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Sailors take part in competitive races in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 June 2015

The Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club in Lowestoft hosted a successful Topper National Series Event. Picture: ANDREW MCMEEKIN

The Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club in Lowestoft hosted a successful Topper National Series Event. Picture: ANDREW MCMEEKIN

copyright Andrew McMeekin

Some of the country's best young sailors visited Lowestoft's seafront for an "amazing" weekend of top quality dinghy racing.

Picture: OLIVER KNIGHTSPicture: OLIVER KNIGHTS

With 159 Topper sailors from all over the UK competing in the national series of races on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June, officials from the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club – which hosted the competition – said it was one the largest fleets to have ever raced at the club.

And with it being a key qualifying event for young sailors looking to secure a place in the RYA junior national squad, the action in two fleets proved to be keenly contested.

With the racing held to the south of the Claremont Pier.

Such was the turnout over the weekend that hundreds of cars, trailers and motorhomes transformed the Royal Green and packed out the car parking area, as the International Topper Class Association’s first national series event hit the east coast.

For the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club’s rear-commodore, Paul Jenkins, the weekend was an undoubted success.

“It was absolutely amazing,” he said. “On behalf of the club we were thrilled with what was a very, very successful event.”

The support of “a lot of people and local organisations,” were particularly praised by the yacht club – with Anne Willis, from the economic development and regeneration team at Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils, and Waveney Norse thanked for all their help. Thanks were also given to the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, the University of East Anglia, the local British Sub Aqua Club and the 8th Norwich Sea Scouts for loaning their safety boats over the weekend.

Mr Jenkins added: “We had lots of favourable comments and we are indebted to a lot of people and local organisations who helped make this event possible – everybody was really good.

“Some people said it was the best event they had been to, adding it was a stunning couple of days. It was a pleasure to see these kids having fun, enjoying themselves and being independent.”

Local talent was also on display – as Joe Drake, son of club committee member Mark Drake, finished fourth in the event. Joe, who was representing RN&SYC and WOBYC, just missed out on third place by a single point – but after the four previous national events he remains at the top of the overall series.

Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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