By Ian Bred, Norfolk Correspondent
Twenty yachts have gone missing after Norfolk’s first ‘Race To The Horizon’ event ended in disaster.
There are now fears for more than 50 crew members who could be anywhere in the North Sea.
The race was launched with much publicity last week.
But once the boats set off from Wells-next-the-Sea they just kept going, and nothing has been seen of them since.
Race organiser Lorraine Fisher, 34, said: “Everyone expected the boats to reach the horizon in around three miles and come back again.
“It should only have taken an experienced skipper a few hours in decent wind conditions.
“But we watched aghast as, one by one, each boat disappeared over the horizon, never to be seen again.”
When asked why the crews had not been contacted by radio to be told of their mistake, Ms Fisher, 34, gave a worrying reply.
“What’s a radio?”
The Royal Yachting Association, Britain’s governing body, is now investigating how Norfolk was given permission to race.
“Modern navigation and understanding that the world is round have not reached Norfolk yet. That’s why boating there is usually restricted to the Norfolk Broads.”
One of the yacht skippers, Bubba Spuckler from Downham Market, told relatives he had been looking forward to the race to the horizon but would be taking it carefully because he didn’t want his boat to fall off the end of the world.