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Horning Sailing Club Regatta Week 2018

by Holly Hancock 7 Aug 2018 08:36 BST 28 July - 3 August 2018
Horning Sailing Club Regatta Week © Holly Hancock

It was a flying start to Horning Sailing Club's Regatta Weekend with a breezy weekend's racing on Hoveton Little Broad. With winds gusting over 37 knots it did affect the turnout somewhat, but those that raced enjoyed the blustery conditions, sailing with reefed mainsails and storm jibs.

Simon and Heidi Means made it a clean sweep in the Yare & Bures, winning four races, after Dominic Copping almost filled up his boat, whilst Roger Hannant took three wins in the Yeomans. Racing was more split amongst the dinghies, with most of the fleet winning a race at some point, although racing ended abruptly for Kim West, having capsized and broken his mast.

Monday began dull and damp, in complete contrast to the beautiful conditions seen so far this summer. In keeping with the weekend it was also gusty, particularly during the afternoon where the lively conditions forced several retirements. The morning's dinghy races were well attended, particularly in the Allcomers B fleet, where a large number of Splashes and Lasers took part. With results split across the fleet, the closest race saw just three seconds separate the Splashes of Jack Barnham, James Pettit and Ellie Edwards for first, second and third respectively. Another strong fleet was the Yare & Bure One Designs, with seven taking part. The evening Officers' Race was won by Kevin Edwards helming Rebel Maid.

Tuesday started thundery with heavy downpours and cooler weather than that seen on Monday. However, as the first boats took to the water the skies cleared to reveal blue skies and wall-to-wall sunshine. With the line hosted by Snowflake Sailing Club, there was close racing on the water throughout the day. Winners were relatively spread amongst the fleets, with no single boat or sailor dominating in any class, except for the Toppers where Josh Means won three of the four races plus the evening Junior under 18 helm, with brothers Henry and Ollie never far behind. The Miras Tankards evening scratch race were won by Stuart Bailey and Andy Barnham sailing Jaws after the rest of the competitors took the wrong course!

Wednesday saw sunny and hot weather to start the day, with very light winds to begin, but the breeze quickly filled in to provide perfect conditions. By Wednesday, sailors were beginning to cement their places in fleets, with Josh winning another four races in the Allcomers C fleet, whilst Andrew Gallant and Roger Hannant established themselves as battling it out for the top positions in the Yeomans, whilst Peter and Joe Brown did the same in the Rebels. Ron Jackson, Phil Montague and Simon Means were hotly contesting the 11-strong YBOD fleet. In fitting with tradition, the Rebel fleet were rebellious, starting their afternoon race to leave for a picnic on the Broad. The evening Services and Ex-Services Race saw Ron just edge the lead over Simon, whilst Edward Wildman sailing with Jack Barnham in a Fireball won the evening Junior Race.

As Horning Town Open Regatta, Thursday saw the biggest turnout of the week, combined with light winds and a very busy river. The closest race of the day was the morning Reedling race, where Derek Jones, Stuart Bailey and Robert Hancock had all been extremely close throughout the race, before Robert overtook on the final stretch in a photo-finish, just one second ahead of Stuart, to take the Onyx Trophy. Dick Angier sailing Pania was able to get away from the remainder of the Yeomans to win the morning race and the Landamore Trophy, before Roger Hannant returned to form in the afternoon, winning two races. Joe and Peter Brown had stiff competition in the seven-strong Rebel fleet from Anna Bunn, each winning a race, whilst the usual battle between Simon and Ron resumed in the YBODs, each taking a win. In the nine-strong Cruiser fleet, George Brewis won the lunchtime race, making it his third win of the week so far. A highlight for many is the evening Water Babies race, with the helm under 18, crew under 21, sailed for in keelboats. This year, some 8 boats entered, representing all the keelboat classes. Although Joel and Ezra Bailey sailing Reedling 'Jaws' were first over the line, on handicap they were overtaken by Josh Means and Joe Brown in Rebel Rothay, with Kathryn and James Pettit third in Yeoman Tiger Moth. The Original Horning Challenge Cup is also awarded on the Day to the person (in the view of the Regatta Day President) who has the most outstanding performance on the day, and in 2018 went to Club President Alex Humphris, who was on the water all day sailing Lucky Rebel, having taken part in most Horning Weeks since he joined the Club in 1954.

Friday concluded a great week's sailing with pleasant conditions. The Allcomers B fleet saw sisters Pippa and Ellie Edwards taking a race each, with Jack Copping also winning a race in his Enterprise. The Allcomers C fleet was also split, with Jasper Richardson, Abbey Penny, James Tooke and James Street each winning a race in their Toppers. The remainder of the fleets saw the usual battles resume. The evening junior dinghy race was won by Jack Barnham sailing his Splash ahead of Jasper's Topper. The day finished with the fantastic news that one of Horning's young sailors, Toby Pearce, had come third in the Topper Nationals – to a huge cheer in the clubhouse! As always, it was encouraging to see many of the junior sailors taking part in their first regatta week, showing great determination, perseverance and sportsmanship – congratulations to them all.

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