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Dear NRSC Members   

Welcome all to another newsletter. The weather hasn’t been very kind to us but there’s still a lot going on thanks to all those many members who are helping out with races, cruises and maintenance.

Mark Collins,  Commodore



Please contact the organiser for registration and further information.

DATE                 EVENT                           LOCATION          ORGANISERS

5 th June          Navionics refresher    Zoom                   Jeff Harteveldt

8 - 22 June       East Coast Cruise        East Coast           John Blackburne

6 - 7 July           Summer Regatta         Anchorage          Jeff Harteveldt

                          & novice Cup

20th July          Commodore’s Cup      Anchorage          Mark & Mel Collins

                         & BBQ

21st July          Green Ranger Trophy Anchorage           Peter Coleman


Nigel and Sean Wordingham kindly developed an EDI policy for the Club that was reviewed by the Committee at its meeting on 15th May and will be agreed in final form at the next Committee meeting on 10th July. Ideas from members on ways to make the Anchorage more accessible would be appreciated.


As mentioned in the last newsletter, the Committee would be pleased to hear from more volunteers. Having said that, the current system of devolving responsibilities to a wider group of Club members appears to be working rather  well.


Members whose partners are also active in the Club should make sure that their partners’ details are included in their membership documentation so that they are covered by the Club’s indemnity insurance. Check in the Red Book. If your partner’s name is not there and you want it to be, write to the Membership Secretary. Similarly, we are recording Emergency Contact 
details for you (name, email, telephone). This can easily be done at the same time.


A  working party of ten members has cleaned the Anchorage and improved the site generally. All the furniture has been thoroughly washed, the galley scrubbed and tidied, all windows washed, the floor cleaned, water containers cleaned, gutters cleared, the grass cut, and the willow hedge woven into a living weave. The generator has been inspected and the Committee has decided to dispose of it. Two members of the Committee have offered use of their portable site generators when needed. Honours Boards will soon be  rehung.  The Boatswain,  Malcolm,  is  looking  at  ways  to  repair  the  quay  headings to limit further deterioration. Thanks go to all for their help in these endeavours.


Spring Trophy. Postponed due to low entries and bad weather.

Inaugural Salver.  A number of potential racers have been late in getting their boats ready this year and because of that we had a job putting the regatta together, Nigel’s telephone was buzzing. In the end it was agreed that four boats could make a one  - day regatta to be held on the Sunday.

For the first race the wind was light and due east and the tide was flooding, the OOD made changes to the normal buoy positions to use a windward leg from the area above Oby to above Upton and the Acle buoy was put closer to the bridge to give three true beats in the course.

The four - boat fleet was split into two starts with My Weigh and Tallulah going first followed by Déjà Vu and Cho Cho San in the second start. Jeff in Déjà Vu developed a good lead which evaporated when he missed the Upton mark due to Wherry interference, but he caught the fleet up again.

The result of the first race was:

1 Cho Cho San, 2 Déjà Vu, 3 Tallulah and 4 My Weigh (David admitted that he had sailed all the buoys but perhaps not in the right       order!)

The second race was held over the slack tide with a reduced course cutting out the Boundary buoy. Tallulah made a flying start and got clear of the fleet, taking advantage of the tide change as they rounded the Oby Buoy. The result of the second race was;

1 Tallulah, 2, Déjà Vu,3 My Weigh and 4 Cho Cho San.

This produced the following final result:

1  Tallulah 5.7  points    2  Déjà  Vu  6  points  3  Cho  Cho  San  8 points  4  My  Weigh  1 5.7 points. 

Congratulations go to Brian Gray crewed by Martin Salisbury; this is Brian’s first regatta win and we wish him many more.  Tom Parkinson OOD


East Coast Cruise. Six boats are now taking part, the Commodore having had to drop out.

The  planning  meeting  on 20th April went well and  thanks go to the Blackburnes for their hospitality.

Northern Rivers Cruise.   


A full report and pictures are on the Cruising section of the website,  thanks to Maggi and Malcolm Flatman.


Thanks also go to the Flatmans for distributing fliers to various outlets.  Fliers are available for anyone  else  who is prepared to distribute them in their area.  Email Commodore.

Thanks go to all those members who turned out for the Broads Society/Inland Waterways Association rally and protest “Fund Britain’s Waterways” at Acle Bridge on 5th May. A full report will be in the next edition of Harnser.


Spring Stroll. 13th April - Richard and Monica Webb. The spring walk went well and the organisers were pleased to see ten members take part. Everything went as planned and the conditions underfoot were quite good. Walking at an easy pace, participants made their way to Acle Bridge via the Anchorage, where they could sit outsideand take refreshment before separating for the return home. 


Look out for news about the proposed Navionics Training zoom event:  to take place 5th June. Contact Jeff Harteveldt.

Thanks are due to Committee members and event organisers for providing reports.


Dear NRSC Members 

Welcome all to another season of sailing, cruising and social events with the Northern Rivers Sailing Club.  


This slimline version of the Newsletter will be the norm from now on, as no one has stepped forward to replace me as the lead on the Newsletter. After producing 50 editions, I think it’s time for a change!

You should all have your Red Book by now, and the Green Book if you ordered one. If you haven’t got them, it’s probably because you haven’t made it to any of the Club events at which they have been distributed – you will be able to collect them from the Anchorage at your leisure.

All the very best
Mark Collins


Please contact the organiser for registration and further information.

DATE              EVENT                          LOCATION             ORGANISERS

13 th April    Spring Stroll                Acle & Fishley        Richard & Monica Webb
20 th April    ECC Planning Lunch  North Pickenham  John & Jenny Blackburne
27/28 April   Spring Trophy             Anchorage             Nigel Wordingham


Please remove the following names and addresses from your Red  Books as they are no longer members of  the Club:


M. Barry; T Kelsey; R. Roth; P. Saunders; R. Stokes and A. Winters.

With four resignations and six  subscriptions unpaid, membership of NRSC now stands at 46 , including 39 full and seven crew members, plus three Honorary and three Life Members.  Please do what you can to recruit new members to our Club, whose programme of cruises, races and social events is surely without parallel.


If you can distribute membership flies for the Club locally, please contact the Secretary.

Roles & Responsibilities in NRSC

We will need a new Commodore, Secretary,  Treasurer and Social Secretary  at the next AGM , which might be a challenge. One way forward is to focus on volunteering and delegation rather than formal membership of the Committee .  This has been working well with the Club’s social and sailing programme this year; thanks to everyone involved.  Please try to help where you can.

The  Anchorage 

In February the Anchorage  quay headings were considerably overtopped and the building was flooded inside. There is no permanent damage, and the building has not subsided, but this  might change if repeated year after year.  By March the water level dropped at least 30cm and the lawn was dry enough to strim and cut. A work party will be arranged shortly – do please come along.

Quay Headings
Many of the boards have holes and most seem to be a  few centimetres down from the nosing strip.  Those catching the sun seem to be worst affected and will need to be replaced soon before the holes become big enough to allow the escape of bark bags. In view of continuing higher water levels and hotter summers the future of the Anchorage was briefly discussed and it was felt advisable to think 
about other locations.  This will be discussed again at a future Committee meeting.


• Sailing in Company: all in hand. Contact Brian Gray to be part of the Whatsapp Group.

• Spring Trophy: OOD Tom Parkinson. Timekeeper Judy Jarvey.

• Inaugural Salver:  OOD now Nigel Wordingham.

• Southern Rivers Cruise (June):  Has been cancelled  but contact Judy Jarvey if you are interested in leading a revival.

• East Coast Cruise:  Planning meeting arranged for 20th April hosted by John Blackburne.

• Northern Rivers Cruise: All in hand and itinerary almost completed.


Newsletter:  Commodore  will now produce a  two - page newsletter after each Committee meeting to be circulated to members in place of the full colour  6 - 8 page  issues of the past.  As yet , no - one has stepped forward for this important role.

Website : is doing well, and the For Sale site remains popular. The Club has plenty of fliers available if you are able to distribute them to chandlers, etc.

Calendars:  These  did not sell well this year. Consideration is  being given to removing the printed programme information from the    calendars, which would reduce cost. Programme information can be distributed on a separate sheet as well as in the red Book and could also be electronically distributed to Google Calendars and similar.



Regional  Conference 25/11/23: No one attended from NRSC.  In order to  reaffiliate,  the RYA has required all its clubs to provide detailed information on their policies and procedures. NRSC was well -placed to do this, having prepared a good policy portfolio a few years ago.


Work is still needed on our policy onEquality, Diversity and Inclusion, which will be carried out by the Committee.



NRSC is currently affiliated with the NSBA, but at the 2023 AGM, a member recommended that we rescind that membership as there were too few benefits. After discussion on this point, on NSBA’s plans to hire a KC to investigate the Broads Authority’s use of  tolls, and on their plans to incorporate as a membership company limited by guarantee rather than a charitable incorporated organisation, there 
was no clear agreement across the Committee and it was decided to keep a watching brief.  NSBA Flag Officers meeting was attended by the Commodore.


• January Ropes & Training zoom event: cancelled.

• Visit to Creative Covers, Catfield: Successful event.

• Navionics Training zoom event:  to take place 5 th June. Contact Jeff Harteveldt.

Social Programme

New Year’s Lunch – 20th January - Julia Morcher

Twenty - nine members met at the Brick Kilns for the first NRSC lunch of the year. A perfect opportunity for members to catch up and discuss their plans for the coming season and to collect a copy of the Red Book kindly brought along to the restaurant by James Bush.


A note of thanks has been sent to the venue.

International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC ) Oulton Broad  - 15th February  - Glyn Williams

Twenty - two  Club members attended IBTC for a  very informative short training session on boat maintenance, a tour of the facility to see what is on offer and the wide range of traditional boats being restored or new build projects. The fees totalling £220 from the visit are to be paid as a donation to the Charity’s Student Bursary Fund. The College offers a wide range of  short training courses (1 - 5 days) 
and Club members may wish to take up places in the future to help broaden their range of skills and experience on boat maintenance. 


Further Club visits may be offered in future seasons as the College moves to charitable status and a broader range of training opportunities and interesting boats under restoration become available for viewing.

NRSC Winter Wander - Saturday 24th February - Mick Bashford

I was asked if I would lead a walk for club members on 24th February so  sorted out a route from Thurne,  along the riverbank to Repps Staithe, then back to Thurne a little inland, over fields and through a wooded area. However, there had been so much rain in the weeks before that I decided that route would be very boggy. So a late change of plan saw ten of us  set off from Thurne along the riverbank to Boundary Farm where we did a little bird - watching on the mere, with the Commodore’s guidance, on a beautiful sunny morning, and then a fairly short stroll back to Thurne  on drier footpaths and minor roads. We had a look inside Thurne Church, a lovely little building lit by oil - lamps, before returning to The Lion to meet up with spouses, some of whom  had not walked, and enjoyed a lively lunch in  the pub.  All - in - all an enjoyable and sociable occasion.

Fitting Out Lunch  - Saturday 23rd March  - Judy Jarvey

Our Fitting Out Lunch was a great success. Everyone helped out on the day and all seemed to enjoy themselves. I have had many members both personally and on e-mails say how much  they enjoyed themselves. 


We sold 48 tickets and the raffle generated welcome income. Thanks to all for bringing prizes.  The boat jumble and book stall were also successful.  This was down to the help from my committee who had past knowledge of running the event. Also, members who were prepared to make food for the event and finally  everyone joined in on the day to help set up the event run the different stalls and help to clear away. It was perfect to see everyone together helping to make a successful event and enjoying themselves at the same time.

Hugh Crane Cleaning Supplies

Remember that the Club has an account at Hugh Crane, South Walsham Road Acle, where you can get all products in bulk and at significant discounts on shop prices. Also, if you want acid for boat cleaning,  you can only get it through the Club from now on, as it is not available to the public.

Wilkersons, Acle
Hardware  store  Wilkersons, a  former advertiser with  NRSC, is changing hands. It  will close for refurbishment and open again later.

Thanks are due to Committee members and event organisers for providing reports.


Dear NRSC Members

We had a brilliant AGM, Annual Dinner and Prizegiving at the Old Rectory Hotel in Crostwick – it was so good to see many Club members enjoying themselves! Next year we are hoping to make it even better by having a lunch instead of a dinner. We shall see how that goes.

Meanwhile, please buy a Club Calendar if you don’t have one yet. It’s a great way to keep abreast of our fabulous programme, and it’s full of great photos of the Club’s exploits. Contact James or Judy to get one in good time for Christmas.

We have started to pull together the Red Book for 2024 and could do with more advertisers. It’s just £25.00 for a half page and £50.00 for a full page. If you have a local chandler or marina that you favour, do please ask them if they would advertise with us – but first check that they’re not already doing so! By the same token, have a look in the back of the 2023 Red Book and try to support the business of our existing advertisers. It’s always worth thanking them when you visit and it will be appreciated.

This will be the final Newsletter for this year, and I must again remind everyone that we are a club run by its members for its members, and we need everyone to do their bit to the extent practicable. In fact, we have quite a few more volunteers to help with events next year, which is fantastic. But we still need more Committee members, and there’s always room for you at our Anchorage work parties!
Looking forward to seeing you all in the New Year but until then, I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!


All the very best

Mark Collins





AGM, Annual Dinner and Prizegiving

The Prizegiving was greatly enjoyed by all, and the full results table is here below. Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to everyone who took part – we had a great season! Click here to see Mike's photos of the event

Vist to the International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) by Glyn Williams - book your place now!

NRSC is offering members and friends a wonderful chance to visit the renowned International Boatbuilding Training College in Oulton Broad, from 14:00 on Thursday 15th February, followed by supper at the Wherry Hotel at 18:00. The visit fee of £10 per person, which includes tea/coffee and biscuits, will go to a new Student Bursary Fund to help those who are unable to meet the full cost of their course.

The College is nearing 50 years in operation and trains students from all over the world in traditional boatbuilding skills. If you have ever wondered how wooden boats are built or restored, this is a chance to see students in action, meet the staff and tour the facility.

The College offers full- time, part-time and short courses in a range of subjects, including 2-3 day courses on Boat Plumbing and Electrics, Lofting Theory, Introduction to Woodworking, Working with GRP, Router Use, Decorative Carving and Splicing, Rope Work and Rigging.

To give Club members and friends a taste of what is on offer, a short 60 - 80-minute training session will be included in the visit with the Senior Instructor hosting a ‘Boat Maintenance Clinic’ where members can raise maintenance issues and receive tips and guidance on best practice solutions. To make the best use of this session, we will identify some specific subjects that you would like to discuss.

