Water Babies race proves a highlight at Horning

The Thursday of Horning Sailing Club's Regatta Week saw a marked change in the weather, being much cooler, with persistent rain, although this did not seem to dampen spirits.

A welcome improvement was the wind, which was much steadier, providing for more pleasant sailing.

As Horning Town's Open Regatta Day, there were increased numbers of competitors across most fleets, which resulted in split starts in both the Yare & Bure One Designs and Cruiser Fleets. With many trophy races sailed for in the morning series, competition was fiercer than ever, with close racing and changing positions across the fleets.

It was a good day for the Tassie family, sailing their Wayfarer – races being won with both Mark and daughter Abi at the helm, crewing also alternating between Abi and her sister Imogen. Mark picked up the Ranworth Salver for his efforts and the family were also chosen as Regatta President Kim West's recipients of the Original Horning Challenge Cup for outstanding performance during the day.

There being a 'Swallows and Amazons' theme for the day, with Swallow from the 1974 film present, along with Death and Glory from another of Arthur Ransome's tales, Thursday's focus was very much on young people and enjoyment of sailing.


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A notable performance came from Joe Brown, sailing his Topper and winning the Cockshoot Salver.

Having already gained another second place, during the afternoon's race he looked well on course for another strong finish when he became hooked on a passing YBOD on port becoming tangled in its topping lift, being dragged back down the river, doing well to eventually finish the race.

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The highlight of the day for many was the evening race for the Water Babies Challenge Cup for helms under 18 and crews under 21. Seven boats took part including a Rebel, YBODs and Yeomans. Whilst the owners of the boats watched nervously, all coped admirably in the moderate breeze, the juniors handling the keelboats both confidently and competently.

Just two minutes separated the first five finishers, the race being won by Joanne Moore helming Yeoman Fire Opal, crewed by Laura Galloway, despite being over the line at the start.

Second was Laura's brother James sailing Yeoman Tanskey crewed by Abi Tassie, and third were Anna Bunn and Tom Heaffey in Rebel H. Thirteen-year-olds Matthew Varcoe and Paul Edwards were the youngest helms taking part, Paul finishing fifth in Yeoman Thistledoo shortly after Tegan Arnold helming another Yeoman, Two C' Sons.

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