Snowflake Sailing Club make near-perfect start to winter season

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Paddy Wildman

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Paddy Wildman - Credit: Archant

Snowflake Sailing Club's winter season started with the Tri-Icicle.

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Paddy Wildman

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Paddy Wildman - Credit: Archant

Record numbers of entries started to pour in as the weather forecast continued to look excellent in the week before and some late entries even arrived on the day for the event, sponsored by Jeckells the Sailmakers.

At one point 60 boats looked likely to start but as the PRO, Ian Bray, began his briefing numbers were confirmed at just over 50 – by all accounts, a record number. The weather was glorious, with a bright warm sun and a breeze filling in as the start time approached.

PRO Bray ultimately chose to start at the waterworks and avoid the dead patch in Horning; this proved an excellent decision and all fleets got away in an hour. The route went to Acle first then Womack and home. Progress was superb and the wind held up as the fleets started to either spread out, overtake or in one final place bunch up. Constant radio communications gave the PRO every chance to keep the race finished on time. An unavoidable coincidence of dropping wind, despite the forecast, and tides running against boats meant that once the results were clear with a finish at The Ferry an 'on the water' count was taken of the remaining boats.

In the trophy presentation the general feeling was that this had been an excellently well-run downriver race. The weather was almost perfect, failing sailors only at the last gasp.

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Local Punt guru John Parker said he was thrilled to see so many younger sailors taking part as the future of sailing on the Broads wass in their hands.

The Three Rivers next June and the Tri-Icicle are inherently part of this region's heritage. Overall winner and keel boat winner was Nick Eastwood in his Star 8254. Jane Pye was second overall and first in the dinghy class in her Punt Snow Goose, crewed by Curtis Drew. Third was Paul Carrington in River Cruiser Lyra, also winner of that class.

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Other class winners were Matthew Thwaites in White Boat 63, Dan Grieve in Yeoman 173 and Kim West in Rebel One.

All boats got a finish but that last hour of poor wind and tide meant just 20 completed the whole course.

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