Please select your home edition
Feb-Nov23 Leaderboard Revolve2
Product Feature
Allen Through Deck Fairlead
Allen Through Deck Fairlead

Norfolk Punt Class Athene Cup 2022 at the Norfolk Punt Club

by Andrew Friend 13 Oct 2022 07:32 BST 8 October 2022

A high calibre fleet of multiple past, current and probable future class champions gathered at the mouth of the River Thurne on the Norfolk Broads for the 2022 Athene Cup.

Competitors who had travelled from as far afield as Geneva, London, and across East Anglia were met with a variable 6-15 knots of breeze and bright sunshine - perfect punt racing conditions!

The Athene cup throws a couple of challenges up when compared to traditional punt races held on the open water of Barton Broad, primarily the two (fairly) hard immovable objects either side of the racecourse coming in the form of riverbanks or reed-beds. Fortunately as noted by punt 98 Redwing's helm Rupert Redington there is the advantage on the rivers that you can't get confused by the course as its either one of two ways! With this in mind the fleet of 10 boats were briefed by race officers Val and Neville Kambatta.

Starting from the confluence of the rivers Thurne and Bure the fleet would sail upwind up the Bure to a turning mark near St Benets Abbey, then head downwind (with a few bends to make things interesting for those with larger spinnakers) turning left onto the river Thurne towards Potter Higham, then round another mark, back past the river junction and along the Bure the other way towards Acle to a final mark to then head back towards Thurne to finish. All marks taken to starboard, simple.

To keep things interesting for the race officers the positioning of the final 2 marks was to be variable depending on the speed of the boats with the aim of achieving a 2 hour race. With two trophies the Athene cup for overall winner on handicap and the Blackbird Trophy for fastest over the water the stage was set.

Following a clean start aced by the recently restored Razorbill the fleet engaged in a short tacking battle up the River Bure, first to find their rhythm were Comet closely followed by Blackbird and Goosander giving the crews a solid work out swinging wire to wire through the tacks. After completing more tacks that they had for the whole season in one leg Blackbird managed to break clear of Comet just before the first mark only in their excitement (or perhaps exhaustion) to capsize at the buoy letting Comet Goosander and Redwing through.

The following downwind leg demonstrated various sail configurations. The Norfolk Punt has a restricted upwind sail area, but unlimited downwind, some boats opting for masthead asymmetric spinnakers, others fractional symmetric spinnakers, along with more manageable size configurations.

Some of the more experienced river sailors chose to reconfigure their boats from their open water asymmetric set up to a traditional symmetric spinnaker arrangement, allowing greater flexibility when navigating the bends and sifting breeze. Capitalising on this were Comet and Redwing with their river set up symmetric kites able to sail a safe route following the bends while Blackbird and Goosander were left gybing and at times hanging on to their asymmetric sails.

After worrying the race officers with the speed of their return to the starting area the course length was extended. Comet and Blackbird spent the next legs trading places at the front while Redwing and Snow Goose broke clear of Goosander, Razorbill and Peregrine.

After two hours of racing Blackbird were the first to cross the line, winning the appropriately titled 'Blackbird Trophy', they were closely followed by Comet then Redwing next to cross the line.

After the handicaps had been applied Comet took the overall win and were awarded the Athene Cup for 2022 with Redwing in second and Goosander third. Special credit was given also to the team on Swallowtail who new to the boat completed the race without mishap and will certainly be ones to watch in the future.

Overall Results:

Athene Cup
1st 102 Comet - Richard Whitefoot and Paul Jarvey
2nd 98 Redwing - Rupert Redington And Cliff Haslam
3rd 89 Goosander - Alistair Drew and Mark Elson

Blackbird Trophy
74 Blackbird - Andrew and Robert Friend

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewHandicapFinishElapsedCorrected
1Comet102Richard WhitefootPaul Jarvey908146.5155116069
2Redwing98Rupert RedingtonCliff Haslam908148655866151
3Goosander89Alastair DrewMark Elson95014.12.2658466153
4Blackbird74Andrew FriendRobert Friend880146.1954796226
5Goldeneye25Dick RoeKate Dulieu102314.21.2463846240
6Snow Goose96Jane ParkerKaren Armitage90814.10.3257326312
7Razorbill73Richard ParkerRobert Snelling89414.13.1258926590
8Wild Goose53John ParkerPaul Armitage90814.15.3860386649
9Peregrine86Noel BradshawBen Bradshaw88014.12.3858586656
10Swallowtail67Jack HollandGavin Smith90814.28.1767977485

Related Articles

Sunday Racing at Norfolk Punt Club
What turned out to be the nicest day of the year, but only five boats racing So, what went wrong?! What turned out to be the nicest day of the year, but only five boats racing! Posted on 13 May
Norfolk Punt Club Opening Sunday Racing
A perfect day for sailing to start the season We awoke to clear blue skies and very little wind. But the Met Office said it would be mainly southerly F2, increasing to F3 and gusting F4 later. And so it was - a perfect day for NPC sailing. What a joy after the weeks we have endured beforehand! Posted on 9 May
Norfolk Punt Club Athene Cup
The oldest continuously sailed event for a single class on the Norfolk Broads Saturday the 7th of October saw the running of the last race of the season by the Norfolk Punt Club, the Athene Cup. Posted on 15 Oct 2023
Barton Regatta 2023 at the Norfolk Punt Club
Over one hundred boats including a welcome increase in junior entries August bank holiday weekend saw competitors returning to the Norfolk Punt Club at Barton Broad for the historic Barton Regatta. Posted on 1 Sep 2023
Norfolk Punt Championships 2023
20 boats, ranging from almost 100 years old to a brand new boat The Norfolk Punt is a restricted development class representing the ultimate high performance dinghy for restricted and inland waters. Posted on 25 Aug 2023
Norfolk Punt Open at Barton Broad
A particularly wide range of boats sailing The Norfolk Punt class held there annual open meeting at the Norfolk Punt Club at Barton Broad in Norfolk over the weekend of the 24th/25th of June. A true test of boats, sailors and handicap system was provided by the conditions. Posted on 30 Jun 2023
62nd Three Rivers Race
Hundreds of sailors descend on Horning, from as far afield as New Zealand and the USA On Saturday 3rd June 2023 hundreds of sailors descended on Horning SC in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, some from as afield as New Zealand and the USA, in eager anticipation of the 62nd Three Rivers Race, sponsored by Yachtmaster Insurance and Panks. Posted on 5 Jun 2023
62nd Yachtmaster Three Rivers Race Preview
Over 100 boats of varying sizes sail some 50 miles across the Norfolk Broads The 62nd Yachtmaster Three Rivers Race is just under two weeks away and will see over 100 boats of varying sizes sail some 50 miles across the Norfolk Broads, to take on the unique test of seamanship on Saturday 3rd / Sunday 4th June 2023. Posted on 23 May 2023
Norfolk Punt Championship 2022
Beautiful conditions on Barton Broad It was a beautiful day on Barton Broad for the start of the annual Norfolk Punt championships with a moderate to south westerly wind. Posted on 1 Sep 2022
Barton Regatta 2022 at the Norfolk Punt Club
The perfect sailing conditions and revised format attract 138 boats The August bank holiday weekend saw the return of sailing competitors to Barton Broad for the historic Barton Regatta hosted by the Norfolk Punt Club. The perfect sailing conditions and revised format/racing programme attracted 138 boats Posted on 31 Aug 2022