Places are limited, so to book, let Glyn Williams ( know without delay, adding your preferred training themes from the list above, or any other specific issues, and indicate whether you plan to join us for supper at the Wherry Hotel. Final confirmation with details will be sent out after Christmas, so don’t delay!



Northern Rivers Sailing Club is affiliated with NSBA, whose main purpose is to serve, protect and promote the interests of private users of pleasure craft on the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads, related rivers and the adjacent coast. One of our Club’s objectives is to contribute to the wider success of the Norfolk Broads community, and we are committed to helping NSBA achieve its purpose.

In its 2022/23 accounts, NSBA reported a 9% drop in its balance sheet, a 4% fall in membership subscriptions, and it is widely acknowledged that NSBA must address these issues by improving governance and services, attracting new members and controlling costs.

The Association remains committed to publishing its profitable handbook, the Green Book, but association members are concerned that net income from the Green Book dropped by more than two-thirds in 2022/23 and the all-important surplus on the product cost is now only 5%. NSBA has depended on income from the Green Book to prop up the main association for some time now, but that structure is now looking a bit precarious.

The NSBA has an important job to do, but whether it can do so in its present form is open for discussion. Despite its stated aim, the Association has no role in the Suffolk Broads or on the coast, and there are clear signals that its influence in the Norfolk Broads is waning. This is unwelcome news as the alternatives, mainly on social media, certainly cannot do the job needed. Improved regular and substantive communication with boating clubs like ours would help NSBA do better.  

The AGM elected a new President, Brian Wilkins, and thanked most warmly the outgoing President,

Prof Richard Card. Ben Falat (pictured) was re- elected as Chair and David Evans was elected as

Vice-Chair. Mr Evans presented a case for the incorporation of NSBA, to reduce its members' liability,

an issue familiar to NRSC members. He recommended a fast-track incorporation due to the

perceived risk entailed in potential short-term legal actions by NSBA on Broads Authority increases

in tolls. NSBA individual members Mark Collins and Pio Altarelli, concerned about the prudence and

value of any such actions, had proposed an amendment that would see a thorough process of

consultation with NSBA clubs and members and a one-year timeframe. After a minor amendment,

this approach was adopted by the members.

NRSC had formally submitted a lengthy and detailed proposal to update the NSBA Rules. NSBA argued that this should be done as an integral part of the incorporation process, but after some debate, NRSC proposed a form of words calling for a thorough consultation and root and branch review of the NSBA Rules, independent of any future decision on incorporation, with a revised set of Rules to be presented by the time of the next AGM. This proposal was adopted.

After the closure of the formal proceedings, NSBA members enjoyed a lively discussion with fellow boaters on matters of the day



The Herring Bridge at Great Yarmouth became operational to river traffic from 07:00 on Monday, 27 November, and navigators are busy familiarising themselves with the new procedures for opening, which are available here. However, Norfolk County Council are still working on the bridge deck and hoping to complete this early in the New Year.

Meanwhile, as reported in the Daily Mail online news, “furious homeowners say the new

structure is to blame for floods as they threaten massive class action lawsuit against the Council”.

This argument would appear to lack an evidence base. An independent engineer has been to the

bridge, made some measurements, and could see no evidence of the bridge causing unusual

backing up of water. The impact of the medieval bridge at Potter Heigham is seemingly far


In Roman times, the River Thurne, in the headwaters of which the main floods are a problem, flowed to the sea, and it would probably be happier and more stable if it did so today, particularly with sea-level rise and high winter rainfall. But farmers might not be happy to see their coastal grazing meadows turning to saltmarsh.

The Vikings weren’t daft. They had their stronghold on the Isle of Flegg, between the estuaries of the Thurne and the Bure. It was fertile land, as those of you in Boundary Dyke will know, and was very well-defended by these natural features.

The root cause of flooding, drought, fires and other “natural disasters” is climate change caused by our inability to manage our waste sustainably. There’s a lot more energy in the climate system now and it demonstrates its power in ways that we don’t like and will find difficult and expensive to deal with. The various authorities charged with keeping the navigation open and homes safe are grossly underfunded. I hope the new tolls level will help, but I doubt it will be anywhere near enough in the medium term.

Meanwhile, I look forward to sailing through Herring Bridge. I hope there will be enough room for re- or de-masting. As sea level rises, I fear that before too long many of our boats will be locked in the Broads between bridges with insufficient air draft to navigate our way out.

EAST COAST CRUISE 2024 by John Blackburne

Our annual trip out to sea for two weeks was started shortly after the formation of the Club, with members like Reg Chambers, Chris Pointer, Anne and Bob Gant, Ann & Paul Fiddler, John Redding and others. I have heard people say that their boat is too small or not equipped, to go to sea, but in fact most boats, with a few changes, can safely go coastal sailing, especially when in company with other boats. Anne & Bob Gant proved this with many trips down the East Coast in their Pandora 700 called Alice, much smaller than a Pegasus 700.

When planning each day’s sailing, we are careful to plan the route, now made much easier with the Navionics programme (see Jeff Harteveldt’s Zoom training event on 5th June). We double-check the weather and tides, and we readily change our plans and stay in a marina until we are happy to proceed. For example, last year, as we had two skippers taking their boats to sea for the first time, it was decided at very short notice (as we left the Clubhouse), to go via the Broads to Lowestoft, and avoid the rather rough sea entrance, caused by several days of a strong east wind.

After many years of East Coast Cruises, there have been occasional equipment failures, but

I don’t know of any serious boat damage or crew injury. Even the most experienced boats

can experience problems,  but our record is a testament to careful planning and a cautious

approach. I know of only one call-out of the lifeboat when Chris Pointer had the top of his

mast snap, resulting in a rope around his propeller. We have had engine and rigging

breakdowns, but these have normally been quickly fixed with the help  of other skippers

and crew.

Those of us who do the East Coast Cruise spend the winter planning and looking forward to June each year and remembering many great sails without having to tack every few minutes and the enjoyment of an adventure with plenty of time for getting together in the evenings, for a meal and planning the next day.

The WhatsApp “ECC24 “is there for anyone interested in the Coastal Cruise, and advice and help are always available.



The government has announced a new national park in England, to be either in the Cotswolds, Dorset or the Chilterns. These are already Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or what are now to be called National Landscapes. Julian Glover’s Landscape Review recommended that National Parks and AONBs be combined, which is a nod to that recommendation. The government is worried that people are spending less time in health-giving natural landscapes now than they were in 2020, and that the state of nature in national parks is, in many cases, worse inside than outside.


As part of the scheme, £15 million will also be shared between the existing family of national parks, including the Broads, which is a step in the right direction after years of flat-lining payments to the Broads Authority. The current Defra payments, which are significantly reduced in real terms, are one of the reasons that many boat-owners are unhappy about increasing tolls. They say that tolls-payers are subsidising the Broads National Park, and such a subsidy is not allowed under the Broads Act.


The problem with the current arguments is that the Broads is in a downward investment spiral: you pay less, so we pay less, etc. This is the last thing that’s needed when the climate crisis and biodiversity crisis threaten the Broads. Saving the Broads will be expensive for us all.

SCRAPPING BOATS adapted from the RYA News


What do you do with a boat that’s only fit for scrap? Small leisure craft built from the 1970s onwards were mostly constructed from fibre-glass reinforced plastic, or GRP. The boats are highly durable, typically lasting 30–50 years in active use, but disposal is becoming a big issue as they become too expensive to maintain.

GRP physically breaks down over time, releasing microscopic fibres that enter the

ecosystem where marine creatures ingest them, and these may enter the human

food chain. The options are to break up the hull and dump it in landfill, re-use it in

construction or use it in cement, but these aren’t all ecologically sound ideas and

have been banned in some countries.

The cost of controlled dismantling of an unwanted boat ranges from a few hundred

pounds for a dinghy to over £20,000 for a 15 metre-plus yacht. One of the most

expensive elements is transportation, which can double the overall cost, and people

with very old boats often won’t have the cash, or will be unwilling to part with it. Defra is consulting on possible solutions, such as cement kilns and recycling into new boats. But who will pay? That question remains unanswered!


Scientists have recorded more than 500 interactions between orcas and boats off the Iberian Peninsula since 2020.

A pod sank a sailing yacht off the coast of Morocco in the Strait of Gibraltar recently. They repeatedly rammed the

Grazie Mamma, causing damage and filling it with water. Search and rescue personnel tried to bring the damaged

yacht safely into port at Tanger-Med. But despite their efforts, it sank near the port’s entrance. The crew were

unharmed. So, do be sure to look out angry Orcas at Lowestoft and Yarmouth!

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Dear NRSC Members

As the sailing season draws to an end, many of us are lifting out onto the hard.  I’m glad my boat is undercover with the weather the way it is. In this Newsletter, I’ve included an article based on RYA advice about winterising – I  hope it’s helpful, as it certainly was for me!!

The  season's final race, the Club Championship, went very well . Our members enjoy these pursuit races, perhaps because they spread the chase across the entire time available instead of getting into entrenched positions early on. Entries were down to just four, which is a worry,  but Broads Authority data for 2022  show a 9 per cent drop in the number of auxiliary yachts on the Broads, a trend that may have continued in 2023. It should come as no surprise that this has impacted our club in terms of overall membership and the number of race entries.

The AGM, dinner and prizegiving are coming up soon, and I hope you have all had a chance to read and consider the AGM  papers. The Committee works very hard to put these together. They are an important record of the Club’s position and an easily accessible 
record of our development over the years.

We have about 45 people for the dinner, which is a wonderful  turnout!  Nevertheless, we are asking the question as to whether a lunch might be better, allowing us to get back home in the light. Do come to the AGM and let us know what you  think, or drop an email to Maggi Flatman.

Looking forward to seeing you all very soon!

All the very best
Mark Collins


Saturday , 7 October 2023, dawned with the prediction of a Force 4 gusting to 5 WSW wind, bu  this proved optimistic, and the first starter in this pursuit race, My Weigh, struggled to get across the  line. Once clear of the Anchorage wind shadow, she made steady progress towards the first mark near Boundary Dyke.  Meanwhile,  Strega and  Simply The Best pottered near the start line and got away in a light wind within a minute or so of their allotted times, but Cho Cho San took a run at the line and was rather late in arriving.

In the first round up to Boundary and back to the Acle mark the four boats remained in their starting  positions,  but the upstream leg of  the second round towards Boundary  saw  some exciting racing with  My Weigh,  Strega and  Simply The Best sailing alongside each other for a stretch , with oncoming hire boats to contend with too.  Strega skilfully pulled ahead with Simply The Best  chasing close behind her. 

For some  distance, there was a  tense competition between the  two  boats, but with  the impediments of a strong ebb tide, Strega’s dirty wind and her helm’s good tactics,  Simply The Best could not pass.  Eventually,  Strega pull ed over to leeward for a right - hand turn in the river, giving  Simply The Best  the chance to take  the windward position  and overtake.  Simply The Best moved ahead, avoided the overlap,   and took the Boundary mark  in  first position. From there, Simply The Best gained ground in the ebb tide, sailing close  - hauled and avoiding the tacking needed by the higher handicappers. 

Some way back, as the 15:00 hrs  finish approached,  Cho Cho San was steadily creeping up on  My Weigh, and the finish came only just in time to prevent overtaking. At the finish,   Simply The Best took a comfortable first position over Strega in second,  My Weigh   in third and ChoCho San in the rear-guard spot.

Many thanks are  due  to  Mike and  Julia  Morcher,   the  stalwart  timekeepers, and  to  Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax,  who volunteered to take over race - finishing duty, thus allowing My Weigh to race. Veteran NRSC member, John Redding, was on board    My Weigh, as an honorary adviser  and enjoyed himself enormously!


Water  levels  have  recently been  exceptionally  high on the Bure

and other Broads  rivers, resulting  principally from  heavy rainfall

in the river catchments.

This has resulted in an unusual phenomenon: rising water levels on

an ebb tide. This is because the inflow from upstream is faster than 
the outflow through the narrow river mouth at Great Yarmouth.

Brian Gray ’s picture, right, shows the very high water level at the 
Anchorage earlier this week .


It has reached  just  20 - 30cm  below  the floorboards, and there

is yet more rain to come . Do take great care if you are mooring at

the Anchorage.


The fleet of six boats, including just one sailboat, was a little  

disappointing by numbers but did not stop the enjoyment of

those taking part.  A sign of the times  was that two of the boats

were hired by those who had been through the sailboat to

motorboat to no boat route.

The itinerary was based on navigating the Yare as far as Çoldham

Hall, working our way back to the Waveney via Loddon, and then

on to Beccles to fulfil requests to spend more time at the Yacht

Station. Summer Wind, the cruise leader's boat was not able to     

join the fleet mast down, so stayed in Loddon, remaining in


Ray and Theresa  Segon  came  to  visit  at Loddon,  and  Alison  

McDermid, with Martin  and Tracey  Salisbury, joined  in  for  a  

meal  at Beccles.  The  two  hire  boats  needed  to  eturn  on 
Friday and, joined by Wagtail, caught the evening tide across

Breydon water.

The remaining two boats moved on to Oulton Yacht Station and then to Somerleyton,  to be ready for a bracing but otherwise uneventful 0500 Saturday return home.

NOTE:  There  are  two cruises to the Southern Rivers planned for next year, one in June  led by Bob & Judy Jarvey, and the second in    August , led by Simon Gould  – see the  full 2024  programme in the September Newsletter for  further  details. Ed.



1. General cleaning and  checking
Clean the engine  and, in good  light, use a mirror on a stick or

digital camera to see under and behind things. Dry the bilges and     

perhaps  paint them white to highlight leaks and drips.

2. Fuel tank
The usual advice is to fill the fuel  tank  to  prevent  condensation,  

which in  turn prevents the growth of diesel bug.  [Personally, I’m

not so sure about this. Insulating the tank with a blanket should

prevent condensation, and I always use Marine 16  fuel additive    

too – Ed.]

3. Change the engine oil
Change the engine oil and replace the oil filter  before leaving it for the winter. Leaving the old oil contaminated with the acidic by    - products of combustion inside the engine block shortens the engine’s life.  Consider using a  flushing additive to help remove more of the contaminants.

