Three Rivers race winner for second time in six years
by our Yachting Correspondent (1966)
Reproduced courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press
For the second time since the event was started in 1961, Hugh Tusting, in Brimstone, won the gruelling Three Rivers Race organised by Horning Sailing Club at the week-end.
Tusting’s time of nine and-a-half hours was half-an-hour outside the record he set up when he won the first Three Rivers Race. His Yare and Bure was also the first boat home – about 20 minutes in front of Rebel Sailor, sailed by Mr Dick Ward, son of the Horning Club Commodore, who gained second place in the race.
A Yare and Bure Marmoress, sailed by J.S. Means, which was the fifth boat to finish, was third. There were 53 starters.
To win the race Tusting took something of a gamble on the tide being between an hour and a-half and two hours late in turning. Along with Rebel Sailor and eight other boats he chose to sail along the Bure, up the Thurne and across Hickling Broad.
This meant that if the tide tables were correct he would be beating against the tide to Acle Bridge with barely a puff of wind – it dropped considerably during the late afternoon – to help him.
In fact Brimstone was only a short distance from her final marker on the Lower Bure before the tide did turn and only ten minutes was spent beating against it. Once round there was a long run with the tide up to Thurne Mouth.
But in order to obtain the full benefit of the wind across Hickling – it was gusting up to 20 m.p.h. from the south-west when the 53 boats competing left – Tusting chose to ignore the short legs up to Ludham and down to South Walsham and had to take them in on his return sail.
Even when Brimstone and Rebel [sic] had reached Thurne Mouth on the return it was not quite clear whether they were in fact comfortably in the lead. Strong competition was expected from Walter Fischer in Fortuna.
Fischer had sailed the more popular course – down to Acle Bridge and then up to Hickling and having taken in the Ludham and South Walsham legs and left himself a long sail down the Bure.
Unfortunately he broke a main halyard at Potter Heigham and lost valuable time carrying out repairs. But despite this misfortune Fortuna was the third boat home.
Of the 53 entries 24 were from the Horning Sailing Club. There were 26 helmsmen who had never sailed in the race before and entries were received from as far away as York, Slough, Rugby and London.
Only two boats – both cruisers – failed to finish. The last boats in were three cruisers which all arrived within quarter of an hour of each other between 9 a.m. and 9.15 a.m. yesterday.
Civil Defence volunteers manned four launches and were at four points on the river bank and radioed the position of boats to the sailing club.
The trophy for the first Club sailing dinghy was won by Peter George in Flirtatious.
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