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Horning Sailing Club Regatta Week 2022

by Holly Hancock 7 Aug 2022 08:47 PDT 30 July - 5 August 2022

Horning Sailing Club enjoyed a brilliant Regatta Week from Saturday 30th July to Friday 5th August with plenty of activity both on and off the water.

Regatta Weekend began on Saturday in warm and humid conditions, with light winds signalling the start of the Club's annual Regatta. Racing this year took place on the River Bure outside the Clubhouse and, as the first warning signal sounded, the wind started to pick up. In a break from tradition, the River Cruisers sailed a downriver race to Ranworth, and were momentarily joined by a Wherry on the start line! The race was won by Peter Goshawk sailing Grayling. There were particularly strong turnouts in the Yeoman and Yare & Bure fleets, with the Means family in Painted Jezebel starting with a convincing lead during the first race, and over the weekend they would go on to win several trophies.

In other fleets, the racing was much closer, particularly amongst the dinghies, which saw very competitive racing in both the Topper (particularly between Abbey Penny and Anya Gittins) and Allcomers B fleets (Lasers and Splashes). As the wind picked up on the run, the finishes were extremely close, just seconds separating many of the competitors. By the second race the winds had picked up further, which caused a few challenges, particularly amongst the dinghies who were capsizing.

The Rebels saw very close racing, with less than 30 seconds separating the whole fleet, and 2nd and 3rd places were just one second apart. After the first two Yeomans finished (Tara & Tanskey), there was a large gap before the remainder of the fleet finished.

On Sunday the day started breezy and damp, but by the start of the first race following the traditional Horning Week Church Service on the Island, the sun was trying to make an appearance. The winds were much gustier and several dinghies capsized on the start line of the first race. A squall part-way through the morning also added to the excitement, with boats regularly swapping places and several coming back flying green flags, denoting that they were taking a time penalty. While the race officers were left wondering what had happened out of sight round the corner, in reality it turned out that many had been caused by competitors touching the racing buoys due to the windy conditions

As the day went on the weather turned more changeable with both sunshine and storm clouds, along with a torrential shower of rain during the start of the afternoon series. Again, finishes were extremely close, with the first three Toppers just moments apart and two photo finishes in the Laser and Yeoman fleets, with the former won by Dominic Copping ahead of Edward Wildman, the latter Toby Fields (Tanskey) ahead of Chris Bolton (Folly), despite Tanskey not flying a spinnaker. The last race series saw a far lighter breeze, with the winds shifting and creating further challenges.

The most drama came from the Rebel fleet, where one spent part of the race in the reeds before managing to continue, whilst the lead boat, Rebel (Kim West) attempted to sail an additional lap on the finishing stretch, allowing Rebel Maid (Kevin Edwards) to take the win.

Overall, the weekend saw Kevin Saunders in Cockatrice (Reedling) take the Old Malthouse Trophy A, Geoff Stubbs in Tara (Yeoman) the Millenium Cup, Kim West in Rebel winning the Harnser Trophy (Rebel), and the Means family in Painted Jezebel (Yare & Bure) taking both the Butterfly Salver and Suzie Heywood Memorial Trophy. The Old Malthouse Trophy B went to Edward Wildman (Laser) and the Gosling Goblet to Abbey Penny, with the Blackhorse Trophy for River Cruisers going to Peter Goshawk in Grayling.

Monday began with light winds and a strong tide, meaning that the popular morning dinghy races were challenging, particularly for those who were racing for the first time, with over 20 dinghies on the water. However, right from the start the young sailors showed huge amounts of determination to finish, something which would become somewhat of a theme throughout the week. After a short postponement, the main series was able to get under way and the fluky conditions caused large gaps in finishing across the fleets.

The Yare & Bure race for the Shield White Admiral Trophy was won by Henry Means sailing Painted Jezebel. The midday Cruiser race saw a good turnout with 11 competitors and, by this time, the breeze had begun to pick up. By the afternoon series, the Bermudan-rigged Allcomers race (mainly Yeomans and Reedlings) were so keen to get away that they started on their five-minute signal, before being called back to restart! As the breeze continued to build, racing became more lively throughout the day. The evening races saw the Allcomers Officers' race for the Officers' Trophy, which saw ex-Commodores of the Club compete, won by Doug Noble helming Rebel Rothay. The Allcomers First Trophy was won by Jill Herring sailing Yeoman Folly Too.

With the line on Tuesday being run by Snowflake Sailing Club, the weather was again breezy and warm, making for exciting racing and great spectating. Despite many boats opting to reef or use smaller rigs, including the Yare & Bures, Rebels and Reedlings, several still ended up taking water onboard. Given the wind direction, it was a beat upriver and run back down, the boats flying spinnakers providing an impressive and colourful sight.

