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Get ready for 50th three rivers race

PUBLISHED: 10:14 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:55 30 June 2010

For decades, it has allowed sailors and landlubbers alike to take full advantage of some of Norfolk's most stunning inland waterways while testing the seamanship, navigation and endurance of competitors.

For decades, it has allowed sailors and landlubbers alike to take full advantage of some of Norfolk's most stunning inland waterways while testing the seamanship, navigation and endurance of competitors.

The names of winners go down in Broadland folklore and the camaraderie built passes down generations and across social divides.

And this weekend, history, sport and miles of idyllic rivers will again be joined together in a milestone celebration of the annual Three Rivers Race, Europe's longest inland sailing race.

The race, parts of which can be viewed around the world thanks to a set of web cameras, celebrates its 50th anniversary with the largest number of entrants ever gathered for the gruelling 24 hour challenge.

Competitors will include several who sailed in the inaugural race of 1961, alongside others who will tackle the weaving Broads course of approximately 50 miles for the first time, taking in the Bure, Ant and Thurne.

The invitation only race is expected to feature more than 170 boats, several dozen more than normal, to mark the anniversary year.

Web cams will be operating at the start and finish at Horning Sailing Club, the mediaeval Potter Heigham bridge and Acle Bridge.

The race leaves Horning at 11am on Saturday, with each boat required to visit four checkpoints in any order - near Ludham Bridge, South Walsham Broad, Hickling Broad and a moveable marker between Stokesby and Six Mile House, which can be used to make the course longer or shorter according to weather conditions.

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