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North West Norfolk Week

Day 1 - Snettisham Beach SC
15-22kts breeze, occasional waves
This year we have kicked off at Snettisham Beach SC with a fleet of 12 N12s. A slightly delayed start was announced (15 min) at the briefing, just before an incredible squall arrived, featuring a significant amount of rain.  Thankfully almost everyone managed to run inside the clubhouse and 5 minutes later the sun was out, and stayed out for the rest of the day.  For both races a triangle course was set, in both Steve and Jo Sallis (N3531) dominated and led the way.  
In Race 1, Ian Gore & Zoe Ballantyne (N3525) maintained 2nd position, whilst Graham & Anya Camm (N3530) put a bit of pressure on them, after overtaking George Finch & Toby Hunt (N3551) on the 2nd reaching leg on Lap 1. There was a lot of place changing in the non-foiling fleet but Tim & Chris Hampshire (N3502) managed to be at the front when it counted!

Launching at Snettisham

Race 2 saw an increasing breeze, making the reaches absolutely incredible and the upwind fairly hard work. After a luffing battle on the 1st reach, Graham & Anya (N3530) overtook Ian Gore & Zoe Ballantyne (N3525) and held that position, although constantly under threat from Ian & Zoe (until Zoe departed from the boat briefly). Further behind, Robbie & Char Stewart (N3501) had a wobbly gybe which saw an unfortunate collision with George & Toby (N3551), causing a swim but thankfully only light damage. These two boats then worked hard to get back through the fleet. Again, Chris & Tim Hampshire (N3502) were 1st non-foiler.
It looks a bit windier tomorrow, so let’s hope sunny Snettisham delivers another brilliant day on the water!
Day 2 - Snettisham Beach SC

18-26kts breeze, plenty of choppy waves . A reduced number of N12s launched, with the strong breeze howling through the dinghy park it was no surprise!
Race 1 today was a triangle again and Steve and Jo Sallis (N3531) agin continued to show their breezy sailing dominance in the N12 fleet and promptly rounded the windward mark first. Following in their wake was Ian Gore & Zoe Ballantyne (N3525) and then George Finch & Toby Hunt (N3551).  Thankfully Steve & Jo opted to tack round at the gybe mark and the rest of the fleet followed! Graham & Anya Camm (N3530) overhauled George & Toby on the 2nd reach, only for George & Toby to then overtake upwind (which set the theme for the rest of the race).
On the 2nd lap Steve & Jo tested the water temperature just after the windward mark, propelling Ian & Zoe into 1st, George & Toby into 2nd and Graham & Anya into 3rd. It wasn’t that long until Steve & Jo had pulled back into 2nd place though, and crossed the line behind Ian & Zoe, with Graham & Anya behind.
A slight lull in-between races was well received from those who were still out on the water and the 2nd course of the day was triangle/sausage. Again, Steve & Jo led, followed by Ian & Zoe. George & Toby maintained 3rd for nearly 3 laps, until an unfortunate drop of the tiller during a reach ended in a capsize. Only 3 boats made it to the finish, with Steve & Jo winning, Ian & Zoe in 2nd and Graham & Anya 3rd.
Day 3 - Brancaster Staithe SC

15-20kts, flat water, punchy gusts at times
Plenty of N12s had arrived throughout the day at BSSC but by 4.30pm there were still quite a few masts down, perhaps the immediate bare-away to downwind after launching was playing on the sailors minds! 9 N12s launched and headed out to the race course.
With plenty of tide still flooding in, there was a clean start as the fleet headed off to a laid windward mark, which was quite hard to find against the backdrop of the shore.
1st to round were Ian & Alex Gore (N3525)  followed by Graham & Anya Camm (N3530) and then George & Lucy Finch (N3551). It wasn’t long until Steve & Jo Sallis (N3531) overhauled George & Lucy into 3rd. 3 gybes later and Graham & Anya had moved into first.
That set the scene for the rest of the race as we enjoyed occasional gusts and a lovely reaching leg across the harbour. George & Lucy Finch briefly overtook Steve & Jo but that didn’t last long! Tim & Chris Hampshire (N3502) followed in 5th after Philip David & Rosie Gore (N3499) tested the water temperature after a downwind wobble!
The action continues tomorrow with a 0645 start!
Day 4 - Brancaster Staithe SC

