Fake News Alert! topic

Malcolm Mellor posted this 03 April 2019

Dear Eastern Area Sailors You may have read in the recently delivered newsletter about problems at Hickling Broad Sailing Club with regards to problems with the Broad silting up and the potential loss of sailing at the Club. Needless to say this came as a huge shock to all 25 of the regular Solo fleet sailing at Hickling. I can categorically confirm that the Broad is not silting up and we are not going to lose competitive sailing! The club has been in existence for 70 years and intends to keep going for at least another 70. We get large turnouts for racing from our members mainly because Hickling is a great place to sail - largest of all the broads and surrounded by reed beds rather than trees, providing consistent winds. The club has had an issue with weed growth over the last few years and this had an impact on our Open meeting last year - currently the Broad is weed free and we have moved our Open forward this year to minimise any impact if the weed was to return. Work being done by the Broads Authority which commenced this winter(featured on a recent Countryfile episode) to rebuild a large reed beed and which includes pumping 10,000 cubic metres of mud from the broad to form the reed bed will further improve sailing at the club. We hope to welcome as many vsiting Solos as possible to our Open event on 1st June and ensure you that you will have an enjoyable and hopefully lively (if the wind obliges) sail at Hickling.

Regards Malcolm Mellor HBSC Sailing Sec & Solo 5405

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Ian Ayres posted this 22 April 2019

I am afraid I have to agree with Steve. I've sailed at Hickling opens / regattas regularly in both my Solo and my Leader and it is undoubtedly a lovely piece of water. Given the chance I will be going for a social sail on the broad this year the week or so before the open before I decide whether or not to enter, as last year it really was almost impossible to set a race course, particularly to get a start away. I appreciate the event has been moved forwards so fingers crossed, and having sailed on the broad today there is no sign of the weed rising yet!

Steve Ede posted this 12 April 2019

I absolutely agree that Hickling is a lovely place - I've won the event a few times myself. But to give some balance to the glowing praise from others, on most of the broad you can't have you centreboard fully down because it's too shallow. In addition, the last time I sailed there you had to have your rudder half way up because of the weed. Both points rather detract from the sailing experience.

Godfrey Clark posted this 11 April 2019

I can only apologise for the 'fake news' in this case and am sure that the magazine article wont prejudice this seasons Open event. As a previous winner of the Hickling open I was saddened to hear what I was told at the end of last season. I was asked by a couple of Eastern travellers to drop Hickling from the Eastern series on the grounds stated, but decided to make the trip this year and see for myself just how difficult racing had become and thereafter decide on the 2020 program. I'll look forward to seeing you all at Hicking on 1st June and continue to regard with a measure of sceptism, the views of those who have clearly had "a bad day at the office". Cheers Godfrey S4801 (Eastern Area)

Philip Atherton posted this 08 April 2019

I have raced most Sundays for over thirty years on Hickling Broad. My sailing cruiser is also moored at Hickling Broad so I know this water extremely well and have no knowledge of “silting up”. The last couple of years there has been some weed growth but all we did was bring in our racing marks away from the edges towards the main channel, it did not affect our sailing programme at all. No sign of weed growth so far this year. The Broads Authority have a statutory obligation to maintain navigation across the Broad for all, including larger craft, hire boats etc so have an ongoing dredging programme so the main channel areas are massively deep. We are an RYA Recognised Teaching Centre, inspected regularly for both dinghy sailing and power boats. We are pleased to host many open events each season, including later this year the prestigious Broadland Youth Regatta which attracts in excess of 120 dinghies. The largest inland sailing race in Europe: the “Three Rivers” which is 75% keel boats place their turning mark in front of our Club House and moor their guard boat to our pontoons. Solo sailing at HBSC is very strong with well over 20 in our fleet and growing rapidly, even some youngsters are coming out of Lasers into Solos, which is excellent.

Competitive sailing is thriving at Hickling.

Phil Atherton Solo 4589

Guy Mayger posted this 05 April 2019

Hi Malcolm, Very pleased to read this. I guess this was the info Godfrey had at the time he sent me his report and then it took a little while to get this to the printed/postage stage of the magazine. If you'd like to post this on the Facebook page that would also get the message out or if you'd like me to do it just say :-) Cheers, Guy 5691 and Mag editor (for my sins!)

Roger Wilson posted this 05 April 2019

Good post. I was surprised when I read this myself. Hickling remains a loverly place to sail solos.

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