Ever-changing moods provide lots of variety at Horning races
- Credit: Archant
It was a tale of two halves for Horning Sailing Club's Keelboat weekend.
Racing was frustratingly slow on the River Bure outside the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon, yet breeze in abundance on Sunday providing lively conditions on Hoveton Little Broad.
With several relative newcomers participating, there were strong turnouts across the fleets with a good number of boats taking part.
Each overall fleet winner laid down the gauntlet on Saturday with at least one win in their respective classes during the afternoon, adding to this on Sunday.
In the growing Reedling fleet, Robert Hancock started strongly with two wins in Siskin on Saturday, notwithstanding tough competition from Roger Pettit in Osiris.
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Robert added to this with two further wins on Sunday, despite breaking his kicker 30 seconds before the start of the penultimate race, requiring some hasty re-rigging to make the line. The remaining two races were won by Kevin Saunders sailing Cockatrice.
Saturday's Yeoman races were close, with a win each for Geoff Stubbs sailing Tara and Chris Andrews sailing Thistle Doo. Racing was equally split on Sunday, with in total four different helms taking line honours out of the 10 competitors. Another win for Thistle Doo was enough to secure first place overall.
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The Rebel fleet saw some of the most dramatic racing of the weekend. Again, four separate sailors won races, but eventually it was Kevin Edwards' three wins which were enough to win overall. On Sunday morning drama ensued when a sudden gybe resulted in Rebel Jade practising a man overboard drill, only to be followed swiftly by the rescue boat crew who succumbed to the same fate en route to assist.
The Yare & Bure One Design fleet also enjoyed competitive racing. Ron Jackson, sailing Holly Blue, took an early lead on Saturday with two wins, following this up with two more on Sunday, the remaining two races going to Jeremy Tusting sailing Brimstone.
The Norfolk Broads Yacht Club hosted the first Cruiser weekend of the year on Wroxham Broad at the weekend.
It was an excellent turnout, with 27 entries, and was sailed in almost perfect conditions, the only slight difficulty being the wind direction on the Sunday, which was westerly coming off the yacht club shore, creating some fairly lumpy conditions with big wind shifts that tested the patience of some helms.
The star performers of the weekend were Tim Frary and Sarah Carrington with Stella (No 417), who took the overall trophy with an untouchable three firsts.
Stella, it will be remembered, was newly launched at Horning last year, one of a pair of almost identical yachts that were produced together by Paul Carrington and Tim Frary, but sadly suffered a spectacular dismasting shortly afterwards whilst racing at Oulton Week.
Winning the prestigious Edwardian silver Coronation Trophy is no doubt a fitting reward for a hard winter's work in re-rigging the boat.
Meggie (373) came a good second in the A start, similarly benefiting from finding form after last season when they reverted back to an aluminium mast.
Third overall was Will Bentall in Forrester (7), just one point adrift from Meggie, a result which was good enough to take the Mancuna Trophy for the best overall result in the B start, very closely followed by Mike Collins in Vagabond (18).
A welcome return to the fold, was White Wings (1), making a very modest return to the racing fleet after very many years' absence. It was remarked how well the boat looked in spite of its time away.
She was sailed without topsail, but with a horde of willing young crew on board, and requited herself well for the obvious care taken in her recent refit over the winter.
The event was livened by both a beer festival on Friday night, and on Saturday the annual cruiser class dinner that was all but oversubscribed.