4. Check the gearbox
Check the gearbox or outdrive oil and replace it if it  is cloudy or milky.

5. Drain the raw water system
Diesel engines  with raw water cooling must  be drained for the winter.  Close the water inlet valve, or sea cock,  disconnect a  hose 
from the  circulating  pump  (unless there is a  dedicated tap or plug), and  refill with a  strong solution of antifreeze.  Run the  engine    until antifreeze is emerging .  Simply draining the system can still result in frost damage.

6. Check the water pump impeller
Check the impeller and consider replacing it in the Spring , in case it has deformed over the winter.

7. Remove the air intake filter
Remove the air intake filter and block the intake with an oily rag to prevent rust inside, do the same for the  exhaust. Squirt a little oil into  the  intake  and  turn  over  the  engine,  (without starting), to distribute it over the cylinder walls. Place a warning sign over the ignition.

8. Remove batteries
Consider removing the batteries and keeping them warm and dry over the winter, fully charged or topped up at least every four to six weeks. Batteries left uncharged for long periods may need to be replaced completely.    have been told never to stand batteries on concrete.  If youdon’t remove the batteries, leave them fully topped up and regularly recharged.

9. Belts and drive wheels
The advice is to relax or remove all belts and protect the drive wheels. Rust on these can chew up a belt in the new season. The  one - day RYA Diesel Engine course  will  help  you  prevent  and  solve  diesel  engine failure, covering basic maintenance and engine care , including winterisation.


Ratty doesn’t often come across eels in the water, but once in a while, he bumps into one on dry land.  They are unusual fish in that they can survive out of water for a while and will slither through wet grass to reach water.

The eel (Anguilla anguilla) is  a  thin,  snake-like fish, lacking obvious scales and gills, and can grow over a metre in length . 
It ’s found in our freshwater rivers  and  ditches,  and  last weekend  one dropped  onto  the  hard  at  Boundary  when  a boat was   being lifted out.















Eels breed in  an area of the west  Atlantic  Ocean,  the Sargasso Sea. Their larvae drift in surface waters feeding on organic detritus    before metamorphosing into glass eels and finally  elvers. These undertake an incredible migration back to their parents’  habitats.    Some stay  in brackish  or salt areas close  to  coastlines, but  most  swim upriver and ,  outside  the Broads, are  forced  to  climb  obstructions, such as weirs, dams, and waterfalls. 

Eels are predators and  scavengers, feeding on dead animals, fish eggs, invertebrates and other fish.
 In the past, it was common practice to take eels for the pot when  heir numbers were high,  but removal  of eels  for any purpose is no longer permitted  without licence,  due to their endangered species status.

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Dear NRSC Members

We  were  all  very  sorry  indeed  to  hear  about  the  death  of  John Tibbenham, a former Commodore of NRSC and a much - loved member for many  years.  Read more about John below.  Our sincere condolences go to John’s wife Sue, and all their family and friends.

At last , we managed to hold the Commodore’s BBQ after two weather-related postponements, and it was good to see so many members there, enjoying good food, good friends and good fun.

We had more luck with our sailing programme in September, so read on for the results of the Founders’ Cup, Harvest Bowl and Globe Trophy.

Our final race of the year, the Club Championship, will be held on 7th October , so please get your entries to the OOD, David Reeve. Let’s get all our boats out on the water before the lifting-out.

Finally,  on 11th November,  do  make  sure the Club  AGM,  Dinner and Prize - giving is in your diary. We will soon send  around the menu  options, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Last,  but certainly not least, the Club  Programme for 2024 has been completed, and a preview is available in this Newsletter. James is busy putting the Club Calendar together with all the dates included and will have copies available for everyone  at the annual dinner.

All the very best

Mark Collins




NRSC PROGRAMME 2024 by the NRSC  Committee

Your committee has worked  amazingly hard to organise

next year’s programme well ahead of time so that all the

details are ready for the  2024  Club Calendar, which will

be on sale at the November AGM.  


It’s a great stocking -filler and a handy reminder of what’s

coming up next.  Here’s a preview for you (right).

In addition to the dozen races traditionally staged by the

Club, we have not three but four cruises, (two of them at

different times on the Southern Rivers to suit your

preference),  training sessions in Navionics and other

mysteries,  guided  walks in winter and spring,  a visit  to  

the International Boatbuilding Centre in  Lowestoft and  

the Hyperbaric  Unit  at  James Paget Hospital.


We also have the usual New Year’s Lunch, Fitting Out

Lunch, Commodore’s BBQ and Annual Dinner, all

topped off with a Christmas Cracker Social!

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped put this

fantastic programme together and volunteered to take

the lead in an event.    Your club needs you!


John was a long-time club member, a keen and skilful sailor.  From the outset of his membership 

he played a full part in the club's activities, and it was only a matter of  time before he became  

Commodore.  He served in that role in the 2011 and 2012 seasons and gave wise, thoughtful and

unflappable leadership.


His profession as a quantity surveyor meant that he was always  good at detail and organisation.    

Committee meetings at his home were distinguished by his wife Sue’s cakes!

John was friendly and approachable,  with a fine sense of humour. Always willing to help and give

advice he made a very good club member, and his company was appreciated by all.

John also contributed to wider issues in the Broads. He was a member of NSBA’s General Purposes Committee for some years and served on the Broads Forum.  After he retired from his profession, he did hands-on boat work at a boatyard near Reedham 
Ferry called Sandersons and was a source of good contacts and sensible tips.  John was an all- round good man and much respected. He will be greatly missed.

FOUNDERS’ CUP, 30th – 31st August 2023 by Mark Collins

We always enjoy our Founders’ Cup racing over two days on Wroxham, hosted by our great friends in the Norfolk Broads Yacht 
Club.  Once  again, we were not disappointed as six  boats entered and moored overnight , and more than twenty members came along and joined us for a drink and supper in the lovely clubhouse on the  evening of the first day. Our special thanks go to Martin Jones, our NBYC OOD for the  event,  and timekeepers Andrew Musgrave and Chris Dunster.

The Founders Cup Regatta is comprised of four races over two days, with a briefing after lunch on Day One.  We had a bit of wind for the  first race, most boats completing the circuits in 30-40 minutes ,  but for the second race that afternoon, it  was 40-50 minutes and the next  morning 50-60 minutes! For the final race in the morning of 31st August we asked for a shorter course as some of us pretty much ground to a standstill!

Déjà Vu romped away with all four races and won overall, with Strega taking a good second place and Tallulah and Simply The Best equal third. Other entries were ZigZag and My Weigh.

HARVEST BOWL by Nigel Wordingham

A good turnout of six boats sailed in quite light  winds on 9th

September, the day of the postponed Commodore’s  BBQ.

Accordingly, the course was set fairly short by OOD  Pio  Altarelli,  

up to Oby Dyke , back to a buoy just before the clubhouse, then  

to Upton and back for the finish.


The wind picked up a bit during the  race ,  but dropped after the

first two boats had finished.  Déjà Vu  with Jeff and John

Hargreaves  was two minutes faster than Simply the Best  with  

Mark and Malcolm, but STB  won by 45 seconds on handicap.    


Tallulah beat Cho Cho San comfortably on handicap.


Pegamoose II and My Weigh also ran.

CLUB BBQ & SOCIAL by Mark Collins

The Commodore's BBQ was a success for the Club, and just reward for the organisers, who did a great deal of  work. I got back home with the recycling after the clear-up, quite exhausted,  as I'm sure did many others! Mel was a great help to us, cooking the pork loins 
and chicken thighs at home, which everyone greatly appreciated.    
We’re hoping solar power may have helped with the  roasting marathon!

Many other Club members contributed by bringing salads, making purchases such as strawberries, preparing the clubhouse and grounds, putting up the marquee, ensuring we had gas, and dealing with the finances. Not to mention bringing excellent raffle prizes and simply participating in the event, which had to be postponed twice due to inclement weather.


There were many other acts of kindness and support, too many to mention. By my reckoning, there were 29 people at the BBQ,   understandably a bit down on previous years, given the postponements.   One or two must have paid and not turned up, as we had 32 
registered, but they were  all catered for. Nothing was wasted, and the Sunday workforce enjoyed  a good lunch as a  reward, which was richly deserved as we were several helpers down.

Then there were  the races, also  well-planned and successful, drawing  in  the OODs, timekeepers, numerous participants and, of course, the Sailing Secretary.  This entailed planning  the courses, putting out and gathering in marks, analysing  results and working  on handicaps to make sure the Club racing is equitable and inclusive, as it should be.

Many kind people commented favourably on  the outcomes of the weekend, and I  am most grateful to  everyone for the great effort that was made.



The  postponed Green Ranger pursuit race was held on Sunday 10th September,  a  very hot day with a moderate easterly wind. All the entrants got good starts, with approx. 9 minutes between the first, Friendship and the 800s.

The course was from the Anchorage to a buoy at Oby repeatedly till the hooter signalled the finish  at 13:00, making a long  hot race  for the early  starters.  Simply  The  Best was on a  lee shore for some time but managed to rejoin the race with some  nifty  lowering and raising of sails.

The finishing order was Deja Vu, sailed by Jeff and John, Cho Cho San with Nigel and Sean, Simply The Best, Mark and Ivan and Friendship sailed by Maggi and Malcolm. Thanks for the help given to the OOD, Peter Coleman, putting out buoys and time keeping.

GLOBE TROPHY  by Pio Altarelli, Nigel Wordingham & Brian Gray

Long - term Club Member Alan Winters often used to rest between tides at Three Mile House on the lower Bure above Gt Yarmouth. He made friends with the owners, Keith and Angela Tebbutt, where they hatched the idea of an upriver race from Three Mile House to    Acle Bridge. 

The Globe Trophy, inaugurated by Nigel  Wordingham  in  memory of  his father,  Jack, was initially two downriver races to the Anchorage but  Nigel agreed  some years ago  to change  it to today’s upriver race from Three Mile House.

Angela Tebbutt  has always  prepared and served a light  lunch as  a  welcome for the competitors. Her family and friends used to join her and provide quite an assembly to see off the crews.  Over time , we witnessed the deterioration of Keith’s health as Alzheimer's took hold but, after his death, Angela  has kept his memory alive by continuing to welcome us. It may be seen as a bit of a slog downriver to Three Mile House, but the welcome from Angela and her wonderful helpers make it all worthwhile.


This year the four starters were down to three as, while mooring to remast at the

Bridge Inn, Simply The Best’s crewman Simon, slipped and  fell  into  the  river.  He  

was quickly able to get to the pub’s ladder and no harm was done, but skipper Mark

decided to withdraw and head home to get Simon a change of clothes.

For the rest, the sail down was great fun, reaching and running all the way, helped by

the falling tide. After a tasty lunch the start, delayed by ten minutes,  was  watched  

by  Angela , herfamily and friends, about ten in all.  The starters produced a fine show

of skill as they jockeyed for the start.  With the tide just starting its flood and a 10kn

westerly wind, Brian, in Tallulah crewed by Chris Evans was first away at 1240, 
followed in  ten - minute intervals by Cho Cho San, Nigel and Sean, then Deja Vu, Jeff    

and Mick.

After  a spot-on start, Cho Cho San was making  good  progress, long and  short  tacks,  but touching bottom occasionally, always a caution at low tide close to Gt Yarmouth. They felt at one point to be keeping their distance from  Déjà  Vu  behind,  but  Tallulah stormed  ahead, difficult  to  catch.  At  one  point,  they  were  becalmed  which  didn’t  help  their  challenge.

Deja Vu tested the full width of the river which proved costly, touching bottom soon after the 
start and damaging the rudder  post.  They were gradually  catching  the lead  boats up the meandering river but  the finish line at

Acle Bridge arrived before they could  overtake. 

On handicap after  a  two-and-a-half-hour race, only  thirty  seconds separated De ja Vu,  the winner and Tallulah  in second  place , with Cho Cho San  just two  minutes  behind.

The Bridge Inn  kindly reserved moorings to enable de masting and the event concluded with a good meal, with 15 members joining in to welcome the intrepid crews.


Now that the NRSC Programme for 2024 is complete, we will have t he Club calendar available for purchase at the annual November dinner. All I need now are your photographs!

As ever, the best photograph will appear on the Calendar’s cover and will win the Club Photo Competition. Many of you are producing   fantastic  shots, notably from Sailing in Company  and the  East Coast Cruise, so do please enter.

Please send me a selection of your best shots  immediately as we shall soon send  the Calendar off to the printer. 

HERRING BRIDGE abb. from Norfolk County Council

Herring  Bridge  will  soon  come  into  operation  for  all  marine 
traffic.  Once operational, all vessels  must contact  Herring Bridge

Control to book a passage. The guidance on how  to do this and    

further bridge and navigational information will be 
available soon.

The recent final river possession allowed the installation of guard

rails and fencing on the main bridge deck and the safe testing  and  

commissioning of all bridge operating systems. 

Other areas that are now substantially complete include the bascule  

chamber roofs, control tower and installation of pontoons  for yachts

and other small  craft.


Did you know that on average you have less than 11 minutes to recover a  crewmate who has fallen overboard into  cold water  before the  victim becomes unresponsive?    


In the recreational sector almost half  (47%)  of  man overboard occurrences  between 2017 and 2023 resulted  in a fatality.

Do take care!

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Dear NRSC Members

Well, at last summer seems to be here! It has been a difficult season so far with some very strong winds and rain affecting racing, cruising and Sailing in Company, but we still have plenty of events lined up, so do come along and join in.

Please try to come to the Founders Cup at NBYC Wroxham this week – all the details are in my recent email, and there is still time to enter the races or come along to watch and book for the supper on Wednesday evening.

The postponed Club BBQ will be a highlight on Saturday 9th September after the Harvest Bowl. Next day, Sunday 10th September, we have the postponed Green Ranger, a pursuit race that everyone can enjoy. Don’t worry if you haven’t raced before, this event is pretty much like Sailing in Company!

On September 23rd, we have the Globe Trophy. This is a timed start race from Three Mile House on the Lower Bure, so entrants demast at Acle Bridge, motor downriver and race back for dinner in the Bridge Inn. It’s a unique race on our rivers, and great fun!

Finally, if for any reason you would rather not receive the NRSC Newsletter, just let me know, and I will take you off the list.

