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Eastern Region Topper Traveller at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club

by John Blackman Northwood 4 Apr 12:52 PDT 31 March 2024
Eastern Region Topper Traveller at Norfolk Broads YC © Anna Jakob

For those that prioritised sailing over the delights of Easter Sunday lunch and Easter egg hunts, we were welcomed at Norfolk Broads Yacht Club with some fantastic racing conditions. Better yet, there was also a spectacular roast lunch and even an Easter egg hunt.

It felt like a particularly early start as the clocks had sprung forward the night before, but all the sailors were eager to get started.

We were expecting light winds, but NBYC delivered further by arranging a solid 14 knots with gusts of 20. There were 15 sailors registered, consisting of 12 with 5.3 m2 rigs and 3 with 4.2 m2 rigs, but the start line was made up of 10 and 2, respectively. There were familiar faces and some missing faces from last season, but we enjoyed the company of some new sailors to the circuit, in Penny Davies, St Edmundbury Sailing and Canoing Association and Austin Edwards, Blackwater Sailing club.

This was the second event in our 8 race series. The race officer, Will Pank, set a "Broadsy" type course. Zigzaging from one bank to the other and up and down the Broad. There was a look of relief on the sailors' faces, at the briefing, when they were assured, there would be a "lead boat'' to show them round the course.

The first race got under way. The seasoned sailors, with a(nother) year of winter training under their belts, either as part of the RYA Regional Training Group, ITCA Teams or even Draycote Academy Trainees all in attendance. No one knew what to expect from our newcomers to the circuit.

Austin got a great start and was 3rd to the windward mark. The fleet changed positions, shuffling like a game of "52 card pick up". Final positions for race 1, Jensen Jakob, NBYC/SFSC, Tabi Blackman Northwood, Hunts SC and Josh Blackman Northwood, Hunts SC, first, second and third, respectively.

Not to be out done by the efforts our intrepid sailors, some parents, well two, took the opportunity to do some wild swimming. Hayley, Toby and Faith's mum endured an incredible 21 minutes while Jensen's mum stayed in for 2 and half minutes. I'm told, we're all invited for a dip at the next event, so no excuses, don't forget your cossies.

The second race had 3 races in one. There was a close pack of 4 at the front, a close pack of 4 in the middle and a trailing pack of 4, giving the spectators an exciting race to watch regardless of who they were routing for. Tabi Blackman Northwood pushed her downwind sailing to the limit and beyond, as she death rolled and took a tactical retirement to conserve energy for the next 2 races, leaving Jensen to take first place once again and Josh to push up to second. Toby Turner, Snettisham Beach SC came in third.

The third race bore a striking resemblance to race 2, except for a reshuffle at the last leeward mark, which meant Toby Turner missed out on a podium finish. The top spots being taken by Jensen, 1st; Tabi, 2nd; and Josh 3rd.

The 4th and final race of the day, saw a more spread out leading group and a change at the top with Josh leading the pack in first place, Jensen in 2nd and Toby reclaiming a podium finish from Tabi.

All the parents and sailors thank Will Pank, Race Officer, Sally Dugdale, Rear-Commodore, Jason and the galley team and NBYC for their hospitality.

The next Eastern Region Traveller event is at Royal Harwich Yacht Club on 28th Apr and is the 3rd event of the series. As Usual, there will also be training on the 27th Apr. The Third National Series event (NS3) at Grafham will take place on the 13th Apr and we hope to see as many of you at this event as possible.

ITCA 5.3 results:

1st, Jensen Jakob, NBYC/SFSC
2nd, Joshua Blackman Northwood, Hunts SC
3rd, Tabitha Blackman Northwood, Hunts SC

ITCA 4.2 results:

1st, Toby Hailey, NBYC/SFSC
2nd, Noah Hughes, Waldringfield SC

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