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Norfolk Punt Club Sunday Series Racing

by Alan Davis 29 Jul 16:16 BST 28 July 2019
Norfolk Punt Club Jubilee Bowl © James Arthur

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, followed by Liz and Phil Ollier in YBOD Tortoishell and in third place Norfolk Dinghy Emma, crewed by John Seeley and Alison Sawyer.

Conditions improved and the normal race programme was suspended after lunch for the 'Jubilee Bowl' day of fun races and competitions for trophies. The Curlew Cup for 'Ladies In Punts' was won by Kate Dulieu helming Punt 25 ' Goldeneye' with Louisa Dixey helming Punt 27 'Rushlight' a close second. Meanwhile a Fast Handicap for the Roberts Trophy and slow handicap for the Flag Officers Tankards were also under way. Alistair and Charlotte Drew lifted the Roberts Trophy in their Yeoman Turnstone, with Robin Slatter and Lesley Haines in Cavender second and Mark and Lenka Luckhurst in YBOD Camberwell Beauty coming third. The Flag officers Tankards went to John Seeley and Alison Sawyer in Norfolk dinghy Emma. The beers are on you two then!

After a short break for legendary Punt Club tea and cake, the whole fleet took to the water for the Jubilee Bowl Allcomers race with a twist - the helm and crew have to swap over at the start of the second lap and only boats where this is observed by the race officers are eligible for the trophy. Nine boats finished but only four had made the swap, with Charlotte Drew helming Yeoman Turnstone to victory, followed by Lenka Luckhurst in YBOD Camberwell Beauty and Louisa Dixey in Punt Rushlight in third place.

The last races of the day were fun races, with Punts competing for the Batchelor Quant and Allcomers for the Harmer Paddle. Race officers set a simple windward/ leeward course, but with a couple of 'extras': each boat had to fish for a coloured ball thrown out by the safety boat, and retrieve one before proceeding to the windward mark each lap, then to finish the race they had to sail backwards from the start line across the finish line. Crews proved themselves fairly efficient at fishing, especially those where the younger crew members had the foresight to bring fishing nets! but reversing across the line proved more difficult. In the Punts, the running order was turned upside down as James Mason and Louisa Dixey steered Rushlight skilfully backwards to victory, having trailed Cavender and Kookaburra helmed by David Lennard-Jones, to the last mark. Cavender came second and Kookaburra third. Meanwhile a similar scenario played out in the Allcomers fleet, with Aaron Male furling his jib on Yeoman Monthelie to enable a quick zoom over the line (well no-one said you couldn't!) to clinch the trophy followed by the Luckhursts in Camberwell Beauty and John Seeley /Alison Sawyer in Emma.

An enjoyable day was had by all thanks to OOD Amanda Davis, ably assisted by Ellie Hall, with Simon and Fil Daniels in support with Safety boat and especially Tea Hut duties assisted by Alex Craker.

Race Results:

Series 1 Combined Allcomers:
1. Cavender (Punt) Robin Slatter and Lesley Haines
2. Tortoiseshell (YBOD) Phil Ollier and Liz Ollier
3. Emma (Norfolk Dinghy) John Seeley and Alison Sawyer

Curlew Cup - Ladies in Punts
1. Goldeneye Kate Dulieu and Dick Roe
2. Rushlight Louisa Dixey and James Mason

Roberts Trophy (Fast Handicap)
1. Turnstone (Yeoman) Alistair Drew and Charlotte Drew
2. Cavender (Punt) Robin Slatter and Lesley Haines
3. Camberwell Beauty (YBOD) Mark Luckhurst and Lenka Luckhurst

Flag Officers Tankards (Slow Handicap)
1. Emma (Norfolk Dingy) John Seeley and Alison Sawyer

Jubilee Bowl (Families Allcomers)
1. Turnstone (Yeoman) Alistair Drew and Charlotte Drew
2. Camberwell Beauty (YBOD) Mark Luckhurst and Lenka Luckhurst
3. Rushlight (Punt) Louisa Dixey and James Mason

Harmer Paddle (Allcomers ex. Punts)
1. Monthelie (Yeoman) Aaron Male and Alistair Drew
2. Camberwell Beauty (YBOD) Mark Luckhurst and Lenka Luckhurst
3. Emma (Norfolk Dingy) John Seeley and Alison Sawyer

Bachelor Quant (Punts)
1. Rushlight Louise Dixey and James Mason
2. Cavender Robin Slatter and Lesley Haines
3. Kookaburra David Lennard-Jones and guest

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