The annual day of the river racers!
by Dick Watts (1983)
Reproduced courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press
Stuart Rix cleaned up in the Three Rivers Race at the weekend, taking four trophies.
Sailing the Javelin, Razamatazz, he was in the first start for the fastest boats at 1 p.m. and arrived back at Horning for breakfast at 5.13 a.m. – way ahead of his rivals.
While most boats chose to take in the buoys at Ludham Bridge and South Walsham before going under Potter Heigham Bridge and then on to Hickling, Rix chose the other route and his gamble paid off.
After the points at Ludham and South Walsham, he went under Acle Bridge and on to Stokesby, where the committee had placed the Bure buoy.
It was here that his gamble paid off, for instead of dying to nothing, the slightest of breezes kept up during the night, enabling Rix, a helmsman of national renown, to punch the tide back to Hickling.
It could be argued that Rix was the most accomplished helm taking part, and that this greater ability to drive a boat has proved that the race is a true test of sailing skills over a long period on inland waters, and not just a glorious feast of waterborne indulgence.
Because of the large amount of water that had built up at Hickling the tides tended to flow at different times throughout the course and were between one hour and an hour and-a-half late, throwing several calculations into confusion.
The sun shone on the start when 107 boats of all shapes, sizes and classes took to the line. Nine retired and two did not finish in time – the Yarmouth One Design, a regular in this race, came home just ten minutes late.
The running start provided an excellent sight with most cruisers carrying topsails to advantage through the Horning reaches.
RESULTS … RESULTS
Overall winner: Three Rivers Trophy – Razamatazz (S. Rix): Bosun’s Call A – Razamatazz: Bosun’s Call B – Marksman (S. Jeckells): Puffin Trophy – Vuniwai (D. Bookless): Melody Trophy – Mora (J. Atkins): Peter Cumming Tankard – Razamatazz (S. Rix): Elias Trophy – Razamatazz: Trudy Memorial Trophy – Redwing (G. Bowers).
Chris crosses pain barrier
The race will be remembered particularly by Chris Dugdale, who was crewing a Reedling helmed by his fiancée Sally Howes, one of the areas top women helms.
Negotiating Potter Heigham Bridge, the mast failed to lock in position at the first attempt and swung back out of its housing giving Chris a severe bang on the wrist.
He crewed one-handed from there to Hickling and then back to Acle and so home.
Then a trip to hospital confirmed that he had participated with a broken wrist and one wag remarked that he had managed to get plastered in record time.
DANNY DEVISES A STAR TURN
Star masts are notorious for dismantling quickly to negotiate the bridges and Danny Tyrrell spent some time and a fair bit of ingenuity devising a pivot assembly using bits from an old Volkswagen. The mast pivots between two substantial pieces of metal fixed to a plate on the hog. And the plate itself is jacked up and down by a worm gear. This can also be used to adjust the rake of the mast by applying tension.
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