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Youngsters battle it out on water

PUBLISHED: 12:13 11 September 2009 | UPDATED: 08:31 01 August 2010

The Beccles team.

The Beccles team.

LAST Saturday saw no club racing at Beccles due to BASC juniors representing the club at the annual Broadland Youth Regatta, this year hosted by Hickling Broad Sailing Club.

LAST Saturday saw no club racing at Beccles due to BASC juniors representing the club at the annual Broadland Youth Regatta, this year hosted by Hickling Broad Sailing Club.

A contingent of 24 Beccles young sailors with their families together with boats travelled up to the northern waters to join the hundred-strong fleet from clubs across the Broads area.

For some of the Beccles squad, this was their first experience of racing at a different venue and they don't come much bigger than Hickling Broad but everyone kept focused and undaunted as they sailed off for a committee boat start around the headland.

BASC Laser helms Ryan Langston, Matthew Deller and Jake Shipley certainly punched well above their weight coming in second, fourth and ninth respectively overall in their series racing, keeping the other clubs in their wake much of the time.

In the slow handicap races Hugh Braidwood had a second and fourth place out of 17 in his Optimist for two races and was the highest-placed Beccles sailor in his group, finishing eighth overall out of 38 boats.

Other BASC Optimist helms can still be proud of their performances as some had only been sailing for a few months and with races back to back.

Many youngsters remained on the water for two and a half hours without a break, only glimpsing land and supporters as they rounded the windward mark by the clubhouse, displaying great resolve.

In the Topper series, 38 boats made up an enormous fleet so the 11 helms from Beccles were certainly going to find things competitive, to say the least, especially against many regional squad members from NBYC.

But again they can be proud of their overall places with Bob Ashcroft, Milo Phillips and Jake Smalls finishing 14th, 15th and 16th respectively.

As a club, BASC narrowly missed out on third position for the centenary salver but Heather Squibb was awarded the Lady Mayhew Trophy for perseverance and Casper Baylis won a medal for sportsmanship within the fleet.

Afterwards, Commodore Richard Deller praised the great efforts of the whole team, who made it such an enjoyable day and who continue to keep BASC at the forefront of sailing in the area.

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