An update on racing – and the Yachtmaster Insurance Three Rivers Race is almost here!

There was both sunshine and breeze for the re-opening of Hoveton Little Broad, with Sunday’s racing at Horning Sailing Club taking place there.  The perfect conditions encouraged a good turnout, with twenty boats enjoying a challenging course.  Line honours were relatively well shared amongst the fleets, the notable exceptions being in the eight-strong fleet of Yeomans, where all three races were won by Geoff Stubbs helming Tara, and in the Cruisers, where both races were won by Amantani helmed by George Brewis.


Meanwhile, HSC is gearing up to host the 58th Yachtmaster Insurance Services Ltd Three Rivers Race, to be held this weekend (02-03 June 2018).  Competitors from near and far travel to the Broads to participate in the 24-hour endurance race, which takes competitors on a 50-mile test of seamanship around the Broads. Sailing through the night, the course takes them down the Rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne through Potter Heigham Bridge to Hickling Broad, and also through Acle Bridge to Stokesby or beyond, dependent on weather conditions.  Addition legs take competitors to Ludham Bridge and South Walsham.  The order of completion of the course is up to competitors.


Amongst the 89 competitors this year are nine Norfolk Punts, eight Yare & Bure One Designs and four Thames A-Raters with their towering rigs.  Amongst the 40+ river cruisers taking part, these range from the impressively quick and imposing cruisers in the fast cruiser start – such as new-builds Stellar and Skylark – through to Zingara at over 100 years old, to the much smaller, slower craft, including a number of production cruisers and hire craft, which are likely to complete the course far more slowly.


The fleet will be split into 13 starts, guaranteeing a spectacular event not to be missed, with boats of all shapes and sizes leaving every five minutes for over an hour.  The first start is at 11am on Saturday at Horning Sailing Club, with plenty of opportunities to see boats on the course around the Broads – good vantage points always include the bridges, as competitors lower and raise their masts, especially at the medieval Potter Heigham Bridge and Acle Bridge.


More information can be found on the Three Rivers Race website:

A fantastic Bank Holiday weekend!

Horning Sailing Club enjoyed a fantastic bank holiday weekend on the water as the sun shone over Norfolk last weekend.  Saturday saw their fifth year of involvement with the Horning Boat Show, where they held an open day, also in conjunction with the Royal Yachting Association’s Push the Boat Out initiative, providing free taster sails for 270 people of all ages, from babies to grandparents, in perfect conditions.

The Club’s volunteers were kept busy from the moment they arrived until well after sessions were due to finish, such was the demand.  The end of the day also saw the start of the new “Sundown Series” – the ideal evening to introduce sailors to racing, with a gentle breeze and warm sunshine attracting nine entrants, from an Access Dinghy through to a Yeoman.

Sunday’s sunshine brought a good number of sailors to the start line, with particularly strong turnouts in the Yare & Bure and Yeoman fleets.  Geoff Stubbs won two of the three Yeoman races in the seven strong fleet sailing Tara, with Roger Hannant in Firefly winning the third race, whilst six YBODs competed, Ron Jackson winning two races in Holly Blue, Alastair Fields the third in Rosy Wave.  Kevin Edwards won the three class races in the Rebels sailing Rebel H, whilst Kim West in Rebel won the afternoon Allcomers race.  Robert Hancock and Kevin Saunders shared the line honours during the day in the Reedlings, whilst Mark Tassie (Wayfarer) and Edward Wildman (Laser) did the same in the dinghies, despite Edward crossing the line capsized at one point!

Next Saturday sees HSC host a Single-handed open, the briefing is at 10am with racing following shortly afterwards – all very welcome.  For more information contact Colin on 01692 630014.