All the very best,

Mark Collins,



DATE                     EVENT                             LOCATION                   ORGANISER


30-31 August      Founders Cup                Wroxham                    Nigel Wordingham

9th September   Harvest Bowl                 Anchorage                   Pio Altarelli

9th September   Club BBQ & Social        Anchorage                   Mark Collins

10th September Green Ranger Trophy  Anchorage                   Peter Coleman

23rd September Globe Trophy                3 Mile House               Pio Altarelli

OBY THISTLE AND EMBLEM TROPHY by Mark Collins & Nigel Wordingham

What a weekend! On Saturday, 5th August My Weigh, Cho Cho San and Simply The Best ventured to the Anchorage with yellow weather warnings not far away. But at first, it was as if we were in the eye of the storm, with hardly any wind, but rain, rain, rain and the tide running in strongly, carrying bladderwrack up from the salt.


Peter Coleman, Maggie Lomax and Michael Powell very kindly took over race management for the weekend, and Nigel and Sean Wordingham put marks out on the Bure below the pumphouse, at Oby Dyke and at Acle.

In the first race for the Oby Thistle, the start was set upstream. My Weigh, with David Reeve and John Redding aboard, together with Cho Cho San carrying Nigel and Sean Wordingham, chose to take a run at it, while Simply The Best, with Mark Collins and new member Simon Norman aboard, doodled near the line, got carried over by the tide and had a fight to get back in poor wind.


All three were soon away, with Cho Cho San in the lead, but Simply The Best caught up and battle commenced, but Cho Cho San, flying a large genoa with stanchions removed to allow unimpeded tacking, took a modest lead by the Oby mark. The wind picked up a bit, and after rounding the mark Simply the Best was sailing to handicap till just before the mill. Luckily for Cho Cho San, Simply the Best suffered the combined effect of the awkward wind and the tide by the mill and came in third behind Cho Cho San and My Weigh (second on handicap).

In the second race for the Thistle, the three musketeers all took a very good upstream start

with My Weigh a nose in front, hemmed in by Cho Cho San and Simply The Best on either

side. The wind was improving, and Simply The Best took the Oby mark from Cho Cho San.


Cho Cho San briefly overtook Simply the Best in the ensuing tacking tussle but this time

Cho Cho San suffered the curse of the mill, with the wind seeming to change direction with

every tack. My Weigh caught up and nearly passed her! Cho Cho could only watch nearly

becalmed as Simply the Best glided smoothly away!


Simply The Best enjoyed a long tack to very near the clubhouse and came in first, followed

by My Weigh on handicap, with Cho Cho San third. Overall, with even points for Cho Cho

San and Simply The Best, national read-back rules kicked in and Simply The Best came first

and took the silverware, with Cho Cho San second and My Weigh third. That My Weigh

managed to get two second places in light winds and with an adverse tide was an

exceptional performance.

Sunday morning dawned with a mixture of sun and cloud with rainy squalls and the

predicted very high winds. ZigZag did not race while Cho Cho San and Simply The Best

squared up at the Anchorage, full of vim and vigour.


They pulled away downstream to hoist heavily reefed sails in the reeds, but the Force 5 wind hammered them at 29-33 knots. The boats were uncontrollable and both skippers independently admitted defeat. The racing was abandoned, and the crews returned to the clubhouse for sustenance.

On the return to Boundary, in what Mr Beaufort calls a “Fresh Breeze” straight down the river the waves were topped with white horses and the very high tide was over the banks. Mooring to windward in Boundary was a nightmare, with Simply The Best only saved by stern stuff from Peter and Maggie assisted by Ray Nichols and his brother ashore, and Martin Salisbury and Simon Norman on board. Not a classic racing weekend but definitely memorable and despite everything, spirits were high and the club delivered a fine experience for all.



I was recently asked for advice about a non-starting Yanmar 1GM10 following running out of fuel. Not easy on the end of a phone! A number of Pegasus yachts use this power plant, which, before marine use, began life powering cement mixers, it is rugged, but not refined.


We have one on Strega, and it got me thinking about simplifying the bleeding process, i.e. remembering what all the parts look like, which spanner size and in what order to bleed.

It is a procedure that is not required too often and will only need to be carried out if the tank has run dry, or maintenance work has allowed air to enter the system. A diesel engine will not run if there is air in the plumbing. The air bubble acts like a squishy balloon when it gets to the injector and will not allow fuel to pass through.

To bleed the system, you must first identify where the bleed points are and in which order to carry out the task. My pictures should help with this process, the sequence is the same on any diesel engine, although the elements may look different.


NRSC CALENDAR 2024 by James Bush

This year, I am hoping to have the Club calendar available at the annual November dinner,

thereby solving a few Christmas present problems and at the same time saving on postage,

which has become so expensive!


We have the 2024 Programme in hand so all I need now are your very finest photographs!
As ever, the best photograph will appear on the Calendar’s cover and will win the Club Photo

Competition. Many of you are producing fantastic shots, notably from Sailing in Company

and the East Coast Cruise, so do please enter the competition.

Please send me a selection of your best shots by the end of September at the latest, as

I shall soon be putting the Calendar together for the printer. Many thanks, and good luck!


As a sailing club affiliated to the RYA, NRSC aims to comply at all times with the RYA’s Racing Charter, shown below or click here


This is a straightforward, common sense policy, well worth a read.

HANDICAPS – WHAT ARE THEY ALL ABOUT? by Nigel Wordingham and Mark Collins

The Norfolk Broads saw some of the earliest yacht racing, as far back as the 1850s. The

Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club (RNSYC) was formed in 1859 and convened the first

amateur trophy race in 1876, from which professional crews of “watermen” were excluded.


Events back then included boats of all sorts, as many do to this day, and giving everyone a

fair chance of winning has been a challenge ever since.

One answer was to construct fleets of similar boats in “classes”, the first example being in

Ireland in 1886. In the early 1900s, RNSYC commissioned their first “One Design” boats –

the Broads One Design or Brown Boat - to test the crew and provide the purest form of

racing. Many classes followed, including the Yare and Bure One Design (white boat) and the

Yarmouth One Design. Class races take place across the Broads today and are highly

competitive, attracting some of the best sailors.

The other approach is to have a handicap. This appears to have originated on the Solent in

the 1820s as a ‘primitive system of time allowance’ based on size. This did not go down well

with the owners of the bigger vessels, so starting a history of arguing about handicaps!

There have been many handicap systems over the years. Most attempt to handicap based on the boat itself, taking into account size, design, class and configuration. The aim is for the most skilled crews to have the best chance of winning in their boats.


A few years ago, the RYA introduced the national handicap for cruisers (NHC) - a system where handicaps changed frequently based on past results - like a golf handicap. This was based purely on the performance of a particular boat and its crew.

The issues with a purely boat-based handicap are:

• There is rarely enough data for a fully objective judgement, and even if there was, performance depends greatly on conditions on the      day. No system is perfect for all scenarios.

• It is not helpful if only those who extensively prepare their boat, potentially spending a considerable amount of money and stripping        the boat to make it lighter, can be competitive. We want to encourage broad participation.

• If only one or two members are likely to win, it is not motivating or challenging enough for them either.

The issues with a boat and crew handicap are:

• That anybody who sails in enough races is virtually guaranteed a place, rather than being rewarded for skill and effort.

• There is a danger (albeit slight in NRSC) of participants holding back to improve their handicap to win a particular trophy.

• The way it was carried out, frequently changing handicaps were confusing.


The boats in NRSC were not built purely with racing in mind. Their attraction lies in their flexibility, with enough room to stay on board for a week or two’s holiday, cruise offshore, carry a reliable engine, and have rigging and keel to suit local conditions. Nevertheless, many members also enjoy racing together, and in NRSC, we provide an annual race diary second to none! To encourage this, we use handicaps to make the racing competitive and fun for all.

Handicaps are set by the Handicaps Sub-committee – currently Nigel Wordingham (Sailing Secretary), Mark Collins (Commodore) and Jeff Harteveldt (Racing Results Officer). The Vice- Commodore would normally also be included, but the position is currently vacant. We meet to consider updated race data, club objectives and inclusion issues. The Sub-Committee’s work is never fully objective, especially for one-off boats, as conditions and crews vary greatly. This is particularly the case when entries are low.

We used to use the RYA's Portsmouth Yardstick numbers, then adjusted them based on our boats, experience and conditions. The Yardstick is no longer available for cruisers, so having used the NHC system for a few years, we now use historical club data.

Many of our racing boats are Pegasus 800s or 700s, but some are unique in the club. Our starting point is based on boat model and specifications - rig, keel type, folding or fixed propeller, engine and so on, as far as this can be evaluated. This means ostensibly identical boats will get the same handicap, and similar boats will have an adjustment, e.g., for outboard vs inboard engine. However, in the case of the Pegasus 800s, three that appear to be faster (two of which belong to the handicap committee!) have been given higher handicaps.

This results in a handicap number used to multiply the time the boat takes to complete the race in seconds (elapsed seconds) to determine corrected seconds, which are then used to work out the finish position. Numbers currently range from 0.8258 to 1.07 - higher means the boat is expected to be faster. In NRSC Quartet is the “scratch” boat with a handicap of 1.00 so in this case her elapsed and corrected seconds are the same.

The RYA has recently introduced a system for cruisers whereby each

yacht can apply for an individual Yacht Time Correction based on t

he boat and its specification. This is free, and if enough members

sign up, we could compare the YTC figures with those currently in


Please provide any feedback on the handicapping to the

Subcommittee. We aim to make racing as fair, competitive and fun

as possible for all members. We appreciate your input as we review

the system continuously. The latest handicaps and results are on

the website and will be updated periodically.


Please advise the Sailing Secretary, Nigel Wordingham, of any

errors or omissions. These handicaps are subject to review by the

Handicaps Sub-Committee.


This is a gentle reminder to all Club members about the importance of

health, safety and security at the Anchorage. I’m sorry to say that recently

we have had problems with members leaving the Anchorage insecure.


In particular, the rear gate has occasionally been left open, the

combination lock on the main door has been left with the entry code

showing on the barrel, and the gas supplies have not been properly

closed off either in the external gas locker or at the gas stove inside,

or both.

You can conveniently find a summary of our policies and practices on page 5 of this year’s Red Book, and there are additional details in the Health & Safety Policy available on the website and in hard copy inside the Anchorage.

If you need help with any aspect of the Anchorage and its use, please don’t hesitate to contact our Boatswain Malcolm Flatman, or either of our Coxswains, Chris Evans and Brian Gray, who will be pleased to help and advise you.




                                      A very warm welcome to our new Crew Member, Simon Norman. Simon is from Reedham

                                      and is an experienced and well-qualified sailor. He plans to take an active part in the

                                      Club’s racing and cruising calendar.

                                       Many thanks to Broads Authority Ranger Matt Larkman for snapping this picture, right,

                                       of a kingfisher enjoying the view from our clubhouse.


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Dear NRSC Members

There’s  something  for  everyone  in  this  month’s  Newsletter, from racing  results  to  moorings  at  Yarmouth,  the  trials  and tribulations  of diesel bug, and a message from our friendly Broads Ranger!

Warmest congratulations to James for creating an excellent little video illustrating our East Coast Cruise and loading it up on YouTube! It’s well worth watching just click here.

Did you know that, despite recent increases in tolls, the Broads is still one of the cheapest inland waterways on which to navigate?  An 8x3 metre motorboat will cost £408 on the Broads, but my friend Duncan Holmes of the Broads Society has discovered that  it would be 50% more on  the Ely Ouse (£600), 90% more on the Canal and Rivers (£781), and over twice as much on the River Avon (£830)! Our tidal 
Broads environment is so much more interesting and beautiful, which is why 7 million tourists flock here every year

All the very best,

Mark Collins,




On  the  weekend of 29th - 30th July the Yare Valley Sailing Club will hold an  event on the Bure.  I have agreed with the Commodore that, if there is room, he is welcome to use the moorings at the Anchorage, on the understanding that it is at their own risk.


Date                    Event                                  Location             Organiser

5 August            Oby Thistle                        Anchorage          Nigel W

6 August            Emblem Trophy                Anchorage          Nigel W

12-20 August    Southern Rivers Cruise   Southern Rivers  Michael S

30-31 August    Founders Cup                   Wroxham             Nigel  W


At a Peel Ports Commercial and Leisure Users’ Group meeting on Monday, 10th July in Gt.Yarmouth. Tim Ellis of Norfolk County Council gave an update on the Herring Bridge project, which could be operational by the end of August. The pontoons on each side of the bridge, are almost complete. Coordination of the opening of the Breydon, Haven and Herring Bridges remains a matter for discussion between the Highways Authority (Breydon),  Peel  Ports (Haven) and Norfolk County Council (Herring). Breydon Bridge is due to become operational again in September/October 2023.  Questions were asked as to why Gt.  Yarmouth Borough Council has no pontoons at Hall Quay, and it was agreed to press for a representative to attend future User Group meetings.

                                                                                               During a Broads Authority trip  to  Breydon Water,  I had an opportunity to inspect

                                                                                               the triangular remasting/demasting  dolphin, The triangular dolphin (left)  is                                                                                                             unsuitable for a pontoon as it is very exposed to the weather on all sides. This is                                                                                                     why it’s triangular, allowing a skipper to choose the best side under prevailing wind                                                                                                 and tide. The large commercial berth for coasters on the south bank (which I will                                                                                                     call the Blackheath berth after the coaster that formerly used it on passage to                                                                                                           Norwich) could be adapted for remasting/demasting if  a pontoon was added.  


                                                                                               This would bring into use an expensive structure that is currently unused. A                                                                                                               pontoon could take up only part of the berth as coasters  would need it for                                                                                                               sailing to the sugar factory at Cantley, should they ever decide to import sugar                                                                                                         cane and use the  factory  all  year - round.  The prospect of coasters once again 
                                                                                               visiting  Norwich,  however, seems remote, given the  state of the bridges.  


The  idea has attracted some interest and is scheduled for the next Users Group Meeting, again hosted by Peel Ports.  The Blackheath dock belongs to Highways England but  lies in the Broads Authority Executive Area.


SUMMER REGATTA... by Jeff Harteveldt

On Saturday 1st July four boats took part in the Summer Regatta. The winds were strong with very strong gusts, making it difficult for helms and crew. With the westerly wind, the course was set to a mark down the Bure towards St Benet’s and then a short leg back to Boundary, returning to the Bure mark before heading back to the finish line at the Clubhouse.

With 2 starts of 2 boats, Tallulah took advantage of a slow start by Pegamoose  who mistimed the start line, but got going again and gave chase.  Simply the Best had a good start with Deja Vu about 10 seconds behind. After around 80 mins of racing, on handicap  Simply the Best was 1st, Tallulah 2nd, Deja Vu 3rd and Pegamoose  4th.

