Yachtsmen battle under Broadland sunshine
by our Yachting Correspondent (1985)
Reproduced courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press
Norfolk yachtsmen sizzled in the weekend sun as over 120 helmsmen battled out the Broads’ overnight marathon – the Three Rivers Race.
The contest is hailed as one of the toughest on the yachting calendar.
It was two of Norfolk’s best helmsmen who overcame the searing heat and light twilight airs to collect the major honours.
David Mackley steered his Norfolk dinghy Wee Simby to victory on handicap – and lifted the impressive Three Rivers Trophy. Fastest boat round the course was Patrick Richardson’s Slipstream Spindrift. He collected line honours after a 14 hour 59 minute passage.
The three rivers course allows yachtsmen a choice of route – although they had to round buoys on Hickling Broad, South Walsham Broad, at Ludham and on the Bure at Six Mile House.
Boats of all classes crossed the start line at Horning on Saturday – and all but eight of more than 120 finished.
Conditions were just about ideal for sailing during the day, but as darkness fell, the wind dropped, leaving many stranded midriver.
Those nearer the coast at nightfall gained valuable ground, using sea breezes to aid their cause.
Race controller Mr Derrick Howes, of Horning Sailing Club, was delighted with the contest.
“I think everyone had a marvellous time. The weather was superb – in fact, I think one or two people retired because of two [sic] much sun.”
The Three Rivers Race is the longest passage race on the Broads and it gives smaller craft a chance to battle it out with large boats.
Handicapping systems levelled great graceful sailing cruisers and tiny Enterprise dinghies.
Luck plays a large part in the contest, though the experienced Norfolk helmsmen used their knowledge of winds and tide times to steal valuable minutes.
===RESULTS=== – Three Rivers Trophy – Wee Simby (D. Mackley); Elias Trophy (for fastest boat) – Spindrift (P. Richardson); Bosuns Call A – Spindrift; Bosuns Call B – Wee Simby; Melody Trophy for first cruiser home – Pippa (Geoff Angell); Peter Cummins Tankard (first non-Horning SC member) – Wee Simby; Puffin Trophy (first Half Decker) – Felspar (T. Lewis); Trudi Memorial Trophy (first Horning SC member home) – Chippers Mate (C. Bunn).
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