The chill can’t keep sailors away from Horsey regatta

Action from the Horsey Mere Open Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines

Action from the Horsey Mere Open Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines - Credit: Archant

Horsey Mere Open Regatta

Action from the start of the Will Judge Trophy race at Beccles. Picture: Karen Langston

Action from the start of the Will Judge Trophy race at Beccles. Picture: Karen Langston - Credit: Archant

The chill lazy wind blowing across Horsey Mere was in contrast to last year when the Regatta was treated to glorious sunshine. This did not deter the yachtsmen and women who came to take part in the event – a programme of 13 races which included two allcomers and the ladies race.

The mere, which benefits from good depth for yachts and less weed than other waters, has begun to draw river cruisers to the event. An assembled fleet of 10 of these magnificent boats on the start line for Saturday's races made for a traditional broadland vista for spectators watching from Horsey Viewing Point.

Notable starts by Dryad (Martin Thompson), Pippinjack (Paul Stephens) and Pixie (Adrian Lincoln) set the pace with well-timed starts on the long start line. The wind direction made for an interesting course which made full use of the good sailing waters of Horsey Mere.

There was an eclectic fleet for the mixed halfdeckers which included three visiting boats from Cam Sailing club. Without fail the starts were dominated by Broads One Design Dipper (Henry Bird) and another regatta regular Flash (John Mules) sporting a new suit of sails for the weekend. Other notable contenders were Volunteer (Charles Lovelace) and the gleaming Yeoman What's Up (Chris Duke and Brian Wilkins).

Norfolks at the start of the Bacchante Trophy race at Beccles. Picture: Karen Langston

Norfolks at the start of the Bacchante Trophy race at Beccles. Picture: Karen Langston - Credit: Archant

Consistent starts and quality helms from Pippinjack and Nutcracker (Mike Jones) ensured these yachts had placings. Dryad raced on Saturday but due to early departure Sunday did not qualify for position, though the starts from Saturday races were noteworthy.

Sunday's increasing wind saw some river cruisers choose to remain in the shelter of the dyke – some crew members jumping ship to add welcome extra ballast for racing half-deckers. The stronger wind saw race positions increase for the production yachts, Beagle III (Peter Brook) easing his Pegasus 7 through the blustery conditions in complete control.

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River cruisers that did venture out for Sunday's racing were sensibly reefed and it was Pippinjack that went home with the River Cruisers' Wherryman's Cup which had been kindly donated by the Burton family. John Burton himself came in second at the helm of Buccaneer, with HMOR first-timer Nutcracker coming third.

Sunday was definitely Brown boat day. Close racing by the three BOD's cutting through the choppy grey water enabled Dipper to come first in two races, pipped to the overall first by Flash and crew revelling in the blustery conditions. Classic dinghy Torch (Murray Ward and Gareth Britton) performed consistently throughout, taking the Perseverance special award as well as third place in the half deckers.

Action from the Horsey Mere Open Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines

Action from the Horsey Mere Open Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines - Credit: Archant

A good mixed fleet for the ladies' race was contested and visiting helm Cath Lindon skillfully sailed Dipper to first place just ahead of Ellie Mules in Flash and Christine Walton in What's Up. To complete the weekend Flash took first place in the allcomers combined races and best overall performance for the weekend.

Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club

Only dinghies raced at Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club on Saturday and mostly keelboats on Sunday.

Action from the Horsey Mere Open Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines

Action from the Horsey Mere Open Regatta. Picture: Sue Hines - Credit: Archant

Richard Smith and Joe Drake in their Lasers finished within seconds of each other in Saturday's Fast Handicap races, Smith winning the first and Drake the second. Third places went to Jamie Freeman in his RS300 and Pete Matthews in his Solo.

In Sunday's Squib race John Lockwood's Moonraker was the early leader but Denise and Kerr Sinclair in Slinky were ahead by the end of the first lap. Richard Sullivan and Marc Moncrieff in Crazy Diamond pulled through to second place and a good fight ensued for the lead but Slinky was eventually victorious.

Meanwhile in the Waveneys there was a good battle early on between Tony Calver's Marsh Marigold and Trevor Balls' Creeping Jenny. David Yapp's Foxglove then pulled ahead of Marsh Marigold and Creeping Jenny took the win.

Crazy Diamond won the Mixed Keels race after a close race with Foxglove while Creeping Jenny took third place ahead of Slinky.

The main point of interest in the dinghy racing on Sunday was that Simon Marfleet was out in his K1 for the first time. There are now three of these small high-performance keelboats which are raced as dinghies in the Fast Handicap fleet at WOBYC. Marfleet won his race, beating Simon Beckett's Laser by nine seconds on corrected time.

Horning

It was a busy week at Horning Sailing Club, with their training centre opening the doors for 2017 on Thursday evening.

Almost 70 young people and a number of adults were welcomed to participate in training this year, whilst Sunday was another breezy day's racing. Despite the unseasonably cool weather, turnouts across the fleets were encouraging, and close racing was enjoyed.

Results were relatively mixed across the fleets, with the gusty winds providing challenging conditions for the sailors. Three Rebels competed in their fleet race, and the Storey family sailing Rebel Rascal, comprising three generations, won three races during the day.

With nine Yeoman competing competition was intense; four different sailors winning a race each – Geoff Stubbs, Kevin Edwards, Mario Tinge and Roger Hannant respectively. Four YBODs sailed, with Alastair Fields, Ron Jackson and Kevin Saunders taking at least one win each.

Meanwhile, in the dinghies, it was a good day for Edward Wildman sailing his Laser, winning all four races.

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