Conditions near perfect as River Cruisers kick off Hickling Broad Regatta

Action from the Hickling Broad Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines

Action from the Hickling Broad Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines - Credit: Archant

Following the unsettled weather of late the conditions for Hickling Broad's weekend Regatta were near perfect.

Action from the Hickling Broad Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines

Action from the Hickling Broad Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines - Credit: Archant

The racing started with the River Cruisers, 10 on the start line for the first race of the weekend series.

Viewing from the start line across the expanse of Hickling Broad was an opportunity to watch as notable and consistent starts were made by Sally (S Burton), Pixie (A Lincoln) and Mischief (S Seeney).

The run to the long mark kept the fleet together and the occupants of passing day boats had plenty of photo opportunities and close views of the Rivers Cruisers.

Once around the mark the funnelling effect of the Broad wind was apparent – the beat back to Catfield number three mark was at times blustery, and once rounded the wind direction veered to a more northerly direction with some yachts venturing out of the marked channel to seek the breeze, only to be hampered by the thick weed accumulating on keels and rudders.

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The mixed half decker races at Hickling are always well attended, and this year was no exception, with an eclectic fleet on the broad. The Bittern open was held at HSC giving a splash of colour with pretty yellow sails – a well-timed flight by a bittern across the start of Sunday's race made it extra special.

There was some excellent sailing from Isis (P Crook), Flash (J Mules) and Splash (P Bown) and close starts for all four races, but the usual excellent starts and consistent performance by Flash saw J Mules take first place, placing P Crook into second place on handicap.

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A shortened course for the allcomers dinghy races brought the races back on programme following postponements. The brisk wind was ideal for some of the heavier dinghies. H Ferguson's September Song and Esperanza, crewed by J Pursaille and O Church, revelled in the conditions, taking first place.

Sunday's ladies race saw a mixed fleet on the start; sailing on the home water of Hickling and using the lifting centre plate to her advantage Ellie Mules took half decker Flash effortlessly around the course to first place.

The all-comers race went to single-hander Baron, helmed by S Macnamara.

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