River Cruiser: Grace (2009)
Posted by David Church, 1st June, 2009
A very good 3RR, finished approx 7.20am Sunday morning. Just glad to get round and finish the race. Got off to a good start due to skipper being a few seconds late across the start and going on to starboard tack as others were then on to port. Plenty of wind on the Bure, too much for the full rig and were forced to reef coming out of South Walsham, this proved to be a good call as we were soon catching up to Sunset and overhauling her.
We had an altercation with Mora near the Ferry Inn. We were coming round the bend keeping away from the bank slightly to pass a moored boat. I think Mora tried to come inside us, noticed the moored boat too late altered course and caught our transom with her bob stay. Grace being a small and lighter boat was spun through 90 degrees and rode up the quay heading on her bobstay. Cracked transom and slight damage to aft deck, king plank under fore deck showing signs of stress but hopefully nothing too serious. Although a tad annoying I must thank the Atkins family on Mora for turning back to check if we were all OK.
Secondly we had a tussle with Sunset at Potter Bridge. We had lowered the mast and were paddling round to line up with the bridge. Sunset decided to try and beat us to the bridge and cut across our bow at a 45deg angle. I think it was obvious to those watching that this tactic was not going to work, result - two boats stuck under Potter Bridge. Fortunately Grace being fairly low and light we got free and got away with only scraping the mast band on the underside of the bridge. I must hand it to Sunsets skipper who called Starboard on us while they were paddling. New one on me.
Thirdly we hit the putty at Stokesby and took a good 15 to 20 minutes to get going again.
When the wind dropped in the early hours we came in to our own again and started to catch up on the time we had lost. Could of done better, we left the Ant until last which was a mistake, will have another crack next year.
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