A very un-Spring like Spring weekend

The weather of extremes continued at Horning Sailing Club – after last week’s fantastic conditions, winter had returned for the weekend’s activities with rain, cold winds and temperatures. Ironically, on Saturday HSC held their annual pursuit race and ‘Spring Social’, when the conditions felt like anything but Spring!  Six hardy entrants took part in the Pursuit race, which resulted in a close finish, with the Splashes of Pippa and Jo Edwards just holding off competition from Bob Hancock helming Reedling Osiris at the finish.

Sunday was even cooler with a strong and variable breeze.  Geoff Stubbs made it two wins in two races in the Yeomans, whilst the closest racing was seen in the dinghies, with Ellie Edwards taking two wins in her Splash, despite tough competition from Edward Wildman’s Laser and Jack Copping’s Enterprise.  Thankfully the forecast looks much better for this weekend’s Push the Boat Out open day as part of the Horning Boat Show on Saturday 5 May where the Club is running free taster sails all day for all the family.  The Club is also keen to encourage entrants to the annual Three Rivers Race on 2/3 June (sponsored by Yachtmaster Insurance Services) with the closing date for entries extended to 5 May 2018.

The first few weeks of the season

The glorious Spring weather of the start of the season disappeared and was replaced with damp, overcast conditions for the second week of the season at Horning Sailing Club.  Easter Sunday saw Hoveton Little Broad open for the weekend, with racing taking place on the Broad.  A mixed fleet of Yeomans, YBODs, a Reedling, Rebel, Cruiser and Dinghies took the opportunity to get in some early season sailing, completing two races.  Toby Fields sailing Tanskey and Kevin Edwards sailing Avocet battled it out in the Yeomans, taking a win each, whilst Alister Bourke made it two consecutive wins in Nevada Blue, having recently swapped his Laser for a Whiteboat.  Eight dinghies, ranging from a Fireball to Lasers and Splashes, sailed – the Edwards family making it a podium finish with eldest daughter Ellie winning the first race ahead of younger sister Pippa, and Mum Jo third, the second race seeing Pippa and Ellie swapping places, and Edward Wildman’s Fireball third.  As the wind dropped further and the rain increased, the decision was taken to abandon racing for the afternoon.  Easter Monday’s planned downriver race to Thurne was abandoned on account of a poor forecast.

For the following week, the light winds and overcast conditions persisted for Horning’s third week of the season.  After a fantastic day on Saturday where members enjoyed warm sunshine and good breezes for getting all the boats and equipment ready for the Training season, by Sunday it had all but disappeared, giving way to grey skies, shifty winds and a strong tide.  Despite a packed clubhouse in the morning, only a few ventured out, with Roger Pettit’s lone keelboat – Reedling Osiris – sailing.  The dinghy fleet was more optimistic about the day’s racing, completing two races.  Both were won by Ellie Edwards sailing her Splash, with sister Pippa – also sailing her Splash, and Kim West – sailing a Laser, both taking a second place.  By lunchtime enthusiasm for drifting had waned and racing was concluded for the day.

In line with the previous two weeks, Sunday’s (15 April) racing began dull and overcast, but thankfully with a better breeze and slightly warmer weather.  Turnout was also much improved with a variety of craft enjoying the conditions.  Robert Hancock sailing Osiris took an early lead in the Reedling’s against Kevin Saunders’s Cockatrice, winning two races, whilst Geoff Stubbs sailing Tara, Kevin Edwards helming Avocet and Derek Jones sailing Golden Jubilee took a win each in the Yeomans.  Some sailors in the YBOD fleet learnt it was not the day to be over the line, with a strong tide making it difficult to get back.  Two races were won by Alister Bourke sailing Nevada Blue, the remaining won by Kevin Blackwell sailing Rosy Wave.  Adrian Hammond and Alex Humphris sailed two races in Lucky Rebel, before being joined by Rodney Storey sailing Rebel Rascal in the afternoon, who won the latter race.  Ellie Edwards made it three wins out of four in the dinghies, sailing her Splash, with the only other race winner being her father, Kevin, having switched from his Yeoman to a Laser for the afternoon’s racing.

