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TheQ

3 Rivers Race 2019

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gosh, on the tour webcam it moved to downstream, with two coming up river then something hoves into view with a sail way taller than the rest

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The HW cam is oarsome. The live streaming (or rivering) makes it almost feel like you can sense the effort required to paddle through. Think I saw the Glory spin through but moving that quick I couldn’t read the transom!

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It is so good to see.    That old breeze is getting up and the competitors are whipping along.

I dont know what happened to this so called 'heatwave' though.

 

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16 hours ago, Hylander said:

I dont know what happened to this so called 'heatwave' though.

26 degrees in Wroxham yesterday, humid too. 

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I took a quick look at the new HW webcam very late last night and could make out some sailing boats on the river just by the yard.

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47 minutes ago, vanessan said:

26 degrees in Wroxham yesterday, humid too. 

Well to cut a long story short.  I plonked myself out on the sun chair about 2 in my shorts , got my book to read,  sat there about 1/4 hr and went in as there was no sun and a cool breeze , that was at Worlingham.    Glad it was a lovely hot day somewhere.   Certainly no humidity.

 

 

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Here are some shots of the action from Potter Heigham

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We went down to Ludham, about 1330 and there was nothing about, so we went through the bridge and moored on the farm moorings just below the bends.

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All of a sudden everyone started arriving and we began to realise that our mooring, although quite normal, was restricting the width of the river when boats were tacking. By then the raters suddenly arrived and we were stuck there! 

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As soon as we could see a gap in the traffic we cast off and scuttled back under the bridge again!

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This was the view from Ludham bridge, about 1430.

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On the way back we came across the wherry Hathor just raising sail, south of Instead. We hoped she wasn't going down through the bridge, among that lot!

 

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Thanks for the pictures folks I failed on that aspect. 

So here's some words. My log of the night.. 

A few notes of the race as recorded at Hickling broad. 
As it turned out 108 boats had entered but 6 withdrew before the start. 
10:30 Set up buoy and sat in rescue boat at Hickling broad buoy, closer to entrance than normal. Just near the end of the first island in Hickling  Broad. 
10:50 guardship arrives Janet 5 loaned by Martham boats,  very nice it is too. 
11:00 race starts
11:20 first 4 starts gone but some drifting back to start line,  rest of starts postponed. 
Delay turns out to be 55 minutes.... 1 boat took an hour to cross the start line
13:20 Last start 
13:43: first 5 boats at Ludham bridge check point. 
13:45 A punt has a confidence crisis,  persuaded to carry on at least till they’ve past the first check point.
14:00 very nice vegetable curry arrives from Hickling sailing club. 
14:03 first boats at south walsham
14:05 DNS list 6 boats,  2 punts and 4 keelboats... 
14:15 main fleets pouring round ludham buoy,  Thames A rater retires torn mainsail last year’s winner!!! 
14:20 first boats at Thurne mouth. Heading toward us.. 
14:40 last start boats reach ludham .
15:00 first boats at Potter heigham bridge. 
15:15 first boats at martham
15:37 first boats at hickling,  A rater,  some confusion two boat go past both of classes that are competing.. But they weren’t .
16:05 boat just leaving cockshoot broad
16::00 is boats coming through at more than 1 a minute. 
16:38 punt retires too knackered to go on,  it’s tacking all the way from thurne mouth to the lower bure buoy. 
16:50 we’ve seen 1/3 of boats.. 
17:00 it’s now gone quiet,  the boats were taking  15 minutes to get here from martham,  but 45 minutes to tack back.  It appears that 1/3 of boats have chosen to fight the tide to get here,  in the hope of doing a 3 tide race.  The rest have gone to the lower bure buoy  first which for them will be a 4 tide race. 
.17:00, 999 call to Acle , lady hit by dropping mast. Lady conscious  glancing blow.. 
17:00 punt lost its rudder,  it been picked up by another boat,  rescue boat try to catch up then going to tow punt. 
17:54 wayfarer  capsized,  sorted themselves out,  continuing in race. 
18:06 another punt retired too knackered to carry on. 
18:21, punt and rudder reunited,  punt being towed back to base. 
18:40, 26C we never saw it,  it now getting very chilly especially as I’ve got to have the windward window open,  to hear the competitors shout out their race numbers as they go past.. I’ve got my winter waterproofs on. 
19:15 boats on their way back to Horning .
20:07 half the fleet seen. 
20:22 Thames A rater Osprey ...first home they started at 12:55.
21:00 Star Class crew overboard at Acle bridge injured hand, lifejacket worked.. Bang.. Lent one to continue. 
21:30 only 22 boats still running that we haven’t seen it looks like many of the boats that chose to do hickling have got caught by the tide at stokesby , quite a few retirements. 
21:40 punt crew went for a swim at Acle,  they are continuing. U
23:08 just 10 boats left to see
01:42 cramp.. Sat up with a start,  glasses on top head hit underside of side deck,  ex glasses..  Still boats retiring out there but they’re ones we’ve seen. 
01:59 after 4 hours of light wind it’s definitely increasing maybe  we’ll see some boats soon we’ve seen nothing since 23:54.
04:33 the sun is all but up. . Down to Six boats to see,  because the others retired... No sails in sight. 
07:20 they’re trying to persuade 4 of our boats not seen to retire,  as they have no chance of finishing
We can see one of the two that may finish. 
One of the slowest boats took 7 hours to reach Ludham from horning!!!!,  I’ve done that in the past in one hour in a slowest handicap boat. 