The second race saw even stronger winds.  Pegamoose  decided the winds were too strong and DNS, Deja Vu decided to try a larger jib which could be advantageous on the long reach home. With only one start,  Tallulah and  Simply the Best  got away quickly with  Deja Vu playing catchup again. Around Boundary, all  three boats were tacking together; strong squalls created problems with two boats coming together.  Simply the Best withdrew from the race leaving Tallulah  and  Deja  Vu  to  battle  it  out.  The  decision  to  have  a  large  jib meant that Deja Vu managed  to  pull  away  on the  homeward  leg.    


After handicaps were applied, Deja  Vu just  pipped Tallulah  by 5 seconds.


Overall results  were:

Pegamoose           4th 

Simply the  Best   3rd

Tallulah                  2nd 
Deja Vu                  1st

My thanks go to Margaret and Pat for timekeeping and to  Brian for helping with

the marks. Several folks  stayed overnight at the Clubhouse and had a great BBQ 

COMMODORE’S CUP  22nd July 2023... by Mark Collins

With a blustery south-westerly blowing 12 knots and gusts of 17, four boats took to the water from the Anchorage in two starts.  Strega (Pioan Sue) and Simply The Best (Mark and Malcolm) left at 11:00 and  Déjà Vu (Jeff and Mick) and Cho Cho San (Nigel and Sean)  at 11.10.  With  the  Commodore  as  OOD, advised by Peter C ashore, we elected for a running start upriver on an incoming tide, 
past a mark at Boundary Dyke and on to the Pumphouse, back to Boundary, rounding to the Pumphouse again, then home.  


Strega  and Simply The Best came in with the best and second-best elapsed times at 1h 16 and 1h 18, with Déjà Vu at 1h19 and  Cho Cho San  at 1h22 , the order remaining the same after the application of handicaps.  


The second group certainly had less favourable wind towards the end of the race. It was good to see Strega  showing her petticoats after a long absence from the racing scene. She took off from the start,  while Simply The Best overshot and crawled back to the line. But 
Strega was overtaken by Simply The Best near Thurne Mouth. In a tussle from then on,  Strega came back with a will, and although    Simply The Best  overtook her again, she fought her way back to the line through better seamanship.


The trickiest bit was the quick incoming tide and headwind in the last few hundred yards towards the Anchorage. The uncertain weather caused the postponement of the BBQ until after the Harvest Bowl on 9th September,  but it allowed the earlier start to the race so that we avoided the afternoon downpours.  


The Green Ranger was  postponed to 10 th September, making it easier for stopovers after the  postponed BBQ.  Many thanks go to Peter C  for  Acting  OOD,  Margaret and  Maggi  L  for  timekeeping.  Pat provided welcome refreshments and Jeff kindly helped with the marks. Not forgetting Mick for bringing his strimmer and keeping the snakes and bears at bay – good job!

Ever wondered how all those weirdly-shaped boat covers and cushions are made?     


Jacqui at  Creative Covers of Catfield has kindly agreed to host an event  for us and to 
explain how it’s all done.


Watch out for the 2024 NRSC programme – there will be lots of surprises for you ! Ed.


To satisfy directive  EN590, reduce air pollution from exhausts and move towards carbon neutrality, bioethanol has been added to petrochemical fuels - up to 15% in petrol and up to 12% in diesel.


A red dye was added to untaxed off-road fuel for identification; it also had a high sulphur content, which acted as a biocide and lubricant in injector pumps and injectors. But red diesel is no longer available for boating , so marine engines now largely use road diesel with up to 12% bioethanol. How does this affect us?

Well, bioethanol is hygroscopic, meaning that it acts like a sponge, absorbing water. Also, the additive reduces the shelf life of the fuel   to between six and  twelve months, when solids start to form, the fuel becomes discoloured, and it  fails to burn cleanly.  Why is this a pro   blem?


Say that your fuel tank is half full, and  the air above the fuel, perhaps 10 litres of it , may contain up to 6% saturated water vapour. If the walls of the tank are cooled, the vapour condenses into water droplets. These agglomerate into drops large enough to fall into the diesel, where  they collect in the bottom of the tank, heavier than the fuel . Bear in mind that  this is also occurring in the fuel station storage tank, and you might have  be en served with dirty fuel!

                                                                                    The lack of sulphur and the addition of ethanol encourages a bacterial sludge  to                                                                                                    develop, the dreaded ‘diesel bug’. This sludge will eventually block filters. So, now we                                                                                              have two problems, water and sludge!

                                                                                    Changing filters every year will  ameliorate the blockage issue, but some sludge residue                                                                                          will form and settle in the bottom of the tank and sit happily below the fuel intake tube,                                                                                        which is not much of an issue on the Broads for a few years. Biocides such as “Marine 16”                                                                                      will reduce the problem, but not completely. Fuel filters will also remove any water held                                                                                        in the fuel line, which will be drained down when the filter is removed.


Unfortunately, we are not allowed a clear filter bowl on the Broads, so we can’t see any water that might be there, but we can drain the filter and check. Some of the water will sit under the fuel in the tank. Again, not generally a problem on the Broads. Some tanks have a drain tap at the lowest level for the purpose of draining off  these condensates.

However, take your boat to sea, and the wave movement will agitate sludge and water and may cause it to be drawn into the fuel system. The sludge may partially block the feed pipes and reduce flow,  the engine loses power, or at worst , blocks the pipe,  and the engine stops! 

All issues we had on the East Coast Cruise. On the failed engine, it was necessary to change the primary filter and blow out the fuel line; not an easy task! This tank now requires draining down and a professional cleaning to get rid of all the  residue.

To avoid having these issues there are a few things we can do:

1. Keep your fuel tank full to reduce  air - to - fuel contact . This  reduces  the  formation of sludge and water droplets. Top up after every       journey.

2.  Alternatively, use all  the  fuel in  the  tank within six months,  and  keep it fresh.  It may mean only having what you need for the                 journey.

3. Use a biocide additive such as Marine 16, which the RNLI uses.

4. Drain water from below  the  filter bowl regularly.

5.  Importantly,  change filters every year, or less, especially before going to sea!

6. Every few years, drain and clean out the  fuel tank.



BROADS RANGER ON Matt Larkman, Broads Authority

Matt Larkman is the Broads Authority Ranger for the Lower Bure and Thurne  and can often be seen patrolling our part of the river. Here he talks about his life and duties on the water.

The average day for a Ranger on the patrol launch involves a great deal of water safety advice and management. I'm always looking to assist and  advise people new to boating. I might have to help people mooring when it's blowing a good lee or windward  shore  at  Acle Bridge, springing boats off on occasions. 

Health  and  safety is a big part of the role, and we conduct  Super Safety Days across the B roads.  These are large-scale education and enforcement  events reaching out to everyone on the water. 

Radar speed checks are done around our area  at least four times a week, usually daily.  St  Benet’s,  Stokesby  and  Potter Heigham are the hotspots. Ongoing licence compliance checks for tolls are also a large part of the role. 

I work in a team of five for the season. The Ranger launches are out seven days a week during this time. We patrol as far down the Bure as Mautby Mill, and right upstream in the Thurne. This is an important area for sailing boats, and I often see the Northern Rivers Sailing Club yachts enjoying a cruise or a race.


They always give me a wave, and I enjoy the camaraderie. It’s clear to me that skippers on yachts have a close relationship with the river and know how to handle the wind and tide, which can be tricky at times.

I really enjoy patrolling around Hickling and Martham as it's an excellent area for wildlife.  We sometimes have days when we undertake surveys on the wildlife around the Northern Broads. I've seen several Cranes and Avocets so far this season. The reed beds are full of warblers and nesting Marsh Harriers too. Otters are always exciting to see and are often around Upton and outside our billet at Womack Dyke.

Access  for  ramblers is important to  the Authority, and sometimes you will find me cutting permissive Broads footpaths to keep them clear. I lead guided Ranger walks once a month from May to September. We have some superb wildlife sites and  it’s good to get some physical activity during the week.  Overall, it's quite a varied role, and as someone with a passion for wildlife and the outdoors, it is an excellent job for me. 

If  you ever need to contact the Broads rangers to report an incident, you can phone Broads Control on 01603 756 056  or email

Broads Control  is  staffed between  the hours of 9am and 6pm during summer, and 9am and 5pm during winter. Please always 
phone 999 in an emergency.

BROADS GUIDEBOOKS... byDavid Edlestone,  Broads Society

These recently published guides by Joe Jackson, are divided into chapters

covering a village or town on the Broads, with a map, numerous colour

photographs and guiding text highlighting features of interest. All the

walks range from 1 to 6 miles and start  and finish at either a car park or

a Broads mooring,  so are helpful whether you are travelling  by  boat, car

or public transport.


The Northern Broads edition includes maps and directions for over 50

walking routes in and around 26 towns and villages including Wroxham,

Potter Heigham, Ludham and Ranworth.


The Southern Broads edition has over 40 walking routes in and around 21 towns and villages including  Beccles,  Reedham,  Norwich and Oulton Broad. Each edition provides details of moorings, parking, pubs, restaurants, cafes and other points of interest. 

The  books are paperback with the Northern edition having 206 pages and the Southern edition 160 pages. The books are well laid out with directions for each walk that are easy to use and are excellent guides for anyone wishing to explore the Broads on foot. ISBN 978 -1- 7393458 -1-5 (North),  ISBN 987-1-7393458-0- 8 (South).

Navionics, now a Garmin brand,  is the pioneering Italian company that brought the world’s first digital marine electronic chart to market in 1984. Navionics UK transitioned to become Navimaps Ltd when Garmin BlueCharts were added to the product range enabling them to offer full support to both brands of leading digital marine cartography.

Navimaps of Plymouth  supply and support the full  range of Navionics and Garmin  marine charts.  Call  01752 258 726





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Dear NRSC Members

I do hope  you’re all enjoying the warm weather and planning to participate in the rest of this season’s events. With two of our three cruises successfully completed, it will soon be time to turn our thoughts to the wide-open spaces of the Southern Rivers. Michael Sparrow is busy studying the tides, and we’re hoping for a good mix of yachts and motorboats to join us, 12–20  August. 

Meanwhile, July sees the Summer Regatta  this coming weekend and the ever-popular Commodore’s Cup and Green Ranger Trophy, 15-16 July. Marquee,  bbq... not to be missed!

Sadly, we have said farewell to another long-term member, Jane Mitchell, and our condolences go out to all her family, who have invited members to a memorial lunch on 29th July (see below). We must look to the future and keep our membership numbers up. This  means recruiting newcomers to the Broads, so do please chat with your neighbours in the various marinas that  you frequent, and extol the virtues of NRSC’s fantastic clubhouse, membership and programme of events.

All the very best

Mark Collins,



Date               Event                                Location             Organiser

01-02 July       Summer Regatta          Anchorage           Jeff Harteveldt

                        & Novice Cup

15 July            Commodore’s Cup        Anchorage          Mark Collins

16 July            Green Ranger Trophy   Anchorage          Peter Coleman


REMEMBERING OUR MEMBERS                            Dr Jane Mitchell  20th August 1929 – 24th May 2023

                                                                                  We  were  very  sorry indeed to hear from David Mitchell that his mother, Jane died                                                                                                  peacefully after a short stay at Heron Lodge in Wroxham.  Jane, a long-term Club member ,                                                                                    was awarded Honorary  Membership  just  last year. 

                                                                                 For many of us, she is best remembered for her afternoon teas, to which she generously
                                                                                 invited everyone  following the Spring Trophy held at Barton Broad.  Jane’s home,                                                                                                     ‘Kingfishers’ at Barton Turf,  has its own mooring, and it was a  delight to enjoy  sandwiches                                                                                   and  cake  with Jane and her friends on the lawn next to the dyke. 

                                                                                 All members of NRSC are invited to lunch and a celebration of Jane’s life, which will be held 
                                                                                 at The New Victory Hall, Neatishead, NR12 8XG, on Saturday 29th July from 1.00 pm.

                                                                                 To assist with  planning,  please let  David  know if  you will attend. There will be an                                                                                                   opportunity to  contribute with a few words  or  memories. Donations will go to the RNLI  in                                                                                   Jane’s memory, and  can be made at


                                                                                Contact email: Telephone: 0797 6752154 


If anyone is interested in some winter moorings, they will become available at Horning Sailing Club this coming winter.  To express an interest, contact the Club Secretary,  Mrs Anne Wagstaff, on 01692 630 395.


Don’t forget to order your club clothing from dd Health  & Safety  Supplies! It’s  very  good  quality and moderately priced with an excellently-embroidered Club logo. As well as sailing  caps, they also have bump caps – highly recommended  to  protect  you  from  the boom in windy conditions.

dd Health & Safety Supplies Ltd, Unit 2 Kingsway, Norwich NR2 4UE.  Telephone:   01603 62891. We are assured of personal service from the manager, Dave Eaglen

NRSC  EAST COAST CRUISE by  Mark Collins & Nigel Wordingham

This year’s East Coast Cruise was a great success, with seven boats taking part in a voyage planned by John Blackburne. Saturday 4th June saw St Helen, Strega, Cho Cho San, Caballero, Simply the Best and  Déjà  Vu demasting  at  the  Anchorage and heading downriver, to be joined in Lowestoft by New Horizons the following day.  The late morning departure to catch the low tide threatened to clash with the Three Rivers Race, but we were past their final  mark at Stokesby in good time and, in the event, most competitors chose the Thurne for their opening gambit.

Having been warned by RNSYC of unpleasant sea conditions at the entrance to Lowestoft Harbour, the decision was taken to travel across Breydon Water and spend the night in the vicinity of Oulton Broad for a passage through Mutford Lock the following afternoon.


After remasting, some dined at the splendid Hatfield Hotel and the rest at the RNSYC, where we all spent the night. The next  morning,   we headed down to Suffolk Yacht Harbour on the Orwell, with a good north-easterly breeze. The wind direction and rather “disorganised” waves saw us relying on genoas rather than mainsails  to avoid gybes, but nonetheless, with a strong tide behind us, we all got there in record time.

We spent two nights at SYH, meeting up with previous members Bob & Ann Gant .  The  lightship being closed, we got our steps up with an excellent walk to The Ship at Levington.  We also had a good sail on the River Stour,  passing the  Antarctic  exploration  ship  MV  Sir 
David  Attenborough.  We  practisedpicking  up  buoys  at  Wrabness  Po int , some (notably Cho Cho San) needing more attempts than   others.  Two warm , sunny  days  at  Woolverstone ensued .  The  restaurant  was  closed after a fire, but we enjoyed a pilgrimage through the woods to Pin Mill’s Butt and Oyster.