Fortunately, the forecast looks better for tomorrow’s downriver race to Thurne – fingers crossed for sunshine and a good breeze!

The Start of the 2018 Season

Horning Sailing Club’s 2018 season began on Sunday with Spring arriving for the occasion.  Although the day started overcast, misty and with very light winds, this gradually lifted to provide a beautiful sunny March day for those venturing back on the water.


First away were the Yeoman fleet, with six taking part.  The gentle breeze saw the return of Horning’s shifty conditions, but racing was enjoyed nonetheless.  Line honours were also split amongst the fleet with Derek Jones, a newcomer to the fleet, winning the morning race in Golden Jubilee, Andrew Gallant sailing Tiger Moth taking second, and Commodore Toby Fields taking the two afternoon races in Tanskey, the latter after overtaking Andrew seconds from the finish.  A YBOD and Rebel enjoyed the conditions, whilst competition was intense in the Dinghy Fleet, with a mix of Lasers and Splashes taking part.  The first morning race was won by Pippa Edwards sailing her Splash, whilst Toby Pearce won the second in his Laser.  The afternoon race was won by Ellie Edwards, also sailing a Splash.


Looking ahead to the season, Horning Sailing Club has an exciting year ahead with several changes having taken place.  The Training Centre has a new face at the helm, with Stuart Bailey succeeding Bob Hancock as Principal after 15 years of running the Centre.   The training season is set to begin on Thursday 3rd May, with Registration on the evening of Thursday 19th April – essential to attend for all those who wish to take part in training.  Meanwhile the Three Rivers Race is pleased to announce a new sponsor, Yachtmaster Insurance Services Ltd based in Suffolk, with the race organisation team headed up by Kevin Saunders for the 58th 3RR, which will take place on the 2nd and 3rd June 2018.  Early entries are encouraged – more information available on the website 

The new season…

As this is being written, the new sailing season is literally just round the corner – with just one week to go, 7 days, or a little under 168 hours (whichever way you prefer to look at it!)  We are looking forward to our Rigging Out Supper at “The Wroxham” next week, with the start of season on Sunday 25th March – let’s hope it’s just a little bit warmer by then.

It’s been a long and tough winter, and this year we will start the season with several familiar faces missing of those who are sadly no longer with us.  But the Club has just returned from a successful weekend at the RYA Dinghy Show, promoting the Club’s activities, the signs of spring are on the way, and with British Summer Time starting next week (!) we are looking forward to the sailing.

For those who have been missing the water, early season is a great time to get out.  The river is quieter, the trees have less leaves, and there are plenty of plans in action for a great season.  These include a number of social sailing Saturdays in addition to our usual mixed programme on the Broad, River and Downriver.  Plans are well underway for the annual Three Rivers Race to be held on 2nd and 3rd June (entries are open now and the Training Season will soon begin (Thursday 3rd May)

Racing kicks off with Series A (River) on Sunday 25th March, followed by Easter Weekend on Hoveton Little Broad (Sunday 1st April) and an Open Downriver to Thurne (Monday 2nd April) – see you there!

Horning Sailing Club End of Season Regatta

Horning Sailing Club had a blast for their End of Season Regatta with good winds and unseasonably warm sunshine on both days.  Saturday afternoon began blustery on Hoveton Little Broad, with close racing taking place among the fleets turning out a good number of sailors.  Across many fleets the lead swapped several times and despite the gusty conditions racing was relatively uneventful.  It was on Sunday where the real action began.  Racing was taking place on the river, with the weather forecast predicting winds stronger than the previous day.  Thankfully this did not affect turnouts, with the river a hive of activity, at one point twelve Yeoman on the starting line filled the entire river!  Again, sailing was competitive with plenty of close racing.  Drama ensued in the second race of the day when a Yeoman was dismasted and several other competitors retired, some having gone aground or taken the wrong course.

