Please select your home edition
X-Yachts Leaderboard 2024 1
Product Feature

River Cruiser open meeting 2024 at Norfolk Punt Club

by Alastair Drew 14 Jun 11:19 BST 8-9 June 2024

The River Cruisers of the Norfolk Broads have a fascinating history, with today's yachts being largely made up from survivors of a post Victorian leisure industry all the way through to very recent built custom racers, using modern materials and rig designs.

To be in class, boats are required to ensure (amongst others) that they are designed specifically and exclusively for the Broads, have an aft cockpit, cabin and mast mounted on a tabernacle with forepeak to allow the mast to be lowered. The lowering of mast of course important for navigating through the bridges of the Broads.

12 River Cruisers were required to lower masts to travel under Ludham Bridge for the River Cruiser Open held on Barton Broad on the 8th and 9th of June, hosted by the Norfolk Punt Club. With one local boat joining them, 13 boats took to the start line on the Saturday. With rain clouds circling, the wind for the first race was fickle, starting with a f2-3 south westerly before turning north westerly and during a rain shower dropping to very little.

Ladybird (13 - Ben Knights) won the fast fleet race, starting ahead of Melinda (217 - Paul Howes) and staying out in front. These two boats being significantly ahead of the rest of the fleet. For the slower handicaps, racing was much tighter, with 4 boats finishing in under a minute of each other on corrected time. Sylkie (295 - Robert Graveling) pipped Mystery (218 - Matt Ford) and Pickle (429 - Philip Montague).

Luckily for the organising committee, the clouds parted just before the second race and a wonderful steady breeze filled in from the north west, basking the Broad in sunshine. With a course change made, racing was much closer with many boats changing places during the race. In the fast fleet, Melinda this time pipped Ladybird, with Jessie May (262 - Sally Dugdale) third. Sylkie again won the slower fleet, with Sprite (290 - Mark Elson) finishing second and Mystery third.

On Sunday, a brisk F3 gusting F4 westerly wind welcomed the competitors to the second day of racing. The gusts were enough for around a third of the fleet to put a reef in.

The Bermudan rigs appear to fair better on Sunday with Ladybird finishing a minute ahead of Jessie May in the fast fleet, with Pippa (24 -Geoff Angell) finishing in 3rd.

For the slower fleet, Pickle perfected a port flyer, staying ahead of the fleet for almost the whole race (despite being the slowest boat on handicap) and finished first. Sylkie finished second and Sprite third.

With almost identical conditions for the forth and final race, the finishes were very similar to the third. For the fast fleet Jessie May this time pipping Ladybird, Pippa again third. The slow fleet was again won by Pickle, with Sprite a very close second and Alchemy (348 - Richard Smith) just 3 seconds back in third.

3 from 4 races counted:
The Moonshadow's knob trophy for the slow fleet was won by Sylkie with Pickle and Sprite close runners up.
The Barton Broad Cruiser Challenge Cup was won by Ladybird from Jessie May and Melinda.
The Achievement Trophy (Cruisers faster than a handicap of -1 eligible) was won by Ladybird and the combined result
White Horse Trophy was won by Ladybird from Pickle and Jessie May.

Thanks go to all competitors who made the journey up to the Norfolk Punt Club, the safety boat crew, tea crew and officers of the day, who at one point numbered 9, with a whole host of under 12s getting well involved in running the starts and finishes.

Related Articles

Norfolk Punt Club Sunday Club Racing
Ideal sailing conditions for the enthusiastic and cheerful fleet A mixed and rapidly changing weather forecast on the day of the Wimbledon men's final and England's latest attempt to win football's Euros meant we could not predict how many members would come out to play on Barton Broad! Posted on 16 Jul
Norfolk Punt Open at the Norfolk Punt Club
A variety of designs of all ages take part Ten Norfolk Punts signed up to sail the Norfolk Punt open meeting at the Norfolk Punt club over the weekend of 22nd/23rd June. Posted on 28 Jun
Yeoman & Kinsman Nationals
And Keelboat Open at Norfolk Punt Club On the whole, the real-live weather wasn't quite as wild as the forecast predicted, but the game sailors who turned up to Barton Broad for Norfolk Punt Club's Yeoman & Kinsman Nationals and Keelboat Open were treated to a veritable medley of weather. Posted on 18 Jun
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 Club Sunday Series racing
A brisk and gusty south westerly greeted a handful of heroic entrants A brisk and gusty south westerly greeted a handful of heroic entrants to the Sunday series, in the face of a wet and blustery forecast. Posted on 26 Jul 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