WALTON and Frinton Yacht Club's tenth cadet week provided excellent racing and a full social programme.

Fifty-two cadets, ranging from six to 17, raced in seven different classes of dinghy over five days in the Backwaters.

The sun shone all week and gentle winds were the order of the day.

This suited the least experienced sailors in the Mirror fleet, who sailed with adults for reassurance.

Initially competed on the stretch of the Walton Channel between the yacht club and the Twizzle, they later progressed to sailing in the Wade.

The overall Mirror fleet winner was Monty Darwin, followed in second by cousin Jos Darwin, with Charlotte Brooke third.

The sailors in the Optimist fleet also gained in confidence over the five days of light winds to sail some tight races.

Initially completing timed laps rather than traditional side by side races, they progressed to massed starts by the end of the week.

The overall winner of the Landamore Optimist tankard was Emily Hipkin, closely followed by India Scott and, in third place, Ella Langfeldt.

The seven-strong Tera fleet hit the water wearing baseball caps kindly donated by RS Sailing.

The lucky youngsters were given smart RYA gym bags containing further goodies donated by RS Sailing, the Royal Yachting Association, the Coastguard, the RNLI and LS Stores, in Walton.

The Tera fleet racing was equally impressive and huge progress was made by cadets, some of whom had only just moved up from Optimists.

Bumper boats and mud skippers in the early races gave way to close, competitive sailing under the coaching of Ricky and Julie Knights.

Assisted by Bryan Ward and Esther Jacobs, Ricky and Julie created a close-knit team of Tera sailors who cheered each other over the finish line.

Henry Scott was the outright victor, winning a smart bag donated by Kemp Sails, but he was always challenged by Millie Thomsen and Lotte Langfeldt, who finished second and third.

A smaller Topaz fleet boated this year but Olivia Russell and Charlotte Gibbon were deserving winners and enjoyed their first-ever Round the Island.

The Topazes sailed with the Toppers and Picos, covering many kilometres in the Walton Channel, the Twizzle and the Wade.

The Pico fleet was closely contested with sisters Charlotte and Annabel Valledy taking third place, Edward Baines second and Araminta Scott and crew Hannah Bowden winning the West Water Trophy, in addition to the trophy for the best team performance.

This is even more impressive considering Araminta was sailing in a Pico for her first season, having just graduated from the Tera fleet.

Five of the six top places in the remaining two fleets were also taken by young women.

Josephine Whytock sailed extremely skilfully in a borrowed Topper in her first cadet week on unfamiliar waters to win the Peter Cripps Cadet Cup on the 70th anniversary of its first presentation.

Jemima Martin (second) and Laura Russell (third) provided stiff opposition and were serious challengers so Josephine will need to work hard next year to retain her position.

Neither Eleanor Newland (third) nor Jemima Wright (second) were quite able to knock Jack Collis from his perch as top Laser sailor and Jack retained the Overall Fast Fleet shield for a second year.

The stronger winds on Thursday’s Round the Island Race meant Eleanor Newland in her 4.7 was the victor, with a slight lead over her twin sister Sophie, who pushed Jack’s Laser radial into third.

The trophy for the most improvement made during the week went to another Laser sailor, Abby Phillips, while the Seamanship Trophy was awarded jointly to Henry Scott and Millie Thomsen.

The young people could not have enjoyed such a great week without the help of all the adults who volunteered.