07:28 The second to last boat we’ll see just went past.. It has emblazoned on the sail... 

Sail fast. ..

 


07:46 Just one boat to see as all others have been here,  or retired... 39 retirements this year, mostly from getting their choice of course wrong, against the tide. 
08:02 our last boat... Time to go back to the club for breakfast
8:30 at hickling sailing club loading landrover 
9:00 leave for Horning SC
11:30 landrover unloaded,  breakfast had.. Time for bed and home. 


 

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Great photos from Oldgregg and from Vaughan. And thanks for such a wonderful insight into the race from TheQ. A fascinating read.

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The photos being posted (plus on FB) are fantastic - I took the camera and wide angled lens with the intention of taking lots of photos.  That failed after a few minutes of the first boats passing. This is a bit of an essay but at least its keeping me awake!

For the last few years, Water Rail has been one of two guard ships at Thurne.  We note times of all boats going to Acle, either from Horning or from Hickling and then any boats returning via Acle to Horning.  It sounds a bit complicated and confusing, which it is and generally means competitors call their numbers out twice but it does work!!

We got to Thurne and were moored up just before the start sequence began at 11 so quickly checked with radio control that they could hear us.  Luckily they could - this wasn't the case with all guard ships this year.  You only need a church tower in the way somewhere and the problems start.

So we waited, and then as per Q, we heard about the postponement.  My eldest daughter is watching all the activity on the webcams where she lives in Wales and is texting me with updates and off course we could hear radio control giving out instructions.

The night before in the pub, everyone was saying they were going to Hickling first, so we thought we really do have the short straw this year as this means we have to wait for all the slow boats to get back from Acle before going home!  Well so we thought, all the early starts went up to Hickling bar just a few boats, so it was really quite quiet.  Then suddenly we are looking at one of the competitors and we realise they are tacking to come down the Bure, then another, and another.............and so it went.  Most were on the far bank, most were going very fast and there was a lot of noise from the rigging and sails, not only from the competitors but also overtaking motor cruisers. It was at some moments, as much as we could do to just note the sail number as we couldn't hear all the race numbers...........when I radioed in the times, I had a backlog of about 30 boats. I should say we use binoculars and know what boats are approaching but it's still difficult when they start coming past and when darkness comes they are of no use!

It really was quite an experience - this was my 10th time as guard ship and I had never had an afternoon like this.  Because next we started to get the boats coming back and in return those now going to Acle from Hickling and the occasional straggler.  We had three punts apparently tossing a coin to see which way they should go and for several seconds it seemed milling around in circles not able to make their minds up! Then the wind started to drop, the tide turned and as Q said nearly all the boats now down in the Acle sector stopped moving, a fair number opting on retirement.   I did wonder if the Stokesby Ferry ran out of beer but most opted to come home. However, once they turned round, they could sail and now it was dark and we are watching the river for navigation lights, trying to work out which boats were going where and in the midst of them boats that had retired some were still sailing. At this point it is also getting chilly at Thurne; it's dark, tiredness creeps in and it's time for one of us to try and get some sleep during the quiet of the night!!!!

