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69th Norfolk Week

by Duncan Ellis 9 Aug 2018 10:42 BST 28 July - 4 August 2018

The 69th edition of Norfolk Week took place from the 28th July through to the 4th August 2018. This annual event is fairly unique in that you get to sail at a different venue every day on the picturesque North Norfolk Coast sharing the water with the local wildlife including the local seal colonies and birds. Also because the event is driven by early or late tides, time is available to explore Norfolk during the day after racing – Ideal for families!

With over 70 boats in total sailing during the week with fleet starts for Lasers, Supernovas, National 12s and Streakers and an Allcomers fleet for the rest it was going to be a busy week for all of the clubs along the North Norfolk Coast hosting the racing each day.

This year the week kicked off at Hunstanton Sailing Club where the sun was shining but unfortunately the breeze was blowing in excess of 30 knots too as the sailors watched the tide rise so the sensible decision was made to abandon racing for the day and move the race to Saddlebow the following day.

So Sunday arrived and for the first time in the history of the event the Ouse Amateur Sailing Club hosted the event at its home at Saddlebow, an inland stretch of water near Kings Lynn. Two races were sailed for all of the fleets during the day with the first race replacing the Hunstanton race lost previously. The wind was still blowing from the previous day which put off a few but those that did go out had a lively sail!

With some of the Laser Sailors changing down to Radial rigs to help get round the course, 5 Lasers ventured to the start line. Duncan Ellis took both races with his Standard rig closely followed by Ben Charnley and Andrew Bassett. Steve & Joanne Sallis won the first National 12 race followed by Ian & Alex Gore. 3rd spot was taken by Peter Miatt sailing with stand in crew Penny Yarwood. Race 2 saw just 2 boats finish with the Sallis family taking line honours followed by the Gore team. Richard Pakes in his new Supernova showed the way round in both races even after checking the bottom of his boat on more than one occasion with Paul Bloom taking 2nd place in race 1. The Streaker fleet saw local Ian Bradley take wins in both races of the day followed by Tamsin Highfield and Hugh Ambery. In the Allcomers fleet Mike Corboy & Sean Muldoon took line honours in race 1 sailing their Topper Xenon followed by Penny Yarwood in her Lightning & Michael Pembery sailing his Streaker having missed the morning fleet race. Pembery was the only finisher in race 2 taking the win.

Boats were then packed up ready for an early start at Brancaster Staithe Sailing Club on Monday. The wind had now dropped and for the rest of the week racing was completed in 10 knots or less.

Brancaster saw a new winner in the Laser fleet with Charnley taking a well-deserved win followed by Ellis and Bassett. The National 12s saw the Gores take the win followed by the Sallis team and in 3rd George Finch & Lucy Homer. Pakes won the day in the Supernova followed by Bloom and Stuart Moore. Bradley continued his winning ways in the Streaker followed by Jonti Mason and Highfield. In the Allcomers fleet Yarwood took the win followed by Will Ellison & crew in their Laser 2000 and Hugh Jones this year racing and RS Aero defecting from the Laser fleet.

Tuesday saw another early start but this time the racing would be at Overy Staithe Sailing Club. Race officer Andy Turner planned to take the fleet out to sea but with less than 10 knots of breeze took the wise decision to start us outside but set a course on the inside. The Laser fleet saw Ellis take the day followed by Charnley and Bassett. The National 12s saw Sallis 1st followed by the Gores and Finch/Homer. The Supernovas duplicated the previous days top 3 and the Streakers saw Bradley again win followed by Highfield and Mason. The Allcomers saw the local OKs battling it out at the top with Alex Scholes finally getting ahead of Rodney Tidd to take the day with Simon Turner in 3rd.

Next stop Wells Next the Sea on Wednesday for another early start. A tow to the start line was order of the day with only Bradley in his Streaker almost getting out without outside assistance but could not quie get round the corner! Charnley won the Laser fleet after catching Ellis with Paul Pearson in 3rd. The National 12s finished in the identical order to the day before. Pakes took another bullet followed by Bloom and Serena Stewardson. The Streakers finished with Bradley first followed by Mason and Highfield. In the allcomers, Tidd took the win followed by Jones and Nina Plumbe sailing a Radial.

Two venues to go, Thursday was time to head to Blakeney Sailing Club. The Laser fleet saw Ellis get away and take the win with Bassett just getting ahead of Charnley at the finish. The National 12s finished with the Gores on top followed by Sallis and Finch/Homer. The Supernovas did a carbon copy of the previous day. In the Streakers the finishing order was Bradley, Highfield and Alan Robinson. The Allcomers saw a new race winner in Luke Fisher racing his RS Vareo followed by Jones & Tidd.

So the fleet then took off to their final destination of Snettisham Beach Sailing Club for 2 days racing. On the first day unfortunately the breeze was very light dropping to nothing at times. 1 race did get sailed with John Windibank racing his Comet winning the Allcomers with Tidd in 2nd and Gary Hogan sailing an RS Nero in 3rd. The Lasers saw a shakeup with Richard Major winning the day followed by Charnley and in 3rd Lilly Gosling and 4th Jasmine Gosling sailing their Radials. The National 12s saw a new race winner in Gerry Ledger crewed by Jack Gore followed by Sallis and John & Catherine Sears. The Supernovas again kept the same top 3 finishing order as the previous day with Bradley taking the win in the Streakers followed by Veronica Falat and Jonti Mason.

The second day at Snettisham saw 2 races sailed. In the Streakers, Falat won the day and both races with Bradley and Mason following. In the Lasers, Major had the best score line followed by Pearson and Ellis. The National 12 fleet saw the Gore and Sallis families share the points with the Sears in 3rd. Pakes took the day in the Supernova again followed by Bloom & Stewardson. The Allcomers saw the D-One sailed by Laurence Milton win the day followed by Jasper & Laura Barnham sailing their 2000 and Philip Highfield in his RS700.

So that's it for another year - Next year will be the 70th anniversary of Norfolk Week with planning already taking place for this special year. The dates for next year are July 27th through to August 3rd 2019. Put the dates in your diary now because it is going to be a great event - See you there!

Overall Results:

1st 203059 Duncan Ellis (Ouse Amateur SC/Overy Staithe SC)
2nd 208703 Ben Charnley (Snettisham Beach SC)
3rd 207649 Andrew Bassett (Blakeney SC)

National 12
1st 3531 Steve Sallis/Joanne Sallis (Hykeham SC)
2nd 3525 Ian Gore/Alex Gore (Upriver YC)
3rd 3513 George Finch/Lucy Homer (Royal Harwich YC)

1st 666 Richard Pakes (Haversham SC)
2nd 1153 Paul Bloom (Ouse Amateur SC)
3rd 1083 (Emberton Park SC)

1st 1817 Ian Bradley (Ouse Amateur SC)
2nd 1493 Tamsin Highfield (Great Yarmouth & Gorleston SC)
3rd 1827 Jonti Mason (Hykeham SC)

1st RS AERO 7 1492 Hugh Jones (Wells SC)
2nd Topper Xenon 4222 Mike Corboy/Sean Muldoon (Haversham SC)
3rd Laser Radial 198981 Nina Plumbe (Overy Staithe SC)

Go to the Norfolk Week website for more information and the full results -