What an amazing show of boats! 21 River Cruisers turned out for this year’s Cruiser Open Meeting at Barton this weekend, including ‘Maidie’, in her traditional rig, which has been noticeably absent for many years due to draught issues in the River Ant.
Though the weather started overcast, the sun did break through for some of Saturday but the odd bit of drizzle on Sunday didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Unusually there was a constant Northerly wind straight down the broad for both days, just backing and veering by five to ten degrees, enough to change the advantage subtly during the races and sufficient strength for many of the boats needing to reef.
The fleet was split into two, with nine boats in the first fleet. Starting from the committee raft near the island gave a decent beat up to the top of the broad and a long run to the edge of Turkey Broad with a couple of reaches across the bottom of the Broad.
Richard Parker in ‘Starlight Lady’ 323 may have led the first fleet round the Broad but could only manage a third in the ‘Achievement trophy’ on handicap, behind Mike Barnes in ‘Maidie’ 52. Both being beaten by Anthony Landamore in ‘Matilda’ 300. The second fleet was reasonably close on the water given the range of boats. David Thompson in ‘Cordon Rouge’ 384 taking both the ‘White Horse Trophy’ and the ‘Barton Broad Challenge Trophy’, beating Brian Wilkins in ‘Catspaw’ 244 into second place Followed by Tom Dring sailing ‘Marlyn Ann’ 202.