posted on September 13, 2013
A Finishing Time Race ?
Long ago before the canals, the idea was to get cargo as far inland by water as possible to reduce the time spent on rutted and muddy tracks with the oxen pulling and Horatio the carter often pushing, then return for another cargo before the tide ran out. Cuts were dug and skids sometimes laid. Hence the concave forward waterlines of the bronze age Ferriby boat for driving up the mud banks and through reeds as much as possible. Archaeologists discovered a bluff bowed log boat version sunk between remains of posts to form a jetty at Welham Bridge, near Holme on Spalding Moor. Someone had really began to think about nights in port for their mariners which lasted until containers in the 1960's. A yarn spun later with some fiction in it!
The idea of a Finishing Time Race enigma actually came upon me in bed from nowhere over a cup of tea to add to the simple Market Weighton Lock and back race for the Monday for those who wanted more but somehow still in keeping with the fun theme. Ten cruisers and 4 Squibs took part or were roped in to make well over 20 boats on the water. You could take measures to slow down on the flood for timing reasons, but not on the ebb in case boats over estimated and it would all end looking like a drifting match. The wind was a gust free version of Saturday, perfect in our main cruising area, but too much beating back for going up the Ouse and unwanted shelter by the Wolds in the Trent. Intended finishing times had to be declared, but not start times or courses.
A great tricky time was reported to have been had by all and afterwards many got off their boats and on to the sunny balcony for a long time. The race was won by Geoff and Sue Stevenson (ex ff) in Cavatina achieving + 8 seconds. Chris Nash's ketch Sirius followed on 30 seconds over. Callum B, Don ( ff Classic Champion Crew, Lord Birkett 2011) and Bonnie Beach, given a late upon the idea dispensation of 1 hour to their declared finishing time for dignity (NHC Fleet Captain) were 3rd on minus 4' 54”; protest! 4th was Steve Johnson's Karana. Countess of Brough sailed by Dave Daniels on 12' over came 5th, unless 1.2 hrs. after high water be ruled still too soon for none racers to change to engine for haven entry; throw the race committee in the river! The first Squib, no. 804 Ernie Linguard was 6th on +17' 12”. Tim Fenner's re-fitted lee-boarder Widjit, still to have it's relative VMGG windward equation calculated was rear guard this time on + 49' 41”, 1¾ hours after High Water. Thanks to Saturday night's Spanish meal preparers it was almost a bar with no wine, the Bar Chairman, Bobby Salmond's cousin, who came 7th remaining on his boat seemingly to let the expensive Race Committee try find a bottle. Couldn't, but Sue was successful. A treasure hunt too! Peter Clark Humber Yawl Club.