It is with great sadness that we announce the
death of Léonie, after a long and bravely fought battle with cancer.
Within the Club she will be most recently
remembered for her unstinting support on our race start lines, raising and
lowering flags and offering wise advice on the niceties of race-running.
She and Chris were stalwart club members
virtually from the beginning, racing their yacht Dragonfly on Breydon to great
effect, joining in with every club cruise, attending all the land-based events
and, latterly, every regatta to help on the line as 'flags and gun.' As
well as racing at our events, they were regularly to be seen at Wroxham week,
racing Léonie's BOD, Goshawk. They also travelled abroad with the Brown
Boat, sailing her on far-flung foreign waters, as well as at the Diamond Jubilee
Regatta on Lake Lothing in 2012.
Léonie was invariably accompanied by her two
German Shepherd dogs, which would lie out on Dragonfly's aft deck while their
mistress was socialising ashore. This usually meant cider at lunchtime,
white wine in the evening and, when cruising, industrial quantities of Pimms at
6 o'clock, for which Léonie would scour supermarket shelves, looking for the
most interesting and exotic fruits to add to the concoction.
In later years, having reluctantly sold
Dragonfly, Chris and Léonie bought a large ex-hire motor boat, which Léonie
christened Pelican, as it was big, white and ugly, but floated. With this
they continued to join in at Club events and to cruise widely across the Broads
system, accompanied not only by the dogs, but also Léonie's two African grey
parrots. Her horses had to stay behind, but for those events unobtainable
by water, the Dowsetts would arrive in the horsebox instead, still with the
parrots and the dogs.
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2017
and given 6-12 months to live, Léonie determinedly set out to enjoy one more
season on the River, which she did, with as much enthusiasm as ever. She leaves a large gap in our Club and will be much missed by her
The well attended funeral was held at Gorleston Crematorium on
Thursday 18 July. Afterwards, many friends and family attended the wake
hosted by Chris at his home, where guests were lavishly entertained with food
and drink and the opportunity was taken to remember Léonie in a manner that
she would surely have appreciated.