Friday saw us sightseeing  on the Orwell before mooring up at Ipswich, where Simply the  Best developed a fuel blockage, skilfully sorted out by John and Pio. These sea journeys are notorious for shaking up fuel sediment , and it’s always a good idea to change the filter before  leaving!  Caballero, above left, showed us how to be prepared.

We said goodbye to New Horizons, who returned  safely  to  Lowestoft,  welcomed  some new crew members coming in by car and train, visited the local supermarket for supplies, and planned the second week’s adventures.  On Saturday  evening , we enjoyed  the  Chinese
buffet restaurant, which had just reopened.

Brightlingsea was Sunday's destination, at the mouth of the River Colne. We received a warm welcome into the harbour – much  better than being out on the trots and having to rely on water taxis.   Also, 5- tar bathrooms!  We explored this lovely little town, which boasts an excellent chip shop, chandler and sailing club.

We were soon off again, to Bradwell Marina on the River Blackwater, where former pirate ship Radio  Caroline, aka MV  Ross  Revenge   is 
moored mid-river. Radio Caroline North still broadcasts at weekends and a group of enthusiasts keeps  her  going.  On our second 
day at Bradwell John led us on a trip to Osea Island where we practiced anchoring in rather choppy  waters  for  lunch  amongst  the lovely scenery.    In  the  evenings  we  discovered  the Green Man pub only a few  minutes’ walk from the marina.  

Wednesday 14th saw us back at our old haunts in Shotley and  a welcome meal at The  Shipwreck ,  praying for a change of wind 
direction for our trip back up the coast. But no such luck - the north - easterly was stubbornly on the nose the whole day once we left the 
harbour.  Luckily, we again benefitted from a healthy tide, but we had to motor all  the way to Great 
Yarmouth  for demasting.    


Strega showed  us how  to tackle the waves! At  Yarmouth, the tide was just turning in our favour for the  passage up  the  Bure  to  the Anchorage. It  was good  to  be  home after  a  long  and tiring  day, but  we all agreed it was a great  trip  in  good company and 
well - planned  by John, with special thanks to Jeff  for getting  newcomers  up  to speed  with Navionics  (and  his magic  tricks!) , Pio for his engineering skills and everyone for great social events and teamwork.


In 2007 David Reeve contributed articles to “Skylarks and Scuttlebutts:  a Treasure Trove of Nautical Knowledge”,  a lovely little book published  by Granta.  Some of them he can now share with us in the NRSC Newsletter. Here is the fourth in the series.

Weston Martyr is credited with sparking the creation of the Fastnet Race by writing a letter to a yachting magazine in 1924 after competing in the Bermuda race aboard Northern Light. He wrote: “It is without question the finest sport a man can possibly engage in for to play this game at all it is necessary to possess, in the very highest degree, those hallmarks of a true sportsman: skill, courage and endurance.”

As a result of  his enthusiasm, the first Fastnet race  started on 15  August 1925  with  seven yachts. They were to round the Isle of Wight, the Scillies and the Fastnet Rock, a total of 535 nautical miles. The first winner was 56-foot gaff-rigged pilot cutter  Jolie Brise in six days, 14 hours, 45 minutes. This classic boat, built in Le Havre in 1913, is still sailing today and won the 2000 Tall Ships Race overall. 

The biggest ever Fastnet fleet of 303 yachts in 1979 was caught in a vicious storm that resulted in 17 deaths. Improved safety   regulations were introduced thereafter, and the legendary race has gone from strength to strength as a biennial event.

The Norfolk Broads and Weston Martyr

In  the 1950s  Weston Martyr, against  his  better judgement, was tempted by the prospect  of unlimited Navy rum, pre-war gin and Suffolk cured ham to join two friends on a Broads cruise on the 35-foot yacht Perfect Lady.

Being an experienced ocean sailor, he regarded the prospect of Broads sailing as ‘pure hell’ and something that would ruin his standing with his friends at the Royal Ocean Racing Club. But after many marine disasters and humiliations, he had to admit that he had met his match. In a three-hour beat to windward along a 50-foot-wide river they tacked every nine seconds, or well over 1,000 times to progress three miles. “If the Bermuda or Fastnet courses can provide any tougher job than that, I’m glad to have missed it,” he said. 

On his return to the Royal Ocean Racing Club he declared: “I’ve just come back from the toughest cruise I ever made in my life. I’ve been sailing on the Broads. And now I’ll be grateful if any of you men will ship me for the next ocean race because, after my week on the Broads, I need some soft, easy sailing and a nice quiet rest. ”



It’s a little - known  fact  that  the Medusa  Channel out of Harwich is

named after HMS Medusa , a ship skippered  by Lord  Nelson.  Launched

in 1801, she was a 32-gun frigate that  served in the Napoleonic wars and

captured several enemy  ships  before  being decommissioned  in  1813  

and  sent for other duties.

HMS  Medusa  was  in  Harwich harbour when unfavourable  weather

conditions prevented her from getting out to sea. Determined to depart,

Nelson persuaded  a local marine surveyor to pilot the  Medusa along a

previously uncharted course to the south of the harbour entrance,

subsequently known as the Medusa Channel.

This  was  the  course  planned  for  the  NRSC  East  Coast  cruise  flotilla,  

albeit  in more  helpful weather  conditions. The story of our journey was

picked up by the Eastern Daily Press and headlined with a picture of Strega

on the front page!

Practical Boat Owner has also picked up the story so look out for it in the

September edition of the magazine. 



I  recently had the pleasure of a day on the  Orwell  with my great friend Tony Osler, a well-known watercolourist  and lifelong sailor    . Tony  moors his motor  yacht  'Selene ’, a very pretty  Fisher 25,  at   Suffolk Yacht Harbour. 

As we  donned our  lifejackets and set off towards Felixstowe on a  slack tide,  I  asked Tony how  he  became interested  in sailing.  “ My first  boat  was  a canoe  that  I  built  as  a  boy  of 16 , and I’ve had sailing boats ever  since.  Before my  dear  wife  passed  away a  few years  ago, we  had  many  adventures together , all around the south coast and across to the continent too.  I still love being out on 
the water, and this year I’m planning a trip to the Isle of Wight.” 

Born in Ipswich and  trained at Cirencester Royal  Agricultural College, Tony had a short career in estate  management  before  switching to the  probation  service. “I loved the job and was privileged to help many people find a path through life. One of my two daughters has followed me into the profession, ”  he said.

After more than 20 years in the service , Tony  became  a  full-time artist. It was a bold move, but he has never looked  back. His watercolours are  instantly recognisable, depicting as they do  the atmosphere of  the East Coast maritime scene with its pastel  shades, open  skies and the erosive power of the sea on the soft and yielding landscape. 










Tony  captures evocative images of  human  endeavour  amid nature ’s  bleak grandeur,  with impressions of  boats of  all  kinds, often in swirling mist, storms, or on exposed mudflats. 

Tony exhibits at  galleries  in  East Anglia  and Kent ,  as  well  as  with the East Anglian Group of Marine Artists and  the Society  of  East 
Anglian Watercolourists. His book about the skipper of an old sailing barge,  'Whe're  yer  for' can be obtained  on Amazon, and he has another in the pipeline.   He’s a very talented man! Thank you, Tony, It was a lovely, memorable day. See more of Tony’s paintings here.


Ratty never tires of seeing our best-known wetland butterfly, the  British  Swallowtail,  flying  strongly  across  the  river  in 
joyous  colours,  but a number of  lesser-known moths  also enjoy the waterlogged  soils and fen vegetation,  and some of them can be very rare. 

Common reed, sedges, Milk-parsley and Water dock, sometimes  nestling  under buckthorn,  alder,  sallow  and other denizens of carr woodland, can be home to a range of wetland moths.

They  are overlooked  by many of us,  but  characteristic wetland species are blessed with names that are far from retiring. They include   the  Marsh Carpet  Moth ,  Reed Leopard,  Fenn's   Wainscot,  White -mantled  Wainscot, Flame Wainscot,  and  Reed Dagger. 

The Marsh Carpet Moth (above left, photo credit: Brian  Jones) is extremely rare in Norfolk and most likely  to be found along  the valleys of  the   Yare  & Wensum  and  the Norfolk/Suffolk border.


The Reed Leopard (above centre, photo  credit:  Ilia UIstyantsev) is only found very locally,  but that can’t be due to a lack of food as its caterpillars feed on CommonReed. 


Another lover of Common Reed is  the Reed Dagger (above right,  photo credit:  Mark Skevington). 

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Dear NRSC Members

Our congratulations go to King Charles III and Queen Camilla on their May coronation, an event that made the nation proud.

Our condolences go out to the families of John Bain and John Roper, two members who have been with us since the club was founded, but
sadly passed away recently. Happy memories of their contributions to the Club have been recorded in this Newsletter.

As I write, seven boats are being prepared for the East Coast Cruise, led this year by John Blackburne. There is so much to do, but the weather so far looks good, with north easterlies to speed us on our way. We depart on Saturday, 3rd June and expect to remast in Yarmouth late in the afternoon to catch the tide for a brisk passage to Lowestoft RNSYC for the night.

The passage through Great Yarmouth has been a concern and on 22nd May I attended a users’ meeting with Peel Ports, who manage the site overall. I discovered that Town Hall Quay, where some of us tie up to dismast or remast, is owned and managed by GY Borough Council, and I have asked for a risk assessment for the quay, with a view to identifying possible improvements to the facilities there.

The new Herring Bridge, whose construction is managed by Norfolk County Council, had been held up by the discovery and removal of a
WWII bomb but is now proceeding well. The bridge is raised at present and will eventually have pontoons on either side of the knuckles, each just 50m long. There remains uncertainty about the coordinated opening of the Herring, Haven and Breydon bridges, but this is being tackled.

All the very best

Mark Collins,



Date               Event                                Location             Organiser

02-16 June     East Coast Cruise         Anchorage            John Blackburne
24 June           Family Fun & Picnic      Anchorage           Mark Collins, Brian Gray
01-02 July       Summer Regatta          Anchorage           Jeff Harteveldt

                        & Novice Cup

REMEMBERING OUR MEMBERS: John Bain by Mike Edwards


John Bain, who died on 29th April, was a founder member who set up the club in 1987
with six other boat owners. For many years he was an active and successful competitor
at Club events and much involved in establishing the club premises at The Anchorage.


He gifted the Oby Thistle, Emblem Trophy and the Bell, and proudly claimed to have had

the inspiration for the Pegasus Emblem, which the club still uses.

John sailed Blue Angel, a 700, which he moored in pride of place at the head of Oby
Dyke, complete with his own decking and mooring arrangements. He was a good
sailor, frequently single-handed and adept at nosing into the reeds to set up his sails
before taking on the fleet.


A doughty Scotsman, John had a dry wit; he was always friendly, helpful and good fun

to have around. He was an excellent, worthy, and committed club member.

From Chris Evans

I first met John sailing his Pegasus 700, Red Arrow, in the Thurne area around 1985.

He introduced me to Ian Handy and Roy and Maureen Carpenter, who would come up

to their boat, Ragtrade, on alternate weekends. We would often meet up on a Sunday
afternoon at St Benet’s or one of the broads, and have a friendly race back, usually

instigated by John.

I enrolled in RYA evening classes at Thorpe St Andrew school, and who should be there

but John! We had lots of laughs with our classmates in the local pub, going through our

homework. John’s nemesis was interpolating tidal streams, particularly around the
Isle of Wight.

After meeting up with the other founding members and forming NRSC, John roped me

into putting up the racing start line mast, on a cold spring day, at the end of Oby Dyke.


We kept in touch, and I crewed for him a couple of times. In 2002 John encouraged me

to join the racing fleet, found me a Pegasus 700 in Horning and a mooring in Oby Dyke -

how could I say no! I was then back racing against him, only this time, he was taking it a

bit more seriously. But then, perhaps he always was!

NRSC sends its sincere condolences to John’s son David, and to all other friends and family of one of our founders. Today, thanks to his vision and foresight, we all enjoy a thriving and progressive Club. Ed.

Remembering John Roper by Mike Powell

John Roper, who passed away on 22nd April 2023, was one of the original small group of owners that formed the Club in 1987, based on the Pegasus sailing cruisers. Shortly after purchasing a 700, Calluna, John taught his wife Pauline to sail and she has many happy memories of sailing the Norfolk Broads with him, enjoying cruises and social gatherings; days that were light-hearted, full of fun and companionship.

John enjoyed both competitive sailing and the annual voyages down the coast towards Harwich when he was crewed by another long-term member, Chris Pointer. Pauline preferred to stay on dry land, perhaps remembering the time when she fell off the boat, becoming entangled with the mainsail but hauled safely back onboard by an alert John. He continued to join in Club activities after the sale of Calluna and gladly offered his services as crew - having John onboard was regarded as a definite plus.

John served as a conscientious and reliable Secretary for many years and was elected to the post of Vice Commodore, where his experience and guidance were greatly valued. He spent the last months of his life in the Manor House Care Home in Blofield, where Pauline could visit every day and was satisfied that he was comfortable and well cared for.


John will be remembered as a kind and generous, gladly giving advice and help to all. All NRSC members will greatly miss him, and we offer our condolences and kindest thoughts to Pauline.

SKYLARKS AND SCUTTLEBUTTS: The Poisonous Weever Fish by David Reeve

In 2007 David Reeve contributed articles to “Skylarks and Scuttlebutts: a Treasure Trove of Nautical Knowledge”, a lovely little book published by Granta. Some of them he can now share with us in the NRSC Newsletter. Here is the third in the series….

                                                                                   The Lesser Weever fish (Echiichthys vipera), which causes an excruciating wound from
                                                                                   poisonous barbs on its back, is increasing in population around the British coast.

                                                                                   According to experts, people can die if they go into anaphylactic shock after being stung

                                                                                   by a weever fish, so they should take precautions and not paddle barefoot.

                                                                                   The lesser weever, which grows to about 15cm, lives on shrimps and comes inshore to feed                                                                                       during summer. It lies buried in wet sand at low tide or in shallow water and, when                                                                                                     disturbed, erects its black dorsal fin with venomous spines.

                                                                                   The pain is most intense during the first two hours, when the foot goes red, swells up, and                                                                                         then feels numb until the following day. The pain and irritation may last for up to two weeks.

