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Norfolk Punt Championships 2016

21 Norfolk Punts gathered on Saturday for the 2016 Championships to be met by high winds and waves on Barton Broad. Racing was postponed then abandoned all together to be resumed on Sunday. Leaving Richard Whitefoot’s and Dave Milledge’s impressive display of twin trapezing in Comet and Swallow II ‘s near sinking whilst being towed to the Norfolk Punt Club the only action to discuss from the day at the drinks party on Saturday night. Thanks go to David and Morag Skinner who have kindly hosted the drinks party for a phenomenal 25 years and have decided to pass that baton on to someone else.

Sunday brought a strong westerly wind, which is a tricky direction for course laying on Barton, but Peter Bainbridge and his team did a fantastic job of laying an excellent course and fitting 4 races in. In the first race Andrew Wilton crewed by his daughter Elska took an early lead in Merlin           , which proved unassailable, and took an impressive victory in the gusty condition which saw several boats including Swallow II capsize. The second race saw Will Daniels and Dougie Mileham take lead in Swallow II, but they were unable to hold back the Hardchine punts. Woodpecker sailed by NPC commodore Mathew Scott and his son Freddie overtook first followed by Comet. Line honours went to Woodpecker as did the overall win on handicap, pushing Swallow II into second place by 1 second. The 3rd race went to Comet beating the Morrison punts White Eagle (sailed by Simon Clayton and Jack Drew Leventon) and Merlin over the water. By the 4th and final race, first place was settled but it was all to play for, for 2nd and 3rd places. Alastair Drew and Mark Elson in Grayling had a cracking start and took a commanding lead, but were pushed back to 3rd over the water by Comet and White Eagle. Swallow II found form again and despite finishing 5th over the water took 2nd on handicap. This meant the overall result was Woodpecker first overall and first Hardchine (as Comet did not count in the results due to an experimental mainsail), Grayling second, Swallow II third and first Traditional and White Eagle 4th and first boat over the water (Progress Cup). The Cuckoo Trophy for first Junior went to Elska Wilton.

The individual race results were:

1st Race: 1st A. Wilton in Merlin, 2nd M. Scott in Woodpecker and 3rd W. Scott in Avocet

2nd Race: 1st M. Scott in Woodpecker, 2nd W. Daniels in Swallow II and 3rd R. Whitefoot in Comet

3rd Race: 1st R. Whitefoot in Comet, 2nd S. Clayton in White Eagle and 3rd A. Drew in Grayling

4th Race: 1st R. Whitefoot in Comet, 2nd W. Daniels in Swallow II and 3rd A. Drew in Grayling

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Jubilee Weekend

The Norfolk Punt Club celebrates its 90th Birthday.

Last weekend, the Norfolk Punt Club celebrated 90 years since its foundation in 1926.

The celebrations started with Water Games on Barton Broad on the afternoon of Saturday 30 July with craft of all types taking part. Rules were minimal except that any form of mechanical propulsion was banned. All vessels had to be propelled by wind or personal effort. Participants old and young thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The Games finished with the cutting of a Birthday Cake by Judy MacDonald, whose grandfather, Aubrey Chittock, was one of the club’s founders.

In the evening, just over 100 members and their guests assembled at Barton Staithe for drinks and canapes to the accompaniment of live music from the 20s. Dinner was served on cruisers both at the staithe and on the broad itself. The evening ended with sweets served on the Club’s pontoons under clear skies and with the backdrop of a magnificent sunset.

Sunday’s Jubilee Regatta programme got off to a fine and sunny start with a light to moderate WNW breeze. The morning Allcomers race saw a good fleet with Jack Leventon in his laser maintain an early lead with Liz and Phil Ollier in their white boat coming in second and James Mason in his Splash, third.

After lunch the Ladies Punt race for the Curlew Cup was won by Emma Daniels sailing Swallow II with Anne Friend second in Blackbird. Peter Bainbridge in his Yarmouth, Helen, romped home in the Allcomers A fleet, with Simon Daniels second in White boat, Silver Blue and third place shared on identical corrected  times by Max Dixey in his Punt Jackdaw and Chris Roberts in White boat, Herald Moth.

The Jubilee Bowl is sailed by family members who swop over helming halfway through the race. The14 starters got away cleanly form the start and the four punts quickly sailed away in close formation. Toby and Peter Tracey in Yarmouth, Helen, kept in close enough contact though to win overall with Freddie and Phoebe Scott second in Punt Woodpecker and Max and Felix Dixey third in Jackdaw.

