At 10 o’clock on Saturday, in the last of the drizzle, stalwart members of your committee could be seen gathering at the Reedcutter. We were there to clear out an area which Rick and Bena have kindly said we can use to store the club boat and all the associated racing equipment. This should be much more secure and hopefully prevent a recurrence of last autumn’s vandalism.
Of course, all that hard work shifting stuff meant we had to have a few pints and a baguette afterwards, before then setting sail upriver. It was quite a robust tack, but manageable until, just below Beauchamp, White Rose and Wisp were hit by a huge gust as the wind suddenly picked up. With water pouring over the cockpit coaming and the boom in the water; as one, we started our engines and dropped the sails.
However, the drama was not over, for as we weaved our way through a fleet of racing dinghies, White Rose suddenly lost all drive, much to Bob’s initial puzzlement. Fortunately Wisp was right behind her and we were swiftly able to take her in tow. Subsequent investigation revealed the problem was a jib sheet round the prop.
On arrival at Surlingham (after a nifty bit of parking if I may say so) Bob donned his swimming trunks and went for a gentle bathe. One advantage of White Rose’s offset prop was that he could reach the jib sheet without getting his head wet, but I suspect he may have preferred not to have such a large audience offering “helpful” suggestions and speculating about the effects of Weil’s disease.
With that sorted out, we could get on with drinking some beer and enjoying the barbecue laid on by Andy and Sonia. About 40 members turned up for the evening and I counted 12 club boats, plus the horsebox. All very convivial, as usual – for some of us well into the small hours. Well, when the landlady is chivyving you INTO the pub at midnight, it would be churlish to refuse….
Sunday, as forecast, dawned hot and sunny. 14 of us took advantage of the enormous breakfast on offer in the pub, which meant we saved money by not needing any lunch! Eight boats then raced from Coldham Hall for the Challenge Cup (Melody, May, Privateer, Kingfisher, Brigand, Bessie Bell, Pandora III and Stratus) although no-one seemed to know who was racing for which club… White Rose also started the race, but didn’t fancy the long haul against the tide from Coldham Hall to Reedham in the afternoon, so ducked out at the halfway point and joined a good selection of us at Cantley for lunch.
Another successful weekend.
Boats present at Surlingham: Argentum, Avocet, Farthing, Kingfisher, Lazy Breeze, Melody, Pandora III, Retribution, Starlight, Sweet dreams and chocolate buttons, White Rose and Wisp.