Thursday of Horning Week signifies the Horning Town Open Regatta or – as it’s more colloquially known – “Spoon Day”, where competitors not only sail for trophies but for silver spoons (as an aside, does anyone know the origins of this tradition as I’d love to know!). In complete contrast to the previous three days the winds started light and remained this way throughout the day – during the lunchtime race the river resembled a millpond!
With turnouts the best of the week, it was good to see some familiar faces back on the water, including Hugh Tusting in the Yare & Bures, Dick Angier and Paul Clarke in the Yeomans, Derek Gibbs in a Reedling and Ken Davies in the Rebels who, encapsulating the true spirit of Horning, took with him a cup and tea and sandwich onboard to enjoy during the race! It was also good to see a number of visiting sailors, including from NBYC and Oulton Broad, one sailor practising a somewhat untimely man overboard drill with their crew on the river from their 470.
Many single race trophies were sailed for, mostly during the morning series, including the YBOD Bath White Trophy won by Toby Pearce in Moon Moth, the Rebel Lion Trophy won by Joe Brown in Rebel Rascal, the Ranworth Salver won by Jack Copping in Timshel, with the Cockshoot Salver won by Hamish Harmer in Crazy Days. The Onyx Trophy for Reedlings was won by Robert Hancock in Siskin, the Landamore Open Regatta Trophy for the Yeoman morning race was won by Roger Hannant in Firefly, with Paul Clarke in Two C’ Sons second.
In extremely lights winds the Watermans Race for those employed in the boating industry was sailed for at lunchtime, won by Ellie Edwards in her Splash – beating a Fireball, Yeoman and White Boat over the water, with the Crystal Salver for Cruisers won by Paul Howes helming Melinda. The Second Horning Challenge Cup for the fastest overall during the lunchtime series was won by Jack Copping in his Enterprise.
Busy both on and off the water, it was also President’s Day, where Regatta President Anne Wagstaff laid on a reception enjoyed by all. During the afternoon series the wind swung around 180 degrees, meaning that competitors sailed upriver on a beat, only to beat back downriver later in the same race.
The evening Water Babies race, which sees under 18s helm Keelboats crewed by under 21s, as always saw a good turnout, with young sailors taking control of Yeomans, Rebels, Yare & Bures and a Reedling. After Jack Barnham, crewed by Izzy Barham-Brown, pulled out an early lead in Rebel H, he was overtaken by Toby Pearce and Jack Copping in Yare & Bure Scarce Copper, but both were overhauled by Edward Wildman and Oscar Norris in Rebel Rascal, who would eventually go on to win both the Water Babies Second Challenge Cup and the Richard Page Memorial Trophy, just 8 seconds separating Rebel Rascal and Scarce Copper on handicap.
Friday saw an unfavourable forecast, meaning that it was questionable as to whether racing would be able to take place at all, but the morning started relatively calm, although numbers on the water were somewhat diminished (perhaps due in part to the disco the previous evening!).
A win in the Reedling morning race secured the series Flight Trophy for Stuart Bailey in Jaws, whilst Kim West won both Rebel races and the Hermes Trophy overall. It was a good day for Toby Pearce, winning two Laser races, and also for Jamie Logsdon with two wins in her Topper, taking the Partridge Trophy and Mike Evans Coronation Medal for her efforts. Roger Hannant, with two wins in the Yeomans, won the Yeoman Trophy overall and the Judith Paris Trophy.
As the winds increased, numbers of entrants starting decreased during the day, with the afternoon cruiser race reduced to two entries, the race being won by George Brewis in Amantani. Gusting 35 mph by the afternoon, this particularly caused chaos in the dinghy fleet, with plenty of capsizes and an Enterprise centreboard becoming casualty to the conditions.
By the evening junior dinghy race it was down to three entries in the increasingly blustery winds – eventually won by Jamie Logsdon in her Topper ahead of Edward Wildman, who came second in his Laser, and Preston Childerhouse third in his Topper, and the final boat to finish, receiving the traditional cannon firing to signify the end of the Regatta Week.
At the end of Horning Week, overall it had been extremely close racing all week with a good spread of trophy winners, no one sailor dominant. All had sailed well during the week in challenging winds, but special mention must go to the fleet of young Topper sailors who went out in all conditions, amazing everyone with their resilience, camaraderie and determination, and keeping smiling despite numerous capsizes.