Winning the Nancy Blackett Trophy at a Swallows and Amazons Weekend in ‘Secret Water’

Last month the Walton and Frinton Yacht Club hosted the Old Gaffers Association’s Swallows and Amazons weekend in the Walton Backwaters – Arthur Ransome’s ‘Secret Water’, writes Matt Plummer.

It was the association’s nineteenth consecutive visit and twenty-four boats signed on for the main race on Saturday, which involved circumnavigating both Horsey Island and Honeypot Island.

The fleet comprised many different boats, including several club boats from Walton, which ended up providing four of the first five home.

Early action – the fleet shortly after the start, heading down the Walton Channel/Clacton and Frinton Gazette.

The Nancy Blackett Trophy was won by Spinel, a Jewel sailed by Robin Cooper, while a Concept-class boat, a Gaff cutter-rigged Wayfarer, with a bright pink topsail, came in a close second.

Robin Cooper wins the Nancy Blackett Trophy in Spinel during Old Gaffers Association’s Swallows and Amazons Weekend/Clacton and Frinton Gazette.

White Diamond, another Jewel, was third, with Malachite, also a Jewel, fourth, and fifth place went to Anna Brooke’s Peter Pan.

An honourable mention goes to Mark Butler, of James Lawrence Sails, who attended with his Concept 505, which was heavily modified with a lug rig and tore round the course. He was a great sport as he was not actually able to race officially.

There was a smaller fleet of ten for the Smack’s Boats of the East Coast OGA, which was led home by Neva.

Prior to the evening’s prize-giving and dinner, a photography masterclass was held by Clive Robertson.

The original version of this story was published in the Clacton and Frinton Gazette and is reproduced with permission.