The most effective treatment is to put the affected limb in water as hot as the victim can bear, without causing scalding, for at least 30 minutes. In tests, the venom, a type of protein, breaks down above 40°C. This should bring swift and permanent relief. 


29th April at the Anchorage; bright sunshine with very light wind in the morning, light in the afternoon, and air temperature fairly cool. Wind varied E to S “normal for Norfolk”.

1st Déjà Vu; helm: Jeff H crew: Mick B

2nd Nemesis; helm: Tom P guest crew: Liz R

3rd Simply the Best; helm: Mark C crew: James B

Other boats racing: Tallulah, Zig Zag, Pegamoose II

                                                                                             This being the season's first  race, boats were restricted to two fleets starting at 11:00.

                                                                                             The course was set upriver to the Oby buoy followed by Acle, Upton and Acle. There                                                                                                     were particularly close encounters between Nemesis and Déjà Vu, including a 720 and                                                                                               a meeting with the bank, with Nemesis finally winning by a minute.

                                                                                             Tallulah and Simply the Best finished only 38 seconds apart. Zig Zag and Pegamoose                                                                                                   took over 1h 20m to get back to the clubhouse, so the course was shortened, allowing                                                                                               members to enjoy a pleasant lunch in the sun on the lawn. This included a crash

                                                                                             course in the use of the defibrillator by Jeff.

                                                                                             For the second race at 14:00, the wind was more in evidence. This time the start was                                                                                                   downriver to the Acle buoy, then up to the Upton buoy and back to be repeated up to                                                                                                 three times, giving the spectators a grandstand view of the racing. This time there was no need to shorten the course with Zig Zag again claiming line honours after a bit over 1h 15m. On handicap, Déjà Vu triumphed over Nemesis by a minute. And in the next fleet, it was Simply the Best’s turn to beat Tallulah. 

Unusually in total points, not only did Nemesis and Déjà Vu tie for first and second, but Simply the Best and Tallulah tied for third and fourth. On the tiebreaker rule of who does best in the last race, Déjà Vu came first and Simply the Best came third.

Thanks go to the trusty timekeepers John T and Martin S, to Jeff and Brian for laying and recovering the buoys, Brian for subduing the grass and care of the Anchorage, Julia for bringing goodies and Pat and others for helping with the kitchen.

It was great to see so many non-racing members meeting up for a chat and obviously enjoying themselves.


Saturday 20th May 2023, at the Anchorage and Sunday, 21st May at Boundary Dyke (three of four races to count). The weather was sunny, but the air was cool on Saturday. Sunday was cloudy to start with but some sun later. Wind N/NE, 10-12, gusting 20.

1st Cho Cho San; helm Nigel W crew Sean W &Nittaya Y

2nd Simply the Best; helm Mark C crew Malcolm F

3rd Tallulah; helm Brian G crew:Chris E

Other boats racing: Déjà Vu, Zig Zag and My Weigh

The first race on Saturday at 11.00 was a short course using the Upton

and Acle buoys with three laps. Tallulah and Simply the Best started

together and finished first and second, respectively, after a close race,

with both boats checking into the reeds after severe broaches that were

a feature of the gusty day.


Cho Cho San stayed close to Déjà Vu initially but faded in the end and

came fourth to Déjà Vu’s third. Zig Zag was forced to retire with gear


With Acle Regatta’s river cruisers looming for the second race, a course was set to Oby and Acle with a smaller loop to Upton. The
wind picked up, and some longer tacks were possible, favouring Cho Cho San, whose new genoa helped her pull clear of Déjà Vu to win
with Tallulah in second place and Simply the Best third.


My Weigh made a welcome return helmed by David R with Pat B stepping in as crew whilst John R took his ease below and enjoyed the action.

In view of the Acle Regatta, the start moved to Boundary Dyke on Sunday with a two-round course a little way up the Bure from Thurne Mouth then down to Oby. But the Acle fleet again enlivened our racing - they had concentrated on the area near the Anchorage on Saturday, then chose Sunday to pilgrimage to St Benet’s Abbey! In race three at 10.30, the winds were lighter and Déjà Vu got well ahead but lost out on the final leg back from Oby and was less than 30 seconds ahead of Simply the Best before handicap.


On handicap, Simply the Best won comfortably, with Cho Cho San just second. Mindful of the Acle fleet, race four was moved to 13.00. The wind freshened, and whilst Déjà Vu flourished on the reaches and runs, Cho Cho San came into her own on the tack back from
Oby, going almost straight up the river for long stretches. Déjà Vu was forced to make one
 final tack to cross the finishing line, allowing Cho Cho San to slide past to leeward and gain line honours by a matter of feet.
Simply the Best had shed a split ring on the mainsheet fitting was severely delayed and missed out on the silverware.

Thanks to Colin and Annette G for timekeeping, helped by Pat B and Margaret H, and to all helms for moving the buoys around. No good deed goes unpunished: Amethyst fouled a start line mark at the end and was towed to Boundary Dyke by Simply the Best for some wild swimming by Mick, but all ended well.


Monday evening, 8th May, saw the fleet, comprising Mim and Tom on Owl, Judy and Bob on
Wagtail, Alison and her dog, Florence, aboard Tranquility, and Tracey and Martin on Breeze,
assemble at the Anchorage ready for the Northern Rivers Cruise. A nice chat and a glass or
two were enjoyed in the clubhouse in the evening.

On Tuesday morning, Tracey and Martin departed for Upton for a small repair, before
sailing onto Potter Heigham for lunch. It was a pleasant beat with good wind, but the
afternoon brought a terrific thunderstorm and torrential rain, the wind dropped, and we

were forced to motor back to the Anchorage. The others took motorboats to Stokesby for

lunch, and we met up in the evening, enjoying a chat in the clubhouse again.

On Wednesday morning we all moved off to South Walsham. A useful wind saw us arriving
early afternoon in glorious sunshine. It was Mim’s birthday, which called for cake on the
bankside where we sang Happy Birthday. James and his friend Steve sailed down from

Stalham on Dayspring, arriving just in time for the celebrations.


Unfortunately, at about 17.00, the heavens opened again, and we were forced to retreat to

our boats out of the rain and thunder.

Thursday morning brought us lovely sunshine and we had a sail on South Walsham Broad

before heading off to Salhouse. James and Steve had to depart for home, via the Maltsters

at Ranworth for a pub lunch, so we said goodbye. From South Walsham the fleet headed to

Horning in hot sun and a welcome wind. We decided not to continue to Wroxham and as we

left Horning dark, ominous clouds gathered and it rained heavily all the way to Salhouse,

where we moored up and ordered fish and chips for our evening meal.


After a chat with everyone on Friday morning, it was decided to call it a day as the weather

was cold and raining again. After farewells, we all departed for home, returning in the evening

to meet up at the Kings Arms in Ludham for an evening meal and a catch-up about the week’s

events. It was a lovely cruise, but unfortunately, the weather defeated us in the end.

Thanks to all for coming along!



On 12.01.22, two men died on the sports cruiser, Emma Louise, berthed on the River Hamble. They boarded the boat the previous evening and left the engine running while they sat in the covered cockpit. The MAIB investigation said the boat’s exhaust gas, which contained carbon monoxide (CO), had been funnelled into the cockpit by an inflatable suspended from Emma Louise's transom.


The CO rendered both men unconscious and caused their deaths. They were not alerted to the danger because a carbon monoxide alarm had not been fitted. An alarm is now mandatory under the Boat Safety Scheme.

                                                                                                         NEWS FROM THE HANDICAPS SUB-COMMITTEE Under Rule 3.5, the Handicaps                                                                                                           Sub-Committee comprises the Sailing Secretary, Commodore and Vice-                                                                                                                           Commodore (currently vacant). The Sub-Committee will meet up after the East                                                                                                             Coast Cruise to examine how we can best use the handicap system to increase                                                                                                             interest from novices while at the same time rewarding the most skilled.

                                                                                                         We must diversify our approach to racing and consider how we might help                                                                                                                     those sailing in company who wish to transition to racing. The Sub-Committee                                                                                                               intends to co-opt a few members to assist in the discussion.



CLUB CLOTHING Don’t forget to order your club clothing from dd Health & Safety Supplies!


It’s good quality and moderately priced with an excellently-embroidered Club logo.


dd Health & Safety Supplies Ltd, Unit 2 Kingsway, Norwich NR2 4UE. Telephone: 01603 628891.


We are assured of personal service from the manager, Dave Eaglen. Email:





                                                             Ratty is worried that, according to an article in The Guardian, the River Yare is one of England’s top ten                                                                   rivers for persistent chemical cocktails that are highly toxic to wildlife, including amphibians, fish, insects,                                                               nitrogen-fixing bacteria and algae.


                                                             The adverse effects on these creatures include stunted growth, reduced cell function and lower survival                                                                 rates. Some campaigners also fear they may have negative effects on human health, but this has not                                                                     been proved.


                                                             A mix of six of these “forever chemicals” that don’t break down is to blame. One familiar chemical is                                                                         Ibuprofen, a freely available medicine used by many of us without a second thought, but once it passes                                                                 through us or we wash it off, it stays in the environment. Perhaps we should think about using it only                                                                     sparingly. The government is expected to publish a new chemicals strategy this year, but campaigners                                                                   say that the mix of chemicals into lethal cocktails is being overlooked.

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Dear NRSC Members

This coming Saturday sees our first regatta, the  Spring Trophy at the Anchorage.  Do enter the races or come along and watch with
friends. The first race is at 11:00 and the second at 14:00.

Since the Club was formed in 1987, quite a lot of water has flowed under Acle Bridge, and we are beginning to develop our own history. Some of this has been hidden away in a growing pile of boxes that get handed down to successive Commodores year after year, gathering more dust than interest! But this is about to change as Club Member Glyn Williams has kindly agreed to make a start at sorting out our “archives”. The first objective is to assemble a complete  Red Book  run.  As things stand, we don’t yet know whether we have a full set, so don’t clear out your old copies just yet!

Those who attended the successful  Fitting Out Lunch  in Thurne would already know that we have a new arrangement for buying
clothes with the Club’s embroidered logo displayed on them. Our provider is  dd Health & Safety Supplies in Norwich. They have
a huge selection, and a visit to their shop is worthwhile if you are in town. You can also choose from a list of fifteen items specially
selected for our members, and order by phone or email. 
These  items  are  excellent  quality,  reasonably priced and make great presents, so please take a look.

All the very best

Mark Collins,    



29  April              Spring Trophy                    Anchorage
8/9 - 13 May       Northern Rivers Cruise    Bure, Thurne
20 -21 May          Inaugural Salver               Anchorage
02-16 June          East Coast Cruise             Rendezvous Anchorage


NRSC is run by its members for its members and prides itself on being friendly and inviting. We welcome new members and aim to provide them with a programme that promotes diversity, equality and inclusion, and ensures health, safety and welfare for all.

Committing to boating can be a big step, and we want people to come along and try it out, but we need to consider the health, safety and welfare of our visitors as well as our members, and we must exercise a duty of care in a sport that can, at times, be hazardous or
dangerous, particularly for people who lack experience or training. 

The NRSC Committee discussed this at its last meeting, and we aim to update the Club Rules and bring a full Visitors Policy to the Club at the next AGM. Meanwhile, we have decided on a few elements to be getting on with.

Non-boating visitors at the Anchorage

Visitors are free to attend NRSC social, boating and working events at the Anchorage or elsewhere at their own risk and in the company of a member. Hosts must ask all visitors to sign the  Visitors Book, which is in a prominent position in the Anchorage. While at the Anchorage, members and non-members alike must comply with the Club’s Health and Safety at the Anchorage  advice as published in the  Red Book, displayed on the Anchorage Notice Board.

Boating visitors

Non-members  may  moor at  the Anchorage  with  their  host but may not formally join programmed Club boating events in their own boats. Programmed Club events are those advertised in the  Red Book , even if the date has changed, or communicated after publication (as for  Sailing in Company). Events agreed by the Committee and communicated to the Club by email or other means after the Red Book is published are deemed to be programmed. 

Visitors  may join a member’s boat at a programmed Club boating event at the invitation of a Full or Life Member. They must be   registered by their host with the Membership Secretary, copied to the Sailing Secretary, stating their name, the event to be attended, and its date. This should preferably be done by email.  Their visitor is thereby deemed to be enrolled as a Temporary Member, and to   have indemnified the Club against any liability claim. 

Temporary Members may join no more than two programmed boating events as helm or crew in any one season without charge, beyond which participation they will be asked to apply as a Full or Associate (i.e. Crew or Junior) Member, in the normal way.
A visitor may join part or all of only one of the Club’s Northern Rivers, Southern Rivers or East Coast cruises per year as a Temporary Member in a Full Member’s boat, on payment of a sum to be decided annually by the Committee. The request this year is £10.00 and will apply to all cruises. The cruise organiser or host skipper must register their guest with the Membership Secretary and Sailing Secretary by email before the cruise begins.  Please note that the riverbank upstream of the Anchorage does not belong to the Club and
is used entirely at your own risk.



The Broads Authority has received a capital grant of over £1M from DEFRA for equipment to maintain the landscape and biodiversity of the Broads, all of which is likely to be of considerable help to the
navigation too. The impressive list of new kit includes two  excavators,  a Berky  water plant harvester (bringing the fleet up to three), a barge and various power tools. Entirely new items such as a tractor with a front-loader and an amphibious “aqua tractor” with cutting heads, rake and mud-pump open new opportunities for maintaining the Broads landscape. 

For members interested to know what maintenance is planned, below are tables showing dredging, mooring work and water plant cutting.  The water plant harvester is now in the Upper Thurne, starting in the Martham-Somerton area.  Cutting in the marked channel in Hickling Broad will start in late May. Also, new gauge boards have been set in Gt Yarmouth.



In 2007 David Reeve contributed articles to “Skylarks and Scuttlebutts: a Treasure Trove of Nautical Knowledge”, a lovely little book published by Granta. Some of them he can now share with us in the NRSC Newsletter. Here is the second in the series...



Anson’s scurvy-blighted voyage

Commodore George Anson’s round-the-world voyage of 1740-44 was blighted

by scurvy and starvation, killing almost 1,400 of the 1,900 sailors who had set

out from Spithead in six men-of-war.

The symptoms of scurvy are almost too ghastly to repeat, but Anson lists them  

as follows: large, discoloured spots over the whole body, swollen legs, putrid  

gums, an  extraordinary lassitude, strange dejection of spirits, dreadful terrors,

putrid fevers, pleurisies, jaundice, violent rheumatic pains, healed wounds

re-opening and necrotised flesh.

