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Welland Yacht Club's Alan Cox and Alistair Mitchell compete in the Three Rivers race held by Horning Sailing Club on the Norfolk Broads



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Two members of Welland Yacht Club claimed silverware after taking part at the longest inland sailing race in Europe.

Alan Cox and Alistair Mitchell competed in the 61st annual Three Rivers race, held by Horning Sailing Club on the Norfolk Broads.

They were invited to crew for Boston’s Witham Sailing Club commodore Patrick Cork on his Gem Micra 19ft fast cruising sail boat.

The boats get under way at Horning
The boats get under way at Horning

The race was held over a distance of 50 miles and had to be completed in 24 hours.

There were 101 entries, with Patrick, Alan and Alistair being in the production boat class.

In their class groups, boats were started at 10 minute intervals - with theirs being at 11.25am from Horning Sailing Club.

Getting ready for the start, with Patrick Cork at the helm and Alistair Mitchell in the background
Getting ready for the start, with Patrick Cork at the helm and Alistair Mitchell in the background

They completed the course in 13 hours, being the 41st boat over the finishing line - which gave them 35th position after adjustments.

They were the leading production boat in their class, which won them the Green Ginger Cup trophy that will be presented in September.

They raced very hard, tacking in and out several sail reefs due to the blustery conditions, lowering and raising the mast four times for Potter Heigham and Acle bridge.

The start line of the Three Rivers race at Horning
The start line of the Three Rivers race at Horning

They finally got to bed at 3am, managing a few hours sleep before returning to Horning to take the boat back to Hunters Boat Yard at Womack - where they witnessed boats still coming in only two hours before the finishing time.

Alan said: “The Horning Sailing Club which organises this great spectacular event certainly deserve a pat on the back.

“It really is an amazing race and a great experience to see and take part in.”

A Wayfarer was crowned the overall winner - with Stewart Rix, who has won the Wayfarer Worlds more than once, at the helm.

A combination of bad weather and people’s plans for the Platinum Jubilee meant that there was no racing on the Welland on Sunday.

Anyone wanting to find out more about sailing should contact the club via email secretary@wellandyachtclub.co.uk



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