NBYC has rival attractions to Three Rivers

The Three Rivers Race.Boats lowering their masts to paddle and punt under the old bridge at Potter H

The Three Rivers Race.Boats lowering their masts to paddle and punt under the old bridge at Potter Heigham.June 2013Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

Three Rivers Race weekend, once generally avoided by other events, has, due to increased pressure on the timetable, seen Open events which are unlikely to affect that race, and last weekend NBYC held two such meetings.

On Sunday, eight Norfolks competed for the Marks Cup, won pretty convincingly by Ian and Laura Tims, who, despite Ian's back problems, took the first two races and then understandably opted out of the third, which went to Ray Johnson, who finished runner-up. Sam and Pat Woodcock were third on the back of two second places. A welcome appearance came from Mark Holt, who has lovingly restored B83, which has not competed for many years.

On Friday NBYC held an Open Junior dinghy event. Twenty-eight youngsters, mainly single-handers, took part, and the winners were, in the Optimist Gold Fleet, Sophie Taylor from Blackwater SC, and the Silver Fleet Joseph Taylor from Hunts SC. WOBYC youngster Joe Drake won the Toppers, and home club pairing of Ben Campbell and Tim Haines won the Allcomers B fleet in their RS200.

Notwithstanding the almost arctic conditions suffered by all but six of the 90 Three Rivers competitors, this year's event must be counted as highly successful.

There is, of course, always an element of comedy, if not farce, to enliven matters and entertain spectators, usually at the bridges.

This year both obliged. Ian Tandy, in the hire cruiser Leander, made an excellent three hour passage direct to Potter, and then things went pear-shaped. Mooring alongside the bridge, he had no room to manoeuvre after lowering and, caught by the tide, was carried inexorably across the arch, only extricating himself with some difficulty and delay. Fortunately no-one else was affected.

At Acle spectators relished the sight of a crew member of Cruiser Restless falling in not once but twice during the mast lowering, once in each direction. As Lady Bracknell might have observed, 'to fall in once may be a misfortune, but to fall in twice looks like carelessness'.

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Horning set great store on the importance of entrants showing consideration to other river users, and I was pleased to hear from two first time visitors on a (motor) cruiser at Stokesby how impressed they had been by the helpfulness and guidance given them when they met contestants as they made their way downstream. It does everybody much credit.

Tony Rushton's funeral will be held on Monday, June 17 at Wroxham Parish Church at 10.30am.

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