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Rivers Bure, Ant And Thurne 3rd 4th June 2023.


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If you are on those rivers on those days. This is important.

It's the 3 Rivers Race. You may wish to avoid watch or just get through without trouble.

it starts at Horning weather permitting at 11:00, with roughly 10 boats heading down river every 5 minutes through to 12:30. Up to 150 sailing boats from 14 ft dinghies to 40ft sailing cruisers. The course map is below , they can go round the course in any order they like.


This year, it's likely 

the fast boats if there is enough wind  will go to Hickling first.

The the majority of boats are likely to do the Ludham bridge, south Walsham, and Acle legs in that order.

Due to the start being 2 hours before high tide, there are likely to be traffic jams in Horning from the Swan inn to Cockshoot dyke, and on the river Ant from its entrance up to Ludham bridge, from 11:00 at Nothing through to 14:00 at Ludham bridge.

If you are a new hirer or inexperienced in any boating way I sincerely recommend you avoid that area at that time.

If you wish to watch, then by land the best places are.

Horning, The Swan Green and pub, to watch the start. The New Inn, the Ferry Inn.,

A Hundred yards down on the river bank from Ludham bridge .

if you fancy a walk then across the fields to St Benets straight,

The ever popular Potter Heigham Bridge, 

Acle Bridge, 

The end of Thurne lion dyke.

to watch by boat.

limited moorings in Horning, Cockshoot dyke. Horning church, Potter Heigham, Thurne lion dyke

More chance of space on st Benets Straight. Or near Acle Bridge.

Advice on getting through the fleet in the next posting.

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And for those afloat some advice.

First, nothing mentioned countermands navigation regulations, which for the sea going among you IS  NOT Colregs or as it is now IRPCAS, it is, by law, the Broads navigation regulations which are published here.. https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/navigating-the-broads/byelaws-and-speed-limits similar in meaning but not quite the same.

You have the right to navigate almost anywhere on the broads   it's just there are sometimes better choices.

Saying the above even as an experienced sailor and motorboater, I would avoid the river at Horning 10:30 to 13:00 and the river Ant 12:00 to 14:00 on Saturday 3rd of June.

But if you must....

At the start line.

 This is across the river from Horning sailing club to the other bank , often at a sharp angle up river due to the wind direction. About 100 yards up river of the start line is a buoy. It's likely when you arrive you'll see three groups of boats ,

One, a group sailing between the buoy and the start line they are due to start within 5 minutes

Two, a group sailing around, just up river of the buoy , they start 5 minutes after the first group,

Three. The rest mostly tied up to the bank or sailing further up river waiting for their turn.


So, to get through if arriving from Wroxham direction, keep right within 6 ft (2M ) of the bank or a moored craft.

Slowly edge forward down the bank until the group of boats moves forward round the corner, often they will move toward the left hand bank,  once round ,  that should give you room to get through.  If they don't all, you can do is follow them till a gap on the right opens and you can gently overtake.

If you arrive going up river, with a bunch of boats coming towards you, slow down, if the the other bank is clear of sailing and motor boats cross to that side for as short as time as is safe.

If the other bank is not clear, keep close to the bank within 6ft, so you don't get boats both sides of you, and come to a stop or dead slow. They are much more manoeuvrable than you are, let them work their way past you, they will be close, within six inches, but they don't want to damage their boats which are fragile compared to a motor boat.

When they have gone past, go forward as normal till you meet the next group of boats.


Out on the Rivers and Broads.

Keep right within 6 foot of the bank ( or deep water channel posts), except at Thurne mouth where it's a bit shallow on the corners.

If a or a group of boats is sailing slowly with sterns towards you keep right, over take when a gap appears.

If a group of boats is sailing bows towards you, keep right unless there is nothing on the left hand side only then cross to the wrong side of the river. If there is no gap slow down to a near halt, within 6 ft of the bank let them sail around you.

If a or a group of boats is tacking ( zigzagging) in your direction of travel, keep right, come up behind the last boat , as they  turn away from the right hand bank , go forward , till you reach the next boat, that may cross in front of you but just hold back enough to then go forward as they turn way from the right hand bank. Do not worry if a boat comes across aiming for your side they will turn away.

If a boat or group of boats is tacking towards you. Slow right down, if possible stop within 6 ft of the right hand bank. Let them tack past you. They are more manoeuvrable than you are. They will get very close.

Hopefully you'll enjoy a nice day out. Watching the sailing boats go by. But...

In the unlikely event of something untoward happening, please take a note of the sail number and letter and the broads registration number, it's no good contacting the club saying it was a white coloured boat with white sails, that's most of them.


Any questions? Just ask...





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

One weeks time I'll be heading to Hickling broad to set up the guardship. The clubhouse will be full of people scoffing bacon butties and coffee. Then they discuss plans for the race.

Current indications are it will still be a north easterly, which will be fun with the wind coming over Horning as they sail down the street.

170 ish hours to go.

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Just 27 hours to go, the guardships collect their equipment this afternoon,.

Forecast North Easterly, 12 to 16 mph, gusting 22. Could be a fast race once boats are clear of Horning, with many boats heading for Hickling first.

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