Dr James Lind of Haslar Hospital hit on the solution in the 1740s (though too

late for Anson’s crew): more fresh food, preferably raw, and lemon juice. Almost

half a century later, the Admiralty issued lime juice to sailors, but this was

nowhere near as effective as lemon juice. The  error apparently arose because

the West Indians called a lemon a lime.






                                                                                                  Incredibly, in June 1743, with only the 60-gun flagship  Centurion , left, Anson                                                                                                          intercepted andcaptured the abulous Spanish treasure ship Covadonga  laden                                                                                                        with 1,313,843 pieces of eight and 35,682oz of silver and plate – a grand total
                                                                                                  of  34.5 tonnes of silver.

                                                                                                  This was one of the most valuable treasures ever seized by an English ship and                                                                                                        would have fetched around £23 million today. It required 32 wagons to transport                                                                                                    it to the Tower of London on Anson’s 1744 return to fame and fortune.

                                                                                                  Editor’s note:  In the 1497 expedition of Vasco da Gama , the curative effects of                                                                                                        citrus fruit were already known and were confirmed by Pedro Alvares Cabral                                                                                                            and his crew in 1507. Cabral   is   generally   credited   with   the   European                                                                                                              "discovery”  of Brazil, which is why Portuguese is the language used there today.






A safety culture is critical to ensuring    safe activity on the water. Managing risks

involves risk assessments – something we should all do before venturing out. A
continual monitoring process is the best way forward to manage safety, be aware

of developing situations, and control them before they become problems.

Here  are  some  recommendations for all  Members’ sailing boats and are pretty

much a Club requirement for yachts racing and cruising off the East Coast. Do
let me know if you think I may have missed anything!

- Life jackets for all on board
- Safety lines on decks to clip onto when moving forward
- Up-to-date and fully stocked First Aid Kit on board
- VHF Radio, and someone licensed to use it
- Fully charged mobile phone
- Shore contact telephone numbers for all on board.


15th  April:- We were blessed with a sunny day following a night’s torrential rain. Turning left off the A47 at Necton we headed south and away from civilisation, navigating deep puddles to find the church of St Mary nestling the rise of Houghton on the Hill up a cart track. 

An abandoned village community, all signs of the hamlet long gone except for the church, which, until it’s discovery as an ivy-covered heap of rubble by Gloria Davey was virtually unknown except by a group of devil worshipers who had taken it over. Her husband Bob
dedicated the rest of his life to restoring the Church, discovering wall paintings going back to Roman and Saxon times. 

We were met by club member John Blackburne, who had spent  many years

helping  with the administration.  Alan, our enthusiastic guide, showed us

around, inside and out, pointing out the many historical features  we would  

easily have missed on our own.  A thoroughly enjoyable and informative

morning out. 

Following this tour, John had arranged a meal at the   fantastic  Old  Windmill

at  Great Cressingham, where we dined on local fare.

We then followed John to the local church where he and Jen are Wardens and

were able to view the rare Pugin-inspired Dutch organ. The afternoon was

topped out with a tour of John’s farm where  Jen and their daughter had

prepared a tasty afternoon tea where we could reflect on a thoroughly

enjoyable NRSC visit.


The Golden Alga – Prymnesium parvum, is not known to many of Ratty’s boating friends but it’s a fish-killer and very well-known to his main mardlers – the anglers. 

Prymnesium parvum  is a  single-celled, motile (meaning it can move itself) microalga that can reproduce very quickly, resulting  in   “blooms”. Unfortunately,  the alga releases  toxins, often resulting  in  large-scale fish  kills,  such as the one that occurred in Cox’s Boatyard in 2015,  with severe ecological and economic implications. Although many toxins have been isolated from P. parvum, uncertainty still surrounds which ones kill fish, and the factors that promote he blooms.

A team from the John Innes Centre in Norwich has developed a pregnancy-style dip-test to check for Prymnesium.  But because it is not easily visible, anglers are usually unaware of the algal “bloom” until they find fish such as eels and pike that are dead or dying. Some of the largest pike are found in the Broads, attracting anglers from all over the world.

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Dear NRSC Members

The clocks have gone forward, and it’s all systems go with many boats back in the water in the next week or ten days. Here’s hoping for some fine weather as we put in place the Club’s programme of races, cruises and social events – the best on the Broads!

We have  had  a  very busy few days, and I particularly commend Malcolm,  Brian,  John  and  David  for  their hard work  in  filling  more than 300  bark bags, delivering them to Acle  Bridge, loading  them on  the  workboat    Hercules, and using them to shore up our quay headings at the Anchorage. Our warmest thanks, once again, go to Chris Clarke at Richardson's for allowing us the use of  Hercules -we would be lost without it.

Your committee  meets on12th April after the winter break, so do let us know if there is anything we should be looking at. It will be a long agenda as  we put  the final  touches to  the Northern Rivers Cruise and set our sails for the East Coast as well. We are still short of a crew or two if you are interested  or know anyone  – do let me know.

We have a marvellous new range of Club Regalia  available for the new season! Our supplier,  dd Health & Safety Supplies in Norwich is very friendly and they have a vast selection to choose from.

Brian is looking for volunteers to lead the weekly Sailing in Company event, which  formally  resumes in April  – do contact Brian and join his WhatsApp group to stay up to date.

All the very best,   


Mark Collins, Commodore


DATE                     EVENT                               LOCATION

15th April           Spring walk                       Brecklands 

29th April           Spring Trophy                  Anchorage

8/9 - 13 May      Northern Rivers Cruise  Bure, Thurne

20 - 21 May        Inaugural Salver              Anchorage



CLUB TOUR OF ROPES DIRECT by Mark Collins, Commodore


On Wednesday, 15th March, in the last of this year’s training sessions, sixteen Club members visited Ropes Direct in Catfield to meet the
owner and Managing Director Russell Hurst to tour his fascinating  warehouse facility.

Russell  is a second - generation expert on ropes, and he entertained  us with the history of his work and the many types and uses of the ropes that he sells to people all over the world .

We all love ropes, don’t we? There’s something  about their strength,  practicality  and sheer variety that has an endless attraction.  Not to mention the hundreds of knots by which ropes help us with challenges  on the water. Russell has everything  you could possibly need. Ropes and braids for mooring and anchoring, and Dyneema,  polyester and polypropylene for sheets, halyards and so much more. And these days they seem to come in every size and colour that you could possibly wish for (and some that you wouldn’t!)

There’s something  about the natural feel of a hemp or jute rope that links us to the long history of British seafaring , and it was a real treat when Russell surprised  us with a chance to make our own rope on a machine  that he had set up for us.

Past Commodore  Alison showed us how it’s done under Russell’s watchful eye, and we shared stories of the Club’s visit to Chatham a few years back on the East Coast Cruise. Glyn has done some research and found that strands of early twisted rope found in France in 2020 were dated at 50,000 years old!


Afterwards, we all went for a pint and a meal at the nearby Kings Arms in Ludham, where Russell  joined us to continue the discussion.
It was a great evening and much enjoyed by all, so thank you Russell!

Many thanks to NRSC Training Officer Tom Parkinson  for another successful year of learning  opportunities.  See you all next year!

NRSC FITTING OUT LUNCH by Neil & Deirdre Sutherland

It was wonderful to see more than 40 members thoroughly enjoying themselves at the Fitting Out  Lunch at the Thurne Lion on 25th March. Thank you all for coming  along and for those who couldn't make it for one reason or another, we hope to see you  soon  at a Club meeting.

Many  thanks to Malcolm & Maggi for managing the book and bric-a-brac stalls, and to Annette for running the raffle as Ever. Also, thanks to Mike for the slide show, and we are sorry that the  technology was on strike! 

So many people help with these events, and we are really grateful to you all for donating raffle prizes and supporting the Club.

This year we were delighted to be able to show you a  rail of clothing from dd Health & Safety Supplies (ddHSS) in Norwich, all of  which can be embroidered with the Club logo, and your,  or your boat's, name.  Many thanks to Mel for making an excellent selection  from the literally thousands of option in the ddHSS catalogue! Whether it's polo shirts, fleeces, sweatshirts, shorts or caps, there's something of high quality for everyone. As a present for a loved one,  a selection from the list will always be very welcome indeed.  A copy of the shopping list has been sent to you  all by email and will be available on the Club’s website.​

You have been sent an electronic copy of the  list,  including prices and measurements; but don't forget, you can order anything you   fancy from their catalogue, with or without embroidery, and in a variety of colours. If  you  are  in  Norwich one day,  why not call in for a browse? Or call them up for a chat?  The staff are very welcoming!

In  closing,  don’t  forget  that our next trip will be  a wonderful Spring Walk with  John and  Jenny  in  the  Norfolk  Brecklands , on 
Saturday,  15th April.  Booking  detail  will  be  with  you soon!


In 2007David contributed articles to “Skylarks and Scuttlebutts: a Treasure Trove of Nautical Knowledge”, a lovely little book published
by Granta. Some of them he can now share with us in the NRSC Newsletter. Here is the first in the series.


WATSON AND THE SHARK - a nautical story of triumph over adversity

The painting Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley (1738 - 815) was inspired by an event  that took place in Havana,  Cuba  in 1749.  Brook Watson (1735 - 1807), a  fourteen-year-old orphan serving as a crew member on a trading ship, was attacked by a shark while swimming  alone in the harbour. Despite  the efforts of  his  valiant  shipmates,  Brook  Watson was repeatedly attacked by the shark, which bit off his right foot. His leg was later amputated below the knee. Watson eventually became a successful London merchant, and a  chance meeting with the artist John Copley in the summer of 1774 led to a commission to re-create the ghastly scene.


In April 1778, the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, causing a sensation. Newspapers carried the story in gruesome detail. Watson  went  from strength to strength and  became Lord Mayor of London 1796 -  and  Sir Brook  Watson  1st Baronet  in 1803.  For  his coat  of arms, he requested the inclusion of his missing right leg in the upper left  corner of the  shield and Neptune brandishing a trident  to ward off an attacking shark.


The painting was owned by Watson until his death in 1807 and bequeathed by him to Christ’s hospital Boys’ School. He hoped his personal triumph over adversity would be a ‘most useful lesson to youth’. In 1963 the picture was sold to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, though Christ’s Hospital retain a copy.


Note: The picture shown above (182cm X 229cm) by John Copley  now hangs in the Museum of Fine Art in Boston,  Massachusetts, and I am grateful for its use.  John Copley painted three versions of the subject  – this was the second version which shows the shark in more grisly detail.

A TRIP ON THE YARE IN NORWICH by Mark Collins, Commodore

On Monday, 20th March, I was lucky enough to join a trip organised by the Broads Authority from their dockyard at Griffin Lane on the Yare, up river to the Norwich Yacht  Station at Riverside Road , taking in some very interesting sights on the way.







First  off was a fine view of  the Broads Authority’s spanking new water plant cutter,  bought just a  few weeks ago. Known as  a  Berky, after the German builder, this brings the Authority’s fleet up to three – a much-needed development now that the improved 
water quality of  the  Broads is encouraging the growth of water plants. We know to our cost that our regatta sailing area is shrinking as a result.

Our  route  took  us past Whitlingham Country Park, and through the site of the East Norwich Master Plan, which centres on the (literally) brownfield Deal Ground and the old Colman’s factory – this is not the most salubrious part of the river, with some ramshackle live-aboards, litter and pollution, until you get nearer to the centre,  where pleasant bankside pathways and views of the cathedral open up.


Perhaps  we should organise a Club trip to see this part of  the Broads, rarely visited these days. I imagine that in 20 years or so 
the whole area will be beautifully redeveloped, but there is a huge amount of work yet to be done.

NSBA FLAG OFFICERS’ MEETING by Mark Collins & Tom Parkinson

On Friday, 17th March, we attended the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association's Flag Officers’ Meeting at a Norwich hotel.  A  couple  of 
dozen clubs were represented,  and we chewed on  chips and sandwiches while Secretary  Julia Bower bravely urged all the affiliated 
Club officers to encourage their members to take out individual NSBA memberships  as well.


Since the main benefit is a copy of the Green Book, which was given out free to attendees and which affiliated clubs purchase for their members anyway, we were left scratching our heads as to how we could help!

Chair Ben Falat ran through NSBA’s work.  Their racing  programme commendably focuses on youth engagement and, of course, the elite inter - club Broads racing programme.


The audience harangued Ben with complaints about “weed”, dredging, moorings and tolls. He does his best in twice - yearly meetings with Broads Authority managers and from the public gallery at the Navigation Committee, but with minimal  support, it’s a struggle to find the  low - hanging fruit  that NSBA needs. 

The opportunity for a potentially useful discussion on the all-important existential threats to the Broads - climate change, flood and biodiversity loss, was lost as time ran out.

There are two  areas where NSBA  is helping. Firstly by addressing the densely detailed  East Norwich Master Plan, where  NSBA promotes opening bridges and public mooring facilities; and secondly in battling the opaque and unfriendly management of Great 
Yarmouth harbour.  


NRSC  is seriously concerned that passage for recreational boaters through the harbour  is dangerous and NSBA is working  hard to 
represent our interests with the Great Yarmouth Port Authority.  At one  time this was a functional Trust,  but they leased  it for 99   years to a limited company that then sold the  lease to Peel Ports  in 2015. 

Peel Ports does not respond to our enquiries, and we don’t yet know whether there will be remasting/dismasting pontoons available at Herring Bridge in time for the East Coast Cruise.





Above: A leaf of the New Herring Bridge being towed into Great Yarmouth in March .

Editor’s Note: In the last two Newsletters I invited members to  share  ideas for reusing unwanted fenders, rope and steel wire.    Unfortunately, no replies were forthcoming!


I think of myself as a friendly fellow, but I have to admit to giving my fellow water-lover, the Great Crested Newt, a wide berth.

No one could say they are pretty! With warty  skin,  an intimidating crest along the male’s back and a bright orange underside with black spots, the Great Crested Newt is quite a beast and, at 17cm long, they are big!  

Great  Crested Newts are found across lowland Britain but have declined significantly due to loss of their favourite home – freshwater ponds.

Breeding occurs from March to June, and Great Crested Newts undergo an elaborate courtship routine with males displaying 
to the  ladies.  After mating, she lays around 200 eggs, individually wrapped inside the leaves of pond plants (below).

Due to the decline in suitable habitat , the  Great crested newt is strictly protected by British and European law.

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