The dinghies also revelled in the conditions, despite several capsizes. Special trophies sailed for included the Lysandra Cup for Yare & Bures, won by Simon Means in Painted Jezebel; the Avis Tankards for Cruisers going to Phil Montague in Pickle; and the evening Mira Tankards scratch race won by Edward Wildman sailing his Laser. The Allcomers Junior race for the Delves Challenge Cup, with helm under 18, was fiercely contended by a host of different boats from keelboats to dinghies, the race being won by Hamish Harmer sailing the smallest boat in the fleet, an RS Tera.

The wind kept up for Wednesday's racing, with the line run by Norfolk Broads Yacht Club. This meant that once more there were plenty of capsizes amongst the dinghies, and the river felt especially busy at the starts. In morning series almost the whole Allcomers B fleet managed to sail the wrong course, giving themselves an additional lap! The morning Yare & Bure race for the Bosun Trophy was won by Liz Goodyear in Chalkhill Blue.

During the course of the day, the winds built to be gusty, and finishes were extremely close across many fleets - including the Rebels, where Rebel Jade (Gary Wright/Amanda Barnes) caught up with Rebel Rothay (Peter/Joe Brown) to finish just behind. In the Toppers, Abbey Penny & Anya Gittins were on course for a photo finish, when Anya spectacularly capsized just before crossing the line. The evening junior race for the Junior Trophy (helm under 18) was won by Abbey Penny sailing a Laser Radial, whilst the Braithwaite Cup for Services & Ex-Services was won by Simon Means sailing Painted Jezebel.

Thursday was the Horning Town Open Regatta, and is colloquially known as "Spoons day", as silver spoons are traditionally awarded for first, second and third place in each race. In contrast to Tuesday and Wednesday, the winds were very light but, despite this, there were good turnouts and racing across the fleets, particularly amongst the Yare & Bures which saw several visiting sailors join in for the day.

There were also several single race trophies sailed for during the day, including the Landamore Open Regatta Trophy for Yeomans which was won by Chris Bolton sailing Folly Too, who finished the length of the river ahead of the next boat. The Rebel Lion Trophy was won by Kevin Edwards in Rebel Maid, whilst the Bath White Trophy was won by Ben Knight sailing Faun. Competition was tight for the Onyx Trophy in the Reedlings, with Ezra Bailey (Jaws) leading Roger Pettit (Osiris) and Kevin Saunders (Cockatrice). However, by the second lap, Jaws and Cockatrice had switched positions, meaning it was Cockatrice who went on to win the trophy. The lunchtime Waterman's race for the Yacht Builder's Challenge Cup was closely contested and, although Jaws helmed by Ezra Bailey crossed the line first, on handicap it was won by Toby Pearce sailing Yare & Bure Kalima.

Edward Wildman sailing his Laser received both the Ranworth Salver and the Second Horning Challenge Cup, the former for his class race, the latter for the best performance across all fleets during the lunchtime race. Abbey Penny sailing her Topper won the Cockshoot Salver, with the Crystal Salver for River Cruisers going to Matt Ellis sailing Breeze.

By the afternoon the wind had swung 180 degrees and continued to drop in strength. The evening series for the Water Babies Challenge Cup once again proved a great spectacle. As a race which sees junior sailors under 18 helm keelboats, crewed by under 21s, the race is always popular and this year's event was no exception, with many of the Club's young sailors taking the opportunity to sail a bigger boat.

After persevering in frustratingly light winds, the race was won by the team of Hamish Harmer and Tallulah Reardon-Burr sailing Yeoman Folly, with Ella Middleton, crewed by Julian Mander and Harrison Ryder, winning the Richard Page Memorial Trophy for first Rebel home. The day also saw the Regatta Presidents - this year Karen & Alastair Fields - award the Original Horning Challenge Cup for "Outstanding Performance on Horning town Open Regatta Day" to 13-year-old Charlie Gould, sailing his Topper.

By Friday, the strong tide was once again causing problems and, as the wind became gustier still, this caught out several sailors at the starts, with, at one point, half of the Yare & Bure fleet over the line when the starting signal sounded. Despite this, the Meadow Brown Trophy was won by Ron Jackson sailing Holly Blue. The wind also proved to be difficult, particularly round the corner from the Clubhouse where it appeared to be coming from both sides of the river and meant that several boats ended up drifting onto the bank. The afternoon race for Mixed One Designs was for the Phiz Trophy, which was won by Kevin Blackwell sailing Rosy Wave.

The Chris Shallcross Memorial Trophy for Cruisers was sailed for on their final race of the week, won by Paul Howes helming Melinda. The evening races were for the Junior Bullard Cup (helm under 18, crew under 21 in dinghies) and the Mary Cup for Novices, both races seeing strong entries; the former was won by Henry Means sailing a Laser Radial, whilst Jill Herring sailing Folly Too made it her second win of the week.

The traditional cannon signalled the end of the week's racing as the last boat finished. Those taking part spanned all ages and some boats had seen three generations racing together. It was particularly encouraging to see the spirit and enthusiasm of the young sailors who supported each other all week - making new friends and just loving being on the water. Overall, it had been a fantastic week's racing and, in the evenings, great socials on the Island.

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