All in a good at popular Acle Regatta

Action from the Acle regatta. Picture: Sue Hines

Action from the Acle regatta. Picture: Sue Hines - Credit: Archant

The 40th Acle Regatta drew a fleet of 16 river cruisers.

Saturday's first race made for exhilarating sailing as the strong gusts saw many of the over-canvassed yachts struggle, causing several to spill the wind in their sails to maintain control. The race was split into four starts and of the 16 starters, three retired. Only two of the four yachts in the fourth start, for 12% and slower yachts, made the finish line. Pippinjack (Paul Stevens) took first place followed Mystery (Matt Ford) who took a deserved second, with third going to Sabrina II (John Holmes).

The increasing wind and an angry sky considerably reduced the starters on the line on Saturday afternoon – those that did venture out donned wet weather clothing and many reduced their sail area, which proved beneficial. First went to impeccably sailed Pippinjack, with Mischief (S Seeney) second and Moss Rose (C & P Marken) third.

The brilliant sunshine and lighter winds ensured the entire fleet were entered in the Pursuit race. The race started with the slowest boat on handicap starting first, with a quick succession of increasingly faster yachts setting off at their allotted time starts.

Most choose to hug the bank close to ride over the slower ebb tide to the first mark. The beat back for the slower yachts, picking their course through the larger faster yachts, was quite a spectacle for the passing hire boats. Breeze (C Chettleburgh) was first back across the line, Sally (S Burton) took second and Zingara (R Dugdale) third.

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The last race of the weekend in decreasing wind and a turning tide enabled the faster yachts to make the most of the breeze, with the tide in their favour.

A fickle and variable wind through the trees was testing for the smaller yachts, the helms searching for a gentle push to punch through the now flooding tide. First was Sabrina (J Holmes), second Breeze (C Chettleburgh) and third Pippinjack (P Stevens).

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The weekend's best overall result went to Breeze (C Chettelburgh).

The continuing success of the Regatta ensures donations to good causes and charities – this year, cheques for more than £1,200 were presented to Acle Volunteer Service, Nancy Oldfield Trust and Blood bikes.

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