What quiet (as posted on FB!)  we had up to 3 bitterns booming, 1 cuckoo cuckooing, one Tawny Owl terwittawoing, various warblers tweeting, muntjac barking, a disco at the hotel near Fishley, topped with fireworks in the Yarmouth direction as well as a silent Barn Owl fly over the marsh earlier. Also forgot oyster catchers and lapwing and geese - it was such a peaceful night!!!! What sleep? At the most 2 hours but with many disturbances.  As dawn dawns I fall out of the bunk and make a coffee and wait for more boats.  During the night we could see the silhouettes of boats going through Thurne from Hickling to Horning along the bank in the distance but the best we could do was say it was a cruiser or say a keel boat! This was the job of the other guard ship!

Then as Q says we have those boats that want to finish but realistically, simply can't in the 24 hours.  They can race for 24 hours but after that point, they can still complete the course but the guard ships stand down.  We were stood down and returned home to Horning, picking up one of the Dory's assigned to another guard ship.  All the equipment has to counted, checked and packed away for another year.  A quick catch up with the race control team at the club house and back to the house to empty the boat, and try not to fall asleep which is seriously difficult.  Another daughter flew back last night from Washington DC with a similar lack of sleep.  I just have to stay awake, like she is having to do after an international flight to avoid jet lag - or in my case the 3RRS equivalent!!!

Liz and Water Rail (sorry no photos)

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Q, am I right in thinking that going to Hickling first only worked for the very fastest boats - punts and A-raters?

Looks like a number of fast boats got stuck past Acle having gone to Hickling first???

 

BTW was fantastic viewing this year. Ludham bridge was carnage. Last years winners lost their boom and a chunk of their sail right in front of us. 

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Yes the fastest boats that did Hickling first,  did do well in the race,  those not quite so quick on handicap or skill of the helm,  did not then go on to reach the Lower Bure buoy in time,  many gave up at that point.  Although some moored up to wait for tide to change again and then finished.. 

Not just A raters and Punts did well doing Hickling first, the leading yeoman came our way and were 8th and 11th

 

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Wow, what a results! Doesn’t seem a clear cut fast boats go this way, slow thattawy, skill in making the call at Thurne mouth maybe... was the tide slightly late and did this throw the calls out for those whose mind was made up before the start?

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I would imagine the delay at the start for some boats may have affected the decision of which order to do things, as that would have given different tidal conditions than they expected to encounter, I am guessing they would have had a plan that went, if we can get to here before this time we will do this leg first as the tides will help, otherwise we will do that.

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I suspect many of those stuck around the Lower Bure bouy had planned their route before hand and the 55 minute delay caught them out. Missing out the Ant and South Walsham on the way out they may have still made it in time.

Also the forecast was for a steadily increasing wind, which didn't happen. Although the wind kept going, it went very light during darkness.

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Well for us the day turned out pretty much as we planned it. With car and boat both at Stokesby first thing Saturday morning we set off by car for Horning to watch the start. There was a little breeze at the start which after the first few starts seemed to die down for a while leaving the river very busy and I think led to a few delayed starts. Some of the IMG_2392.thumb.JPG.a7006b6afee41a65874341d1e8191688.JPGIMG_2386.thumb.JPG.10e58c83366f880336797a4597899a01.JPGIMG_2375.thumb.JPG.2aa5f08915044d56fb14ec22a20eb479.JPGIMG_2373.thumb.JPG.49b997027b4ffee8cda36564cb856b1a.JPGaction from the start area.

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After a few starts we moved on down to The Ferry and also the corner by Ferry marina.

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Last years winner A rater sail number 20 who would later go on to retire at Ludham bridge.

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I witnessed what was very nearly a very bad incident at Acle. The crew of a small Broads Cruiser was on the foredeck prior to lowering the rig for the bridge, and by his demeanour it appeared he was unsure of what he was doing. He decided 'action' was called for and finally released a rope. It was the wrong one, and the entire rig came crashing down - gaff, boom, mainsail, mast - the lot ! :default_icon_e_surprised:

It illustrates just how important it is for all entrants to be confident of their own ability , and especially that of their crew.

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