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Horning Sailing Club Junior Regatta and Open Dinghy Weekend

by Holly Hancock 19 Sep 07:36 BST 16 September 2023
Horning Sailing Club Junior Regatta and Open Dinghy Weekend © Holly Hancock

Horning Sailing Club's Junior Regatta, held on Saturday 16 September, was a fitting culmination to the season's training activities and also a celebration of 20 years of the Club's Training Centre. Attended by almost 30 young people, from those in their first season of sailing to those who have recently passed their Dinghy Instructor course, it was a perfect day on the water with sunshine and breeze and a great opportunity to put skills into practice.

With four fleets on the water, from Optimists and Teras to Toppers, Splashes and Lasers, there was a real mix of ages and abilities enjoying the racing. As the breeze picked up there were several capsizes and unintended swims but by the end of the day - and as it warmed up, there were several intentional swims too!

First fleet away were the most experienced racers, the 10-strong fleet sailing Lasers and Splashes. Three wins and a second place were enough for Hamish Harmer to secure the day overall, ahead of Anya Gittins who was second (Splash) and James Street (third - Laser Radial). Over the day, Tallulah Reardon-Burr also scored a second place in her Laser Radial.

The next groups were split into Gold and Silver fleets. The Gold Fleet had more experience, whilst the Silver Fleet were relatively new to racing. Toppers raced in the Gold Fleet, and in first place overall was Charlie Gould with two first and two second places; Lily Herring was second overall and sister Jasmine Herring third.

The Silver Fleet saw a mix of 9 craft - Teras, Toppers and a Splash- sail. After four races, first was Sofya Collins sailing her Splash, second was Oliver Besant sailing a Topper, and third was Isla Frary sailing a Tera. In the same fleet Anna Russell also received a second place sailing a Topper 4.2.

The youngest sailors had recently passed their RYA Stage 1 qualification, and their activities were all about building confidence on the water, sailing a simple course. After four races, Darcy Hardingham made it four first places to win the fleet overall, fresh from recently managing a solo sail from Salhouse Broad to Horning in her Optimist. Second overall was Alfie Enever, also sailing an Optimist, with four second places. Third overall was Isla Johnson.

The Endeavour Trophy was awarded to 11-year-old Xanthe Harmer in the Silver Fleet, who had persevered despite spending more time in the water than on her Topper!

During the afternoon, several more sailors joined in to compete in Open Dinghy Weekend, Edward Wildman winning the final race in his Laser. Racing for this event continued on Sunday on Hoveton Little Broad, in rather damp and overcast conditions. Three races were completed, and three further wins for Jasmine Herring in the Toppers won her the Cadet trophy for Allcomers C under 16 years and also the Kingfisher Trophy for Allcomers C overall, whilst a further two wins in the Allcomers B fleet secured Hamish Harmer the Hannant Trophy sailing his Splash, with Edward Wildman (Laser) second, and Anya Gittins (Splash) third. Another win for Edward won him the Tino Trophy for Lasers, with James Street second, and James Pettit third.

The Club's Training section started back in 2003, when one of the Club's younger members, Holly Hancock, then aged 14, wrote to the Management Committee to ask if the juniors could have something to do whilst their parents raced. With the support of her family, the Committee and the then-Commodore, the training came into existence. That first year started with just 6 juniors, some of whom continue to instruct with the Centre today - one even has her daughter sailing with the Club now. A year later, in 2004, it became an RYA Recognised Training Centre, with Holly's Dad Robert as Principal. Over the years the Training Centre has supported numerous young people and adults on their sailing journey, and received immense support from many volunteers and organisations - and it is fantastic to see this legacy still going strong twenty years on. The Club now has a substantial fleet of Training boats, and its flagship training boat "Bure Magic" which was funded through a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The current Principal, Andy Barnham, joined the Club through his son learning to sail through the Training Centre, and three of the club's four current Flag Officers came through training too.

To find out more about training at Horning Sailing Club visit

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