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Yeoman National Championship at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club

by Bill & Diana Webber 23 May 2018 03:48 PDT 19-20 May 2018
Start of the fifth race during the Yeoman Nationals on the Norfolk Broads © Ivan Ringwood

N.B.Y.C. welcomed visitors from Horning Sailing Club and sailors from other fleets to the Yeoman Class National Championship on the 19th and 20th May. The fleet was swelled to 20 boats with the return of past champion Sally Dugdale and several first-time competitors.

For race one, the wind died away just before the start and headed the fleet. First to tack away and show well up the first beat were Michael and Frances Holmes in White Spirit. Last year's champions, Bill and Diana Webber in Swift also tacked early, ducking behind some starboard tack boats to find breeze near the east shore to lead at the first mark followed by Chris Bunn and Adam Barker in Peridot and Paul and Janet Barker in Brandy Bottle. On the first run for the whole length of the broad, Swift sailed across to the east bank again to find breeze and pull out a good lead which she just held to the end of the race with Brandy Bottle catching to within a couple of boat lengths at the finish.

After some confusion with the timing for the start of the second race, Swift led again to the first mark closely followed by Brandy Bottle and Peridot. Brandy Bottle took the lead on the second beat with Swift briefly dropping to third behind Peridot.

Competitors arrived for the third race on Sunday morning to find a glassy surface on Wroxham Broad with a forecast for very little more breeze. By the warning signal, a light north easterly had set in only to die away with two minutes to go. Just before the start time, an easterly gust sent a confused fleet off on a fetch toward the first mark. Brandy Bottle led down the first run only to become becalmed approaching the leeward mark and then had the other boats in the fleet behind sail through. Sally Dugdale and Martin Thompson led away from the mark in Lavinia, Mark Ringwood and Tim Chalk in Gremlin 3 and Swift following closely behind. By the end of the race, Swift had pulled ahead of Lavinia with Brandy Bottle recovering to third.

Race four saw Mario Tinge and Michelle Ackroyd in Folly Too lead off the leeward end of the line with Swift close behind, to the port side of the beat where there was more breeze. Swift continued to the lay line to lead at the first mark. Brandy Bottle and Peridot worked through to second and third. It was Swift who held the lead to the finish of the shortened course to count three first places and a second, enough to win the series with a race to spare.

In the last race, N.B.Y.C. Commodore, Gary Ross crewed by Stevie Dixon led up the first beat. Again, it was not a good race to be leading down the first run as the wind died to fill in from behind bringing the fleet with it. After the confusion at the leeward mark, Peridot led away. Swift picked up places on the next lap to finish second with Brandy Bottle coming up to third.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameHelmCrewClub
1SwiftBill WebberDiana WebberNBYC
2Brandy BottlePaul BarkerJanet BarkerNBYC
3PeridotChris BunnAdam BarkerNBYC
4LaviniaSally DugdaleMartin ThompsonNBYC
5FireflyRoger HannantChris TuckettHorning S C
1st non‑spinnaker boatFolly TooMario TingeMichelle AckroydNBYC

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