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Zhik 2024 February Outlet - LEADERBOARD

Norfolk Punt Club's Keelboat Regatta 2023

by Simon & Rachel Clayton 13 Jun 2023 23:15 BST 10-11 June 2023
Alastair and Charlotte Drew in Turnstone win the Yeoman fleet at the Keelboat Open on Barton Broad © Robin Myerscough

Norfolk Punt Club's Keelboat Open on Barton Broad heralded the east Norfolk coast's first warm day, hereto enjoyed for the past month by the rest of the country. The wind from the east is always NPC's race officer's course-setting nightmare due to the north/south orientation of the broad, however with the use of the racing pontoon off the west bank, race officer Simon Clayton and his team were able to include three short beats to be sailed in the welcome warm 10-15mph breeze.

This year the club's YBOD (Yare & Bure One Design class) open meeting included any keelboat and the entry of two Yeomans warranted their own start. All of these races were won by Alastair & Charlotte Drew in Turnstone, with club commodore Aaron Male, crewed in Monthelie variously by son Seth & Emily Greves, taking second place.

12 YBODs took to the line; eight from NPC and four visitors. In the first race, despite NPC members Simon & Fil Daniels taking an early lead in Silver Blue, a luffing match at the end of the first run enabled NBYC's David & Nicky Talbot in Red Admiral to take the lead, which they held to the end.

Much place-changing took place in the second round when the fleet split into two. LYC/NBYC's Chris Bunn & Niki Tansley in Fox worked their way through the fleet to finish second, with NPC's James & Stephen Driver sailing Grizzled Skipper in third.

After a close start in race 2, Grizzled Skipper took an early lead, closely followed by Fox and Orange Tip, hired for the weekend by Richard Simmonds who travelled from Oxford & Peter Ewing from Devon. Fox nudged into the lead, gaining several boat lengths on each leg, thereby gaining a considerable lead on NBYC's Nick & Liz Gill in Clouded Yellow, Grizzled Skipper and Red Admiral, all stretching away from Silver Blue and the following pack.

Despite Grizzled Skipper and Red Admiral swapping places it was Grizzled Skipper who took third place.

Sunday's first race was sailed in a light easterly, shifting to both north and south at times. A close start saw Grizzled Skipper, Silver Blue, Red Admiral and Fox tight on the line with Fox electing to start at the pin end. This enabled her to tack onto port clear ahead of the rest of the fleet, thus leading to the end by a substantial margin.

The gains and losses caused by the shifts and lulls meant many place changes but Clouded Yellow crossed the line second and Grizzled Skipper third. NPC's Small White and Silver Blue took fourth and fifth places.

Meanwhile in the Yeoman fleet, Monthelie had her one chance at leading Turnstone to the first mark, but was soon overhauled, leaving Turnstone to take a clear win overall.

A wind shift after the 10 minute gun for the final YBOD race saw current leader Fox again starting at the pin end. Her rival for first overall, Red Admiral, opted to start at the pontoon end, with Clouded Yellow, Silver Blue, Small White and NPC's Phil Ollier/Pam Shellcross in Tortoiseshell all making a good start.

Again the fleet split into two groups with battles in the second pack between NPC's Jenny & James Mickleburgh in Argent, Paul Fynn & David Adler in Marsh Ringlet, Liz Chettleburgh & Kate Dulieu in Zephyrus and Kath & Kira Mason in Cupido, with Argent holding off the pretenders who finished in that order. Little changed at the front and Fox finished by a large margin, followed by Red Admiral, Clouded Yellow, Silver Blue and Small White.

After the discount Fox counted three firsts to win overall, Red Admiral finished second and Clouded Yellow third. First NPC boat was Silver Blue. With Saturday's perfect conditions and Sunday's challenging conditions, there was good sailing for everyone. Combine that with the sunshine and famous NPC cake and everyone went away happy.

Consortium Cup for YBODs:

1. Fox, Chris Bunn/Niki Tansley (LYC/NBYC)
2. Red Admiral, David & Nicky Talbot (NBYC)
3. Clouded Yellow, Nick & Liz Gill (NBYC)

Whelpton Trophy for highest place NPC member: Silver Blue, Simon & Phil Daniels (NPC)

Helios Trophy for other keelboats: Turnstone, Alastair & Charlotte Drew (NPC)

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