Three Rivers Race
The Three River
Race began in the 1960's. Organised by the Horning
Sailing Club the sailing crafts race along the rivers Bure, Ant and Thurne in early
The Competitors have to sail to four points on the Broads covering a distance of around 45 miles in a time limit of 24 hours, starting and finishing at Horning.
Some of the crafts cover the distance in under ten hours whilst other slower crafts can take a full day and night to complete the course. On one particular year the weather conditions were so bad that the race had to be abandoned as the river had become littered with submerged crafts
The event is certainly popular, with
cheering spectators (complete with picnics) lining the
route where there is permissible access to the
river. At a moments notice these individuals have
to abandon their vantage point and picnic as a sail
grazes the bank and a boom swings over to
Bends of the river become heavily congested with crafts of all sizes jockeying for position. You will marvel at the expert way these wind driven vessels are handled by their crew as they narrowly miss each other, and the pleasure boats that inadvertently stray into their path.
Commands and shouts of "sail before steam" drift across the choppy waters and frequently the spectators will break into spontaneous applause as a particularly difficult manoeuvre is deftly mastered.
We witnessed some highly colourful language when a hire boat got mixed up in the middle of some complex tacking in the narrow stretch pictured above!
The race is open to sailing dinghies, half-deckers, broads yachts and other sailing cruisers, so you will see all shapes and crew sizes. A most enjoyable spectator event.