap.

Some excellent race management while others enjoyed the location and their lunch saw the gradient dying away and the sea breeze taking hold and quick re-shuffle of the course and the final race of the day starting on schedule. Tight competition throughout the race between all the competitors ensued with Swallow II and Woodpecker again breaking clear and finishing in that order on the water and on handicap.

A fantastic barbecue on the club pontoon tool place in a perfect warm evening amid the most beautiful setting.

Overnight rain had just about fizzled out. By the start of the first race on Sunday but the fresher breeze was accompanied with an overcast sky. For both races on Sunday the fleet lined up with some opting for a timed run and others choosing to hold their spot on the line. The strong gusts nearly caught out Swallow II on the first downwind leg as the sailors had to work hard to keep their powerful craft moving upright in the right direction. Swallow II and Woodpecker continued as they did on Saturday, taking the first two places.

With the wind still producing some hefty gusts, the final race was eventful for some. One boat having an unplanned swim and Rhode Island Red struggled to control their huge spinnaker while balancing on their twin trapezes and took a visit to inspect the wildlife in the reeds. Normal service was resumed at the front with Woodpecker following Swallow II across the line.

The 90 year old trophy, commissioned by Swallow II's builder, was awarded to the event winners Simon Lomas-Clarke and Rob Daniels sailing Swallow II, by the club commodore Felicity Daniels. A big thanks has to go to all those who helped on the day and in the pre-event preparation. Simon emphasised what a stunning location, fantastic boats and amazing hospitality the event offers and hoped to be invited back again for the event next year.

Related Articles

Norfolk Punt Club Athene Cup
Final race of the 2021 Norfolk Punt season The Norfolk Punt Club's final race of 2021 took place on Saturday 9th October in near ideal conditions with blue sky, white fluffy clouds and a gentle breeze. Posted on 11 Oct 2021
Norfolk Punt Club final Sunday racing of 2021
A very good turnout of White Boats, Yeomans, Punts and other classes A light to moderate warm southerly breeze and hazy sunshine greeted a very good turnout of White Boats, Yeomans, Punts and other classes for the last Sunday race programme of 2021. Posted on 27 Sep 2021
Yachtmaster Insurance 60th Three Rivers Race
Over 100 boats take part in very light winds The Yachtmaster Insurance Three Rivers Race made a welcome return to the Norfolk Broads on Saturday 5th June/Sunday 6th June, for its 60th Anniversary. Posted on 7 Jun 2021
Murrays mint another Monkey
Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series Round 3 at Yorkshire Dales Colin and Oly Murray sail their Norfolk Punt to another victory in a light airs Yorkshire Dales Brass Monkey while this Sunday's Grafham Grand Prix has already hit its 200-entry limit... Posted on 29 Dec 2019
Norfolk Punt Championship
Strong winds mean many swims and some boats staying ashore A fleet of 15 boats turned up for the NPC Norfolk Punt Championships held annually on Barton Broad and the weather forecast prepared the crews for a breezy weekend's racing. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Sunday racing at the Norfolk Punt Club
Barton Broad had a smile on her face For probably the first Sunday during the season the weather forecast promised warm and sunny with moderate breezes and so it proved. Posted on 5 Aug 2019
Norfolk Punt Club Sunday Series Racing
Including the Jubilee Bowl fun races With damp, drizzly weather and little wind to start the day, entries were low for the Series 1 Allcomers race. Traditional Punt Cavender helmed by Robin Slatter and crewed by Lesley Haines led from the off and held the lead on corrected time. Posted on 29 Jul 2019
Norfolk Punt Club Punt Open
What have Morrison, Hardchine, Traditional & Individual got in common? What have Morrison, Hardchine, Traditional & Individual got in common? Sunshine, good winds, large amounts of water and a chance to play at what they do best. Posted on 2 Jul 2019
Windermere Waterhead Race
Taking in the whole length of Lake Windermere on Sunday The annual Waterhead race - taking in the whole length of Lake Windermere, England's longest lake, took place on Sunday 9th June. Posted on 10 Jun 2019
59th Three Rivers Race
All about the tides on the Norfolk Broads It was all about the tides for the 59th Yachtmaster Insurance Three Rivers Race and, after a difficult start, there were glorious sailing conditions throughout the day. Posted on 4 Jun 2019