Keith Darby 2009
Wayfarer: Keith Darby (2009)
Posted by Gary Howes, 31st May, 2009
Here is the now customary report on 18 hours in a Wayfarer. Neil, being a student type, was still at uni until Friday. I spoke to him early in the week and he didn’t fill me with confidence when he told me he would be at HSC by 10 on Saturday. Finally managed to get him to come home Friday. Arrived at HSC about 8.30 and sorted the boat out. Met a few friends, had the briefing (after the bacon butties) and we were on the water ready to go. Cleared the X zone and had a sunbathe for 15 minutes until it was time to rig the boat. In a change to previous years and due to the wind, Neil would helm the boat down to Ant mouth and on most upwind sections. As one friend put it. “Is it about weight distribution”?
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Anyway, we are off. Down the street and out of Horning. Things are going reasonably well and we are holding our own although one Wayfarer has pulled away already (ended as class winner).
Turn left into the Ant. 1245 and we are turning round to come back down the Ant. Over to Fleet Dyke and most of the way down there. 1310 and we are on our way back up to the river.
Potter Heigham bridge next. Had a good sail to the bridge which was shot in normal fashion. Hello to all that shouted to us and apologies for not replying, was a bit busy. Although I did see Cygnet on the way up river and back down after the bridge, and yes I was knackered at that point.
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Up to Martham
Up to Martham. Turn left and reached down to the Broad where it turned more into a run. Wind behind us, lets have some fun. Up goes the spinnaker and suddenly we are breaking any speed limit known to man.
Rounded the mark and beat back to Heigham Sound. Turn right and once again it was up with the kite, weaving our way through the boats coming up river. Down to the bridge and everything sort of came down at once but in a controlled fashion. Few big digs and once the motor day boat had taken his time coming through the hole, we went through and the mast was straight back up and I was sailing again while Neil sorted out the rest of the boat. Time now was about 1630, told Mrs GC that I would be at Acle in approx 45 mins and we weren’t far wrong.
Up with the spinnaker, quick hello to Cygnet (who never even offered a cup of tea to us) and we were away down river, left at Thurne Mouth and down to the bridge.
We had it planned, normal routine but would head into wind near the windward bank. Drop the mast and get through as quick as poss. Well that was the plan. Beating to the bridge Neil removed the kicker and then the gib. Hang on, we are near the wrong bank. Oh well, drop the lot and paddle through. Good job the junior GC’s called to me as I wouldn’t have seen them and we were most of the way through when I heard them. Through we go and mast straight back up. I’m sailing again while Neil sorts the rest out.
Down to Stokesby and we find Rusty (Group Scout Leader) who has come to see the boat in action along with one of Neil’s cousins who is waiting for another Wayfarer crewed by Neil’s uncle. They were surprised to see us before Malcolm and we were surprised we had kept him behind us so long.
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Off to Stracey, round the mark. Its now 1845. Back to Stokesby and told Rusty to be in the Swan at 2200 as he was buying the beers. Apparently he had to get a taxi home from Stokesby at closing time.
Back to the bridge, we are confident we are third in class (out of 11). Through the bridge and normal fashion and heading up to Thurne Mouth. Just before Thurne We see Wandering Rose for the third time today. Unfortunately, they are now passing us on the way home. Pleasantries passed and we are alone again. Nothing near us, we can see a Yeoman about ½ mile behind us but that’s it.
Up past St Benets and check on Griff’s bro that he’s ok. Probably wondered who I was but that’s for him to worry about! It was all his fault. As we passed the wind died. Slowly we made our way round to Waterworks bend where we thought we were in luck. There were two Wayfarers sitting there and we were within 100 yards of leading our class. Yep, it felt good at the time. 3 hours later when we managed to get round the bends, still in third, we weren’t feeling as good but we were moving again. So we missed last orders and its now nearly midnight as we come down to Cockshoot Broad. Tide going out, wind? What wind? Lets nudge into the reeds and have a sleep. Well 3 and a half hours later we attempted to move. Slowly, slowly we made our way into Horning and then through and finally crossed the finish line at 0555 this morning. We were 6th in class, having crossed the line within about 10 minutes of the 3rd place boat and provisional 70th overall. Not sure how the team (Norfolk Broads Forum team) got on but I am sure Toby will inform us once he wakes up.
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Breakfast was wonderful, albeit about 5 hours later than we wanted it!
My body is screaming at me, my legs don’t want to do as they are told but it was still great fun.
Sorry to hear about Waif and Slanty. I was informed about Waif on way to Cockshoot by a cruiser that was coming up river with us but didn’t know about Slanty until I got back to HSC this morning, except that we hadn’t seen him since Hickling.
Apologies to all friends that shouted to us. The only two that I had a conversation with were Carol and Cygnet as they were sensible and didn’t position themselves near a turning point or a bridge
[Editor's Note: "Slanty" refers to Starter 94, Slantendicular, River Cruiser #385]
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