20-27kts. “Windy”
An early morning start at Brancaster (0645) saw 6 National 12s set out for the race.  
Despite a quick start, N3525's (Ian and Alex Gore) race was cut short by an unfortunate crack in the mast. They retired and attempted to come back to the club, however the mast did eventually fall just fifty metres from the slipway, sadly ending their 2023 Norfolk Week.  
Due to the wind and big gusts, N3459 (Rob and Harley Ford) retired and made it safely back to the club.  
A big lead at the front led to N3531 (Steve and Joanne Sallis) to win the race. A great start by N3530 (Graham and Anya Camm) led to them following close behind N3531 and finishing the race in second. Steve and Jo had a spin at buoy W on the last lap whilst attempting to gybe, but retained the lead due to an already extensive gap.
Windier conditions than yesterday and some interestingly placed gybe marks saw N3502 (Tim and Chris Hampshire) capsize allowing N3549 (Phillip David and Rosie Gore) to catch up but ultimately N3502 stayed ahead. With the wind and unpredictable gusts various gybe marks were tacked round and after 3 laps the race was finished and the 4 remaining National 12s headed safely back to the club.

Day 5 - Ouse Amateur Sailing Club

On the river at Ouse Amateur SC

Race 1
The fifth day of racing at Norfolk Week saw 9 National 12s set out onto the water at Ouse Amateur SC.  
Challenging wind conditions meant a rather chaotic start line which saw a great start from locals Dave Cooper and Joseph Pembrey (N3294) and they began to sail away from the fleet but were quickly overtaken by Alex and Ian Gore in N3551. (Despite Ian & Alex breaking their mast yesterday, George & Lucy Finch offered them N3551 - George & Lucy are “on a family holiday in Norfolk at the same time as Norfolk Week, so aren’t doing all the sailing).
They quickly gathered a lead  which extended throughout the race. After snagging the mainsheet on a block, N3531 (Steve and Joanne Sallis) had a disappointing start, however managed to recover to a second place finish after an impressive sail from the back. A battle for third between N3502 (Tim and Chris Hampshire) and N3528 (Pete Miatt and Sam Harris) led to Pete and Sam gaining a 3rd place finish. N3502 (Tim and Chris Hampshire) finished closely behind and 5th place was N3499 (Philip David and Rosie Gore).  
Rob and Harley Ford (N3459) followed closely behind in 6th place after losing out due to hitting a buoy earlier in the race. Heading up the back of the fleet was N3524 (Graham Ireland and Susie Sallis) and N2957 (John and Catherine Sears).
Race 2
Some confusion between races saw N3502 (Tim and Chris Hampshire) and N3499 (Philip David and Rosie Gore) complete an extra unneeded lap and miss the second start however they soon caught up to the rest of the fleet. Following a great start, Ian and Alex Gore (N3551) once again gathered a lengthy lead. Despite Steve falling out of the boat on the startline, N3531 (Steve and Joanne Sallis) quickly overtook the fleet and went into second again.  
A battle for third between N3502 (Tim and Chris Hampshire) and N3499 (Philip David and Rosie Gore) ultimately resulted in N3502 securing third place with N3499 close behind. A tie resulted in joint 6th place with N3459 (Rob and Harley Ford) and N2957 (John and Catherine Sears). Overall great sailing was had by all with close racing and an interesting course.

Day 6 - Burnham Overy Staithe SC
No sailing!

Day 7 - Wells Sailing Club

Windy Wells

Day 7 of North West Norfolk Sailing Week began with another morning start, this time at Wells Sailing Club.

The wind was consistent, at around 10-15knts, with cloudy weather, although sun shone through near the end of the race. The course was an upwind leg out of the river towards the sea, then a close hauled reach to a mark, followed by two broad reaches back to the start line, with 4 laps.

7 National 12s set off from Wells Sailing Club at 7.30 a.m. and beat out towards the harbour entrance. Getting around the right hand bend proved difficult against a ripping tide!

