The weather was perfect this year for Jamie Campbell’s classic regatta at Wroxham Broad. Saturday dawned bright and sunny with very fluky conditions in light airs. The event kicked off with a very informal briefing where the competitors were informed of the planned format for the weekend with a very well organised father and son team manning the race box. Racing was to take place in figure of eight pattern on the assumption that in the fickle wind that a beat would ensue at least somewhere on a lap even if it was on a different leg each time! Surrounded on the prevailing side by large trees the lake had a reputation for producing interesting wind shifts.
Turnout was boosted by the event following on from a Raid tour of the broads which had climaxed on the Friday evening ensuring a colourful line up for the first start. Choosing the clubhouse end of the line the National 12s and Merlins were first to the windward mark with a solitary Enterprise close behind, following a collision however the Enterprise dropped back and Howard Chadwick’s 12 took the lead closely followed by the Merlins of Richard Pausey and Merlin 1066 (aptly named ten sixty six) sailed by Tim Bury which was sporting a reportedly original suit of cotton sails.
Second and a short third race followed on the Saturday after lunch with Richard Pauseys Merlin 2040 taking the overall lead by teatime with a 2-1-2 before having to leave us early. Howard’s National 12 continued to be strong in race two but took a battering in race three scoring only tenth. However addition of this race which was unscheduled allowed everybody a much needed discard in the final scoring on the Sunday. Nick Crickmore’s Merlin 2972 took the top spot in race three accelerating him right up the rankings.
In the middle of the fleet and enjoying the light airs Tim Gatti’s Beautiful 1930’s Uffa Fox designed National 12 was showing her class slowly working her way up through the fleet. This boat demonstrated perfectly the sheer labours of love that these boats represent held together by literally hundreds of hand finished copper rivets. The light airs suited her and some close on the water racing resulted between herself, the 12’s and the solitary Enterprise 472 sailed by Philip & Amy Wilson. This Enterprise was returning to the broad for the first time since restoration having been built over 56 years ago here by local builders R Moore & Sons.
Saturday evening brought a relaxed atmosphere with abundant amounts of BBQ food lovingly prepared by Jamie and his team. Super hospitality and a relaxed atmosphere is surely the overriding memory of this event for us! The weather held out bringing a lovely warm night for the campers. Sunday morning promised more wind and for once the forecast was correct with a steady force 2-4 blowing through the trees by the time racing commenced. Having lost Richard Pausey’s and Ben Marshall’s Merlins the start line was quieter not least because the remaining ‘Raiders’ from the previous day had also packed away and headed home on the Saturday evening.
Race four saw Philip’s Enterprise 472 first to the windward mark and holding the lead until the end of lap two. A large grin was evident from his young crew who gave a sterling crewing performance in this her first season of competitive sailing. Howard’s 12 and Nick’s Merlin eventually overhauled the Enterprise but not by enough to steal her first bullet of the event. Despite being rather tippy in the stronger winds the Uffa Fox 12 sailed by Tim Gatti recorded its best result in the meeting with a fifth.
The final race saw more action with capsizes starting to occur. Jamie Campbell’s Sharpie with its large sail area came into its own recording their first win of the meeting closely followed by Philip’s Enterprise and Howard Chadwick’s 12. Howard’s consistency had paid off allowing him to discard his tenth place the previous evening and win the event with a 1-2-2-3 overall 8 points. Fourth was just enough to bring Nick’s Merlin 2972 up to second place with 12 points leaving the Enterprise in third overall. A well earned fourth was earned by Chris Dunsters 14 K859 who had been forced to retire from the last race due to a capsize with the kite up and the ensuing problems with righting the boat.
All in all a super event and one we will be adding to our calendar for next year!
Class Sail No Name Helm Points Position
National 12 2683 Hooooo Howard Chadwick 8 1
Merlin 2972 Nitro Nick Crickmore 12 2
Enterprise 472 All Shook Up Philip Wilson 13 3
Fourteen 859 Wistful Chris Dunster 17 4
Merlin 1066 Ten Sixty Six Tim Bury 18 5
Sharpie 97 Sirius II Jamie Campbell 20 6
National 12 3541 Gruffalo Tim Gatti 28 7
National 12 2345 Bakewell Tart Brian Herring 31 8
Merlin 3340 Silver Dollar E Gilder 45 9
Merlin 2040 Robin Hood Richard Pausey 56 10
Merlin 1477 Mata Hari Ben Marshall 68 11
Merlin 1 Kate Mervyn Allen 85 12
Punt 19 Prawn Bill Glover 123 13
Canoe Yawl – Pathfinder 3 Colin Cumming 128 14
Trouper 12 Cavatina Michael Rogers 131 15
LeeBoards – Huibertje Wilhem Leopold 168 16
All photos taken by Rosie Wilson – Copyright free
Article by Philip Wilson, E472, Ogston Sailing Club.