The Norfolk Punt Club’s final race of 2021 took place on Saturday 9th October in near ideal conditions with blue sky, white fluffy clouds and a gentle breeze. The spectators and the weather greeted the nine Norfolk Punts which came to the line on to complete for the Athene Cup.
This last race of the Norfolk Punt Club season is traditionally a river race. The race is sailed in three legs from Thurne Mouth up the Thurne towards Potter Heigham, then up the River Bure towards St Benets Abbey and finally down the river towards Upton and Acle before finishing back at Thurne Mouth.
At the end of a two hour race four punts crossed the finishing line within 9 seconds of each other. They were led home by Redwing (Rupert Redington), Wild Goose II (John Parker & James Savage), Snark (Mark Elson & Alastair Drew) and Decoy (Simon & Rachel Clayton). The first three punts were all hard chine punts flying square top mains, with Decoy being the first traditional boat home. A little behind them, and saving her time on handicap, came Goldeneye (Dick Roe & Kate Dulieu), the smallest and oldest of the fleet which meant that Goldeneye was the very popular winner of the Athene Cup.
Goldeneye (Dick Roe & Kate Dulieu) took the Athene Cup for first boat on handicap.
Redwing (Rupert Redington & Steve Mackay) took the Blackbird Trophy for first boat over the water.