The fleet were relieved to have less wind than in previous day, although there was still a wavy sea state. Unfortunately for Paul Turner, it was still too windy for his shiny new knees, so he took his boat to Blakeney with the hope of even less wind for the final race on Saturday. George and Lucy Finch (N3551) had very kindly lent their boat to Ian and Alex Gore again (who were boatless after their dismasting at Brancaster on Tuesday).
The start line was port biased, which saw John and Catherine Sears (N2957) and Ian and Alex Gore (N3551) have a clean start. Steve and Joanne Sallis (N3531) had to tack before the committee boat and sail behind the rest of the fleet, working their way back into the lead on the upwind leg. Steve and Joanne Sallis headed off to the right hand side of the course, which paid as they were first to the windward mark followed by Ian and Alex Gore.
Pete and Saskia Miatt (N3528) were just beaten to the windward mark by Philip David and Rosie Gore (N3499), despite them hitting the mark and doing a turn. Close behind were Rob and Harley Ford (N3459), John and Catherine Sears (N2957) and Dave Cooper and crew (N3294). Positions remained similar throughout the race until Pete and Saskia Miatt capsized at the gybe mark, allowing Rob and Harley Ford and John and Catherine Sears through, also in their own battle for 4th place.

Day 8 - Blakeney Sailing Club

A rather gray Blakeney

3-10kts, rain and occasionally even more rain
The late night decision in the pub last night was to have 2 races at Blakeney today, given the high (9.2m) tide - despite the rain forecast.
Movement in the dinghy park was slow, and soggy, but after an 8am briefing the fleet slowly launched and were even slower heading out to the race area, although with the southerly wind there was enough breeze at the race course - but a strong flood tide still.
Race 1
The course set was akin to a mobile phone number, but went something like X, 7, 4, 8, 10, 3, 9, 5, Line. A short beat with lots of tide saw Philip David and Rose Gore (N3499) and George Finch and Alex Gore (N3551) approach the mark, unfortunately for George & Alex they were on port and the tide closed any chance of a gap at the mark, so some turns were carried out. Close to Philip & Rosie was Rob & Harley Ford (N3459), showing that 7 days in a row of N12 sailing certainly helps with boat speed!
After 7, Philip & Rosie and John & Catherine Sears (N2957) headed for a direct route to the mark, but Steve & Jo Sallis (N3531) stayed out of the main channel for a little longer, a move which ultimately propelled them into first. At Mark 4, it was Rob & Harley and George & Alex following Steve and Jo. However, a quick tack after 4 then saw Philip & Rosie and John & Catherine in 2nd and 3rd place by Mark 8! So many place changes and only 4 marks completed, with 2.5 laps still remaining!
George & Alex managed to avoid a luffing match with Rob & Harley between Marks 10 and 3, but with George & Alex just getting room at the mark, they managed to pass. It took another lap until George & Alex could overtake John & Catherine upwind, in a continuous game of snakes & ladders. Philip & Rosie gained on the beats, but never quite enough, with the tide, to catch Steve & Jo.
1st - Steve & Jo Sallis (N3531)
2nd - Philip David & Rosie Gore (N3499)
3rd - George Finch & Alex Gore (N3551)
Race 2 - Jenny Lee Trophy
A bit more breeze had built, but with a smaller course set with now an ebbing tide. The course was a trapezoid: X, 9, 4, 5, Line.
After a general recall (!) Steve & Jo Sallis carried on sailing on starboard, never to return to the race area. On the second start the fleet were well behaved, starting well away from the committee boat to counteract the tide. George Finch & Alex Gore (N3551) put an early tack onto port, with some of the fleet following but everyone had to tack back onto starboard before Mark X. John & Catherine Sears (N2957) rounded just inside of George & Alex, and carried a short lead until Mark 9, where a quick gybe by George & Alex put them in 1st. After rounding Mark 4, a “decent gust” enabled Philip David & Rosie Gore (N3499) to overtake John & Catherine. Thought the next 2 laps, the breeze began to decrease as the tide was getting stronger, Philip & Rosie had a great gust in Lap 2 on the way to Mark 9, whilst George & Alex were stuck in a light patch, but it didn’t hold for long enough Philip & Rosie to close the gap. After the 3rd lap in ever lighter (and wetter) airs, George & Alex crossed the line first, with Philip & Rosie in 2nd and John & Catherine Sears in 3rd.
The fleet then “enjoyed” an incredibly slow sail in to Blakeney, with most opting for / being given a tow in. A little mention must go to Tim & Alison Hampshire (N3502) who were out for a “romantic day at Blakeney” and were last seen walking their N12 through the marshes!


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