The Reedlings saw their best turnout for a long while, with five sailing over the weekend – racing in this fleet being particularly close with just seconds separating the finishes, and the lead swapping throughout the races.  Eventually, it was Derek Jones sailing Merlin who took the overall trophy for the fleet with five wins out of six.  Four Rebels raced, Gary Wright sailing with Alex Humphris taking two wins, and Doug Noble sailing with Peter Brown taking three wins over the weekend, whilst of the five Yare & Bures sailing Ron Jackson sailing Holly Blue won five races.  The Yeomans were the biggest fleet racing, and Andrew Gallant and Mario Tinge both carried over a win from Saturday.  Despite tough competition from the fleet, Andrew continued to sail well to take the weekend overall.

The dinghies enjoyed the conditions, with seven Splashes, three Lasers, an Enterprise and a Topper participating.  Again racing was very close, with Jack Copping’s Enterprise winning a race, dad Dom achieving the same in his Laser and Jo Edwards winning a race in her Splash just seconds ahead of Jack Barnham’s Splash.  Ultimately, three wins by Edward Wildman in his Laser was enough to secure first overall in the fleet.

On handicap, first boat over the weekend was Ron Jackson’s Holly Blue, with Edward Wildman’s Laser second, and Jack Copping’s Enterprise third.  The Ladies Trophy went to Jo Edwards sailing her Splash.

A Very Slow Downriver Race to Thurne 8 October 2017

It was a painfully slow drift for Horning Sailing Club’s final downriver race of the season to Thurne, with extremely light winds and competitors fighting the tide on both legs.  Some six River Cruisers, eight keelboats and one dinghy started in earnest, with the Race Officer starting racing from the Horning Waterworks.  With the course to Thurne largely a reach and run, Mike Reilly sailing Cygnet pulled away in the Cruisers to lead, with Peter Goshawk’s Swallow, George Brewis’s Amantani and Gordon Williams’s Smuggler close on his heels.  Despite Cygnet crossing the line first, it was Amantani who took the win on handicap.  After crossing the starting line last, Robert Hancock sailing Reedling Siskin worked his way through the fleet to finish second boat and first non-cruiser, over ten minutes ahead of the next boat.  Some excitement was provided at Thurne, whereby on reaching Thurne mouth the fleet met up with EACC’s Whiteboat Open, with some confusion over which turning buoys were EACC’s and which were Horning’s!  Although the breeze picked up under some rain clouds during the lunch break, by the return leg the river resembled flat calm again, and several opted to motor back.  This time it was Derek Jones’s Reedling Merlin who escaped from the fleet and crossed the finish line at St Benet’s Abbey first, with Siskin just behind in second – who would both eventually be the only two boats to finish of the twelve starters, the remainder retiring, having made very little progress in the strong tide despite the finishing line being in sight!

Race Report – Hoveton Little Broad – 1 October 2017

It was a breezy and damp day’s sailing for Horning Sailing Club’s conclusion of racing on Hoveton Little Broad.  With the forecast less than favourable this did affect the turnout, but nonetheless a good day’s racing was enjoyed by those taking part, with the winds thankfully not as strong as expected.  The strongest fleet during the morning’s races were the Yeomans, with five taking part.  In both races the top three boats remained the same, with the first won by Toby Fields crewed by Ashley Williams in Tanskey, second were Mario Tinge and Paul Clarke in Two C Sons, whilst third were George and Linda Whitefoot in Fire Opal.  The second race saw Fire Opal take line honours, just seconds ahead of Tanksey, with Two C Sons third.  By the afternoon the only keelboats who remained racing were Toby in his Yeoman, and his father Alastair sailing Yare & Bure Rosy Wave.  The dinghies showed good determination, completing all three races, which were won by Lasers despite tough competition from Jack Barnham and Thomas Wildman’s 420, and Charlotte Knight’s Topper, with Roger Hannant and Toby Pearce taking a win each during the morning, and Toby winning over Roger by one second during the afternoon series!