The long and the short of a Three Rivers Race record
by Alan Mallett (2014)
Reproduced courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press
Alan Mallett – 5th June 2014
The Three Rivers Race produced one of the longest, in terms of time taken, in the 54 year history of the event, as well as the shortest in terms of distance.
The winning boat, helmed by Paul Browning, crossed the line after 12 hours and 52 minutes.
This, technically, is not a record. The longest time taken by the first boat home was close on 19 hours, by a Rebel helmed by David Hastings, way back at the second race in 1962.
That said, this year’s race was seven miles shorter by virtue of the curtailed leg on the Bure, which would add at least two hours to Browning’s time.
On the basis that the leading local traditional boats in 1962 had nowhere near the speed of the Raters, and that this year the highest placed local keelboats took well over 20 hours as against 19 in 1962, George Whitefoot may justifiably claim to have presided over the longest ever Three Rivers Race.
I touched briefly on the Potter Bridge transit, but space precluded mention of the generally high standard of the transit, at any rate observed by me. Phillip Montague merits commendation, as his appointed crew had to withdraw on Friday with a shoulder injury, and he had to recruit newcomer Brendan Burrill.
Phillip’s crash training programme obviously worked as his transit heading upstream was a classic as their timing was perfect, and well worth the applause it got. Sadly, it was to no avail as they, like so many others, fell victim to the overnight calms.
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