An historic sailing club is back at the helm of a popular Norfolk Broads regatta after almost nine decades.

Great Yarmouth Yacht Club is organising this year's Acle Regatta for the first time in 87 years.

The club launched the event in 1890 and it was a popular fixture on the Broads calendar, attracting up to 150 sailing boats, some with professional crews.

It also drew large crowds, with schools given the day off so children could attend, and fun fairs and carnival activities organised on the banks of the Bure.

Wagers on the races saw bets of hundreds of guineas (more than £10,000 today) placed.

Great Yarmouth Mercury:  A Yare and Bure One Design - one of the classes returning to the regatta A Yare and Bure One Design - one of the classes returning to the regatta (Image: Supplied)

READ MORE: Micropub and brewery collaborate to support LGBTQ heritage

The regatta continued until 1937.

The following year, Great Yarmouth Yacht Club merged with three other clubs to form the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club, based on Wroxham Broad, and the Acle event was scrapped.

It was later revived in 1978 when five men, including the then landlord of the Acle Bridge Inn, formed Acle Sailing Club, to reinstate the regatta and raise money for charity.

The event has continued since then, raising more than £20,000 for good causes.

But Acle Sailing Club members are now handing the helm back to Great Yarmouth Yacht Club, which itself was only re-established 10 years ago.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: A Norfolk Punt, one of the classes returning to the Acle RegattaA Norfolk Punt, one of the classes returning to the Acle Regatta (Image: Submitted)

The regatta will be held on May 18-19, with races for keelboats and river cruisers held upstream of Acle Bridge.

The event is the first open regatta of the season and in recent years has only been for cruisers.

READ MORE: Cromer RNLI operations manager steps down after successful tenure

But the new organisers are keen to restore the racing programme of yesteryear, by offering races for other vessels, including Broads One Designs, Yare and Bure One Designs, Great Yarmouth One Designs, half deckers, International dinghies, Norfolk Punts and Norfolk One Designs.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: River cruisers racing on Wroxham BroadRiver cruisers racing on Wroxham Broad (Image: Newsquest)

READ MORE: Festival to support county-based youth charity

Malcolm Duffield, regatta officer, said: “Acle is an important regatta in the sailing calendar as it is the first opportunity to get river cruiser handicaps ratified before the following week’s major Thurne Mouth Open Regatta on the Spring Bank Holiday.

"On behalf of the Broads sailing community we wish to thank Acle Sailing Club for their hard work over last 46 years.”

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Norfolk One Designs, one of the classes returning to AcleNorfolk One Designs, one of the classes returning to Acle (Image: Submitted)


Entry fees are £15 per boat for the whole weekend, with all profits going to charity.

Races will start at 13.30 and 15.30 on Saturday and 10.30 and 12.30 on Sunday.

There will be trophies and beer to be won for all races, including the Acle Regatta shield for the overall winner.

An evening event will be held at Acle Bridge Inn on Saturday with a fixed menu.