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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Norfolk Punt Club Athene Cup

by Dick Roe 15 Oct 2023 06:42 BST 7 October 2023

Saturday the 7th of October saw the running of the last race of the season by the Norfolk Punt Club, the Athene Cup. Held annually for Norfolk Punts at the confluence of the rivers Thurne and Bure this is the oldest continuously sailed event for a single class on the Norfolk Broads.

This year nine Punts took part, some arriving by road and some being towed by river from various locations on the Broads. Boats designs varied from the more modern 22 foot Hard Chine and Morrison designs to various one off traditional 20 and 22 foot designs.

With a fresh breeze from the north west a start line was set on the river Bure just up stream of Thurne mouth to give a beat up the river Bure to a buoy at Saint Benets Abbey. The punts then ran back downriver to Thurne mouth before heading up the river Thurne to a buoy at Womack water. Returning back to Thurne mouth the fleet then headed further down the river Bure to a buoy at Fishley woods before returning up river to the finish at Thurne mouth to give a 2 hour race.

The gusty conditions provided an exhilarating and sometimes testing sail. Competitors also had to think about their positioning on the river with respect to other competitors, tide and obstacles to the wind (trees, windpumps) and other club fleets racing. The foul tide start meant most of the fleet except Comet, Redwing and Goldeneye were a little late at the start.

The Hard Chine design Comet (Richard Whitefoot/Paul Jarvey) showed a clean pair of heels to get away from the fleet and win over the water and on corrected time. The slowest boat in the fleet, the Marshall design 20 footer Goldeneye (Dick Roe/Kate Dulieu) managing to stay ahead of many of the faster boats for long enough to finish second on handicap. Similarly the 22 foot Woods design Gamecock (Ruth Owen/James Owen) kept close enough to the majority of the fleet to finish third.

Overall Results:

1 - 102 Comet
2 - 25 Goldeneye
3 - 37 Gamecock
4 - 98 Redwing
5 - 53 Wild Goose
6 - 89 Goosander
7 - 86 Peregrine
8 - 95 White Eagle
9 - 36 Rosybill

For information on Norfolk Punts see www.norfolkpunt.org

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