After a fine tea, the Jubliee regatta concluded with the final series races for the Batchelor quant and Harmer paddle for Punts and Allcomers (less punts) respectively . Testing the sailors skills at sailing forwards, backwards, without a rudder and finally an upwind paddle to the finish. There was some impressive sailing backwards by all competitors and slightly less predictable courses taken when unable to use their rudders. In the end,  Bart Sawyer overtook everyone to bring his Punt Rhode Island Red home first in the Batchelor Quant and James Mason powered his way around the course in his Splash to win the Harmer. An entertaining conclusion to a very enjoyable weekend.

 

Race Officers; Matthew Scott and Heather Roberts

 

RESULTS:

Series 1:

Combined Allcomers (10): 1) Bluebird- J Leventon, 2) Tortoiseshell- E Ollier, 3)Naughty but Nice- J Mason

Series 2:

Slow Handicap (3): 1) Kedgy Gal – B Thompson, 2) Shrimper- P Tracey, 3) Catch Me- P Marston

Fast Handicap (13): 1) Helen- P Bainbridge, 2) Silver Blue- Simon Daniels, 3)= Herald Moth C Roberts 3)= Jackdaw M Dixey

Curlew Cup (3): 1) Swallow II- E Daniels 2) Blackbird- A Friend 3) Woodpecker- P Scott

Series 3:

Jubliee Bowl (13): 1) Helen- P&T Tracey 2) Woodpecker- F&P Scott 3) Jackdaw- M&F Dixey

Series 4:

Batchelor Quant (4): 1) Rhode Island Red- B Sawyer, 2) Jackdaw- M Dixey,3) Woodpecker- J Leventon

Harmer Paddle (4): 1) Naughty But Nice – J Mason, 2) Topper- T Roberts, 3) Topper E Wilton

160730 Water Games on Barton Broad by Robin Myerscough

160730 Roaming Supper on the pontoons by Robin Myerscough

160730 Judy MacDonald and Celia Scott by Frances Tubbs Arthur

160730  Judy MacDonald cuts the Cake by James Arthur

160730 Eating the Roaming Supper on the Broad by Robin Myerscough

160730 Chasing the Tail Punt Club Water Games by Frances Tubbs Arthur

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Punt Open 9th/ 10th July

The UK’s biggest weekend of sport included Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the Norfolk Punt Club Open on the beautiful Barton Broad. The weather was overcast but a good breeze was onsite to provide some great racing. Like any good British sporting weekend the rain arrived on time, but without a sliding roof to protect the competitors, the wind decided to take cover from the rain.

 

The first race started in light, marginal trapezing conditions (for the boats that had them). The start was keenly contested with places changing all the way up the Broad on the first beat. Matthew and Freddie Scott led the race from start to finish in Woodpecker, always pressed by Simon Lomas-Clarke and Rob Daniels in Swallow II. The fascinating aspect of punt sailing is the variation in boat configurations across the fleet, with an individual PY handicap given to each boat. So despite the more modern design (twin trapeze, asymmetric spinnaker) configuration of the newer, hard chine boats it is always the traditional classes that are the ones to look out for. This meant that Swallow II took honours on corrected time, Woodpecker came second followed by Hugh Marston and Caroline Dixey sailing Rushlight, in third.

 

Following the tea and cake based break between races (served up on the pontoon based club) race two commenced with torrential rain and the breeze dying even further. Despite the conditions, racing got underway as scheduled. The conditions, as always on the Broads, were reliably shifty and gusty and the front of the fleet on the water was fought over by Grebe sailed by Chris and Cliff Haslam, Swallow II and Woodpecker. Racing was close in the following fleet but Swallow II took the honours, with Rushlight second and Woodpecker third.

 

The third race started in dry conditions with Swallow II being consumed by the eager pack on the start line and fighting to get back toward the front throughout the first lap to make up the time that would be lost when the handicaps came into play. With the holiday season in full swing, Rushlight sailed a perfect race around the course and the novice houseboat helms, to take the win, followed by Swallow II and Grebe.

 

The evening was spent with other club members enjoying a barbeque in the beautiful setting of Barton Broad.

 

The second day dawned overcast with a fresh South Westerly wind. Swallow II just about recovered from an early morning pre-start swim to make the start-line. The windier conditions proved to be quite a handful in these beautiful boats with tall masts and powerful rigs. A couple of boats required the assistance of rescue crews as a combination of some big gusts at the end of the race and the final mark being close to the bank saw a capsize and a trip to the reeds. Swallow II took the win from White Eagle sailed by Punt veteran and long-time club member David Adler with sons Simon and Patrick in a great second and Rhode Island Red (Bart Edmunds and Tim Edwards) in third.

 

The wind picked up further for the final race. Swallow II were eager on the start-line and went for the duck back only to hear a silence when they were expecting a second signal from the race officer. Rhode Island Red took an early swim, just off the start line to add to the confusion. With the Broad becoming busier with holiday traffic, a group of canoeists were a little surprised to be split by a charging Punt or two. Swallow II were foolish enough to hoist their spinnaker but managed to take another win from Woodpecker and Rushlight.

 

To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Norfolk Punt Club, a number of past punt sailors came from as far as Cornwall to take the trip out to the club and witness a spectacular sail past of all the competing boats, paraded in age order from the 1930 Rushlight to the more modern 2004 Woodpecker.

 

The trophy, commissioned by Swallow II’s builder in the 1930’s, was again awarded to the overall event winners Simon Lomas-Clarke and Rob Daniels sailing the same Swallow II, by the club commodore Matthew Scott. Hugh Marston and Caroline Dixey took second in Rushlight and third went to Grebe sailed by Chris and Cliff Haslam. A big thanks has to go to all those who helped on the day and in the pre-event preparation. The setting is spectacular and this traditional class and its members have to be commended for managing the complexities of racing pre-war clinker built boats with carbon rigs and twin trapezes on a small shifty and gusty pond, not to mention their welcoming hospitality.

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White Boat Open 18/ 19 June

13 YBODS out  of the 14 entered came to the line on Saturday afternoon for the NPC Barton Broad YBOD Open weekend. Saturday was sailed in brisk winds from the NW – NNW 15 gusting 20mph. Two boats put in a voluntary one reef with no obvious change in performance. The wind allowed the OOD to set big courses with three long beats which sorted the contestants out well.  In the second race on Saturday afternoon after the obligatory NPC tea and cakes, the wind had got up a little gusting to 25mph. Chris Bunn took the start and set about dominating the fleet from the front. During the second round the proceedings were livened up for the race crew with Stu Rix catching the mainsheet of Cinnamon Twist (138) around one of Barton’s notorious posts (none of those on Wroxham) and the inevitable sinking occurred. No one was hurt and the boat was recovered slowly and carefully with minimal damage and no lost gear, much to the relief of all. The subsequent BBQ on the pontoons was enlivened by the repartee at Stu’s expense. 

 

Sunday was a bit of an anti-climax after that with gentle breezes from the South, gusting gently to 10mph. This gave the OOD the opportunity to get in two very long beats, and Chris Bunn’s crew was heard to remark that they had never been on a beat for more than three minutes before – the joys of sailing on Barton.

 

Chris Bunn took the Consortium Cup with Ritchie Dugdale second in Alder Kitten, and James Dugdale third in Ghost. The Whelpton Trophy, a very fine half model of a YBOD, presented to the first NPC helmsman was a tie between Daniels and Robbins, and won by Simon Daniels in Silver Blue (54) on the countback. 

 

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River Cruiser Open 11/12 June

16 cruisers turned up to play at the Punt Club Cruiser Open regatta at Barton this weekend. It was good to see several regulars plus some new faces including the Elson family in Sprite 290 and the Drew family in White Heather 317. Nothing like a bit of early indoctrination of the under-fives!!

The wind was very variable, backing and veering around the SSW and never particularly strong but a bit damp during the second race on both days. The biggest problem for the OOD was if or when to shorten course. On both occasions when it was decided to let the fleet go the full three rounds, free showers were ‘enjoyed’ by all! At least it was relatively warm. Some consolation was to be had from the constant flow of hot beverages and cakes served by Fan and James Arthur in the club tea hut.

Geoff and Rose Angell, sporting very new sails on Pippa 24 came third overall. Ritchie Dugdale in Zingara 30 took second place also winning the Achievement Trophy (for the fastest of the fast boats). Overall winner was Glynn Howarth in Beth 82, winning both the Barton Broad Challenge Trophy and the White Horse Cup.

 

Achievement Trophy:

1               Zingara                   30            R. Dugdale

2               Matilda                  300         A. Landamore

3               Breeze  177         C. Chettleburgh

Barton Broad Challenge Trophy:

1               Beth       82            G. Howarth

2               Pippa     24            G. Angell

3               Amaryllis 375    C. Tuckett

White Horse Trophy (for the overall winner):

Beth 82                  G. Howarth

 

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Photo competition

Norfolk Punt Club ~ 1926-2016

 

90th Birthday Photographic Competition

 

Our club is celebrating its 90th birthday with a number of special events this year:

Punt Pageant during Punt Open Weekend ~ 9th-10th July

Members Jubilee Weekend ~ 30th–31st July

The return of the August Regatta Barn Dance at Cox’s

And we look forward to many Sundays and Tuesday evenings of fine racing in beautiful surroundings and fair winds through the season.

We want to encourage members to capture and share treasured moments of our 90th year for posterity. So we are holding a photographic competition as part of the celebrations. The competition is open to all members – with a separate competition for juniors – and will develop a set of pictures for the club archive depicting and reflecting its 90th year.

 

How to enter the NPC 90th year photo competition

  1. Entries can be about any of the following and photographers are invited to make their own interpretation of these themes
  • sailing boats on Barton
  • punt club people on the Broads
  • Barton landscapes
  • wildlife on Barton.
  1. All members of the Norfolk Punt Club and their families can enter the competition.
  2. Entries must have been taken by the person entering the competition.
  3. Entries to be JPEG digital files, as large size as possible (camera setting fine, large or equivalent) and of a quality suitable for printing at A4 size.
  4. Entry fee £10 for up to 3 photographs (£5 for Juniors under 18s). Payment by cheque to NPC, by cash to NPC Secretary or by BACS adding Name-PhotoComp as the reference.
  5. Entries to be submitted by e-mail to the Hon. Secretary (secretary@puntclub.co.uk) by 10 October 2016 (a week after the last Sunday regular racing).

Entries will be judged by Robin Myerscough, Fan Tubbs and James Arthur (who are, consequently, not eligible to enter!). As well as the subject matter they will consider composition and ‘arty features’.

Results will be announced at the AGM and a selection of the best entries displayed at both the AGM and the Annual Dinner.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and highly commended for both member and junior competitions and will include a voucher for free tea and cake for whole of 2017 season (exc. Open events) and a magnum of fizz.

Photographers will retain the copyright to their images but the Norfolk Punt Club will retain the right to use entries in publicity and promotional literature with appropriate acknowledgement.

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First Sunday Sailing

Spring sunshine and a lively southerly breeze greeted over 70 punt club members for the first Sunday racing of the 2016 season. There were a number of new boats to welcome for their first racing particularly in the White boat fleet and Bart Sawyer’s racing warm up session was much appreciated by those who needed to get reacquainted with boat handling and practising their starting technique. 
The first series saw some close racing with Kath and Ian Mason in their white boat Cupido taking overall honours in the Allcomers  just a few seconds ahead of Paul Wilcox in his laser.,Conditions got slightly more challenging after lunch with some stronger and more shifty wind conditions for the 10 starters in the Allcomers A. Staying just behind Punt 37 Gamecock over the water Liz Chettleburgh in Zephyrus  established a commanding lead over the following fleet with Simon Daniels and Peter Robbins in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. James Mason won the Allcomers B and promptly celebrated by capsizing after crossing the finishing line. James claimed the water wasn’t cold and everyone seemed quite happy to take his word for it. 
Series 3 saw Ruth and James  win the Allcomers A in Gamecock but it was the White boat fleet with 10 starters that saw the most interesting race. Heading up the first beat to Neatishead, Phil Roberts in Herald Moth found himself well to leeward and heading for the east gap. After consulting with tactician Nick Dixey they took the chance and continued through the east gap while the rest of the fleet tacked up through the west gap. The clear air paid off handsomely and Phil established a large lead which he managed to hold onto throughout. 
After a well earned tea break enjoyed by all, the last Allcomers race saw 8 starters with Liz Chettleburgh in continued good form winning by a large margin.
With such good conditions and an excellent turnout with some close racing, it was a great start to the season.

Series 1:
Allcomers (6) 1 Cupido (K Mason), 2 Piiig (P Wilcox), 3 Silver Blue ( S Daniels)
Series 2 :
Allcomers B (2) 1 Naughty but nice ( J Mason)
Allcomers A (10) 1 Zephyrus ( L Chettleburgh), 2 Silver Blue ( S Daniels), 3 Small White ( P Robbins)
Series 3:
Yare and Bure OD (10) 1 Herald Moth ( Phil Roberts), 2 Zephyrus ( L Chettleburgh), 3 Small White ( P Robbins)
Allcomers (5) 1 Gamecock (R Owen), 2 Ali Baba ( B Sawyer), Piiig ( P Wilcox)
Allcomers (8) 1 Zephyrus ( L Chettleburgh), 2 Small White ( P Robbins), 3 Silver Blue ( S Daniels)