NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 382 April 2023
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
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
UPDATE ON MEMBERSHIP AND VISITORS by Mark Collins, Commodore
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.
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.
NEWS FROM THE BROADS AUTHORITY By Mark Collins
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.
SKYLARKS AND SCUTTLEBUTTS 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 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.
SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YACHTS by David Kemble-Taylor
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.
SPRING WALK – NORFOLK BRECKLANDS by Pio Altarelli
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
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.
TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty”
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.
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 381 March 2023
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!
SKYLARKS AND SCUTTLEBUTTS by David Reeve
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
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!
TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty”
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.
Dear NRSC Members,
Although most of us have our boats on the hard for a few more weeks, March is a busy month for the Club. Tom Parkinson presents the second of this year’s training sessions on 1st March – the subject “Going to Sea” is vital for anyone considering the East Coast Cruise.
The third and final training event will be a visit to Ropes Direct at Catfield where owner Russell Hurst will give insights into a product
that none of us can do without. After the visit, we repair to the Kings Head at Ludham for a pie and a pint . If you have registered for
training sessions already, I will be in touch with details.
Don’t forget the Fitting Out Lunch on 25th March at The Lion in Thurne. Order forms are on the way soon from Neil and Deirdre.
Finally, Sailing in Company formally resume s in April – do volunteer to lead an event – contact Brian Gray and join his WhatsApp group.
Last September we saw high tides push a surge of saltwater up the Bure and into the Thurne and Ant, killing tens of thousands of fish
and invertebrates (see “ Ratty” in