Sailors take to the water for the 60th Three Rivers Race

Boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden

Boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

A unique and nationally-acclaimed inland sailing race made a triumphant return to the Norfolk Broads. 

And, after being forced to take a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the famous Three Rivers Race was back on Saturday for its 60th anniversary.

Boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden

Boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

Hosted by Horning Sailing Club, the inaugural event was held in 1961 and challenges sailors to complete a 50-mile circular route from Horning Sailing Club.

The route, which must be completed in 24 hours, takes in the Bure, Ant and Thurne rivers.

It also requires sailors to navigate three bridges, at Ludham, Potter Heigham and Acle, a test of skill that sees sailors lower masts as efficiently as possible in order not to lose time.

Ann Clarke, race committee, Toby Fields, commentator and race committee, Karen Fields, time keeper a

Ann Clarke, race committee, Toby Fields, commentator and race committee, Karen Fields, time keeper and race committee, Graham Bunn, race startet, Robert Cutting, race starter, and Ian Bray, race officer at the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant


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Holly Hancock, the commodore of Horning Sailing Club, said more than 100 boats were competing in 2021's race within half an hour of the last start at 12.20 pm most of them had left the village.

She said after being unable to hold the race in 2020, it was great to be able to welcome sailors back. 

Spectators watching the boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race.

Spectators watching the boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

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Miss Hancock said: "We have found that because it's sailing and it's outside that's really good for the purposed of keeping people separated.

"The spectators have been really good too, we were a little bit concerned with the current conditions."

Boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden

Boats at the start line, at Horning Sailing Club, of the Three Rivers Race. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

She said with lots of people turning out to watch the race, and taking a seat on the riverbanks to see sailors sett off, there had been a buzz around Horning on the morning of the race.

"It's a really unique challenge, it's something most sailors will do at least once. There are so many aspects to it.

"It's a real test of seamanship and something for everybody, and so good as far as the legacy is concerned that after 60 years we are still going strong.

"It's such a unique race and we're so pleased to be running it this year because it's one of the major events on the Broads."

Light winds on Saturday meant the first competitors were expected to cross the finish line around midnight.


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