The seasons had most definitely changed for Horning Sailing Club’s Autumn Regatta, the penultimate week of the 2021 season. Held for the very first time, it took place on Hoveton Little Broad with overcast skies and a cool breeze, which began much less in strength than originally forecast. The aim of the morning’s racing was three back-to-back ‘bloodbath’ races, seeing the entire keelboat and dinghy fleets each race in one start. First away were the eleven-strong keelboats. Geoff Stubbs sailing Yeoman Tara soon pulled out an early lead, which he maintained for the race, with Kevin Edwards (Rebel - Rebel Maid) and Kevin Saunders (Reedling - Cockatrice) close behind.
The second race saw both Cockatrice and Tara lead the way, just one second separating them on the finish. On handicap, it was Tara who won, with Toby Fields (Yeoman - Tanskey) second and Cockatrice third. During the break between races a quick backwards sail to check for weed on the rudder paid dividends for Paul Clarke in Two C Sons, who went on to lead much of the third race as the winds started to pick up and the clouds parted, although he was eventually overhauled by Tara shortly before the finish to come in second, with Tanskey third.
In the dinghies, a mixed fleet of ten Toppers, Splashes and Lasers sailed, the races getting livelier as the predicted winds began to build. The first race was won by Preston Childerhouse sailing his Laser Radial. The second race saw the entire fleet have a false start, starting keenly on their five-minute signal! Eventually, Zia Gittins took a win in her Topper, with just seconds separating about half of the fleet. The third race was also won by Zia, with Hamish Harmer (Topper) second and her younger sister Anya (Topper) third.
Next week sees Horning Sailing Club’s End of Season Regatta with racing on Hoveton Little Broad Saturday afternoon and on the River Bure Sunday.