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Team Claire and the 2023 Three Rivers Race

What an amazing day we had out on the river, seeing old faces, meeting new ones and SAILLLIIINNGGG!

Thanks to our crew members Dean (The Wherry Yacht Charter boat builder), Toby (Yachtmaster), Jamie (Competitive edge), Danny (Topsail Skipper)

Team Claire 2023
Claire and the crew flying down the Bure.

Even if you’ve seen the results what you may not know is that we did successfully complete the course!!!!!!! Would you believe that we were 90 seconds over the time limit! A 24-hour race - 90 seconds! This unfortunately is simply recorded as out-of-time :-(

The team sailed exceptionally well though and we had a great time.

To attribute a reason to us not doing better, it's simply that we were overly optimistic on our route, with Claire having proven herself so capable. There was a safe route that utilised the tide properly and for us this would have been: Horning, South Walsham, Stokesby, Hickling and then Ludham on the way home. When we looked at the wind forecast and our huge handicap, we entertained the idea of working with the wind but against the tide. By going, Horning, Hickling, Stokesby, South Walsham, Ludham we would fight the tide down at Stokesby but be able to overcome it because of the strong forecast wind, then ride the tide back - an entire tide earlier than in the previous 'safer' option!

When our huge handicap was applied, we might then be in for a respectable result, not just a completion. To test this risky proposal, Toby, Jamie, Thomas (Dean stand-in) and I tested Horning to Hickling, down to Stokesby and then back to South Walsham, timing the practice to use the same tidal conditions with what we thought would be the same wind conditions and we absolutely smashed it (apart from a failed bridge shoot up-wind at Potter thanks primarily to tourist river traffic). This gave us the confidence to try.

So what happened? You might notice that I'm saying 'Stokesby' which is where we knew the marker to be from our 2021 attempt. This year the race committee moved it quite a bit further down to The Stracey Arms, which means more distance to travel against the tide. Additionally, the forecast changed and the wind was due to drop off around that time. Foolishly we didn't update our plan, so unsurprisingly we got stuck against the tide down near The Stracey Arms. We therefore had to mud weight and sit for a few hours. The second the wind picked up, we were back against it. So much so that Dean and Jamie were trying a good hour before it became possible. Toby, our most experienced helmsman got a few hours in, he doesn't do well without sleep. Initially I carried on with Dean and Jamie until it really really had to be mud-weight down. Very magnanimously, Dean suggested that I lay my head for a little while as he believed that Toby and I needed to be on our 'A-game'.

What an event. What an effort. What a capable boat, overtaking people with much greater sail area on the way out and even a little nifty Rebel couldn't out-pace us on the way home ( OK, these guys weren't actually in the race), catching up with people that had left a lot earlier).

We loved it all. 90 seconds though. Only 90 seconds over the time limit. NINETY SECONDSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for the support you gave us out on the River. It was excellent seeing and hearing you, especially at the Potter Heigham bridge - a stretch that we found insanely difficult. That being said, on both of our previous practice attempts, we had failed - so at least we succeeded there on race day!

See you out on the water soon...

P.S Please be assured that whilst we ate a hot meal around an actual table - I was holding a perfect goose-wing and there was very little that anybody else could actually do. These are just some of the joys of sailing a classic Broads river cruiser.

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Pondering our next plans
Pondering what's next...

Total: -1 photos

 

DISCLAIMER: Topsail Marine Yacht Brokers is acting as brokers (or in the case of classified adverts, advertising medium) only and unless stated otherwise the vendor is not selling in the course of business. Whilst every care has been taken in their preparation, the correctness of particulars is not guaranteed and they are intended as a guide only. Prospective purchasers are strongly advised to check all particulars and where appropriate employ an independent qualified agent to carry out a survey and/or sea/river trial. Vessels are offered subject to prior sale, amendment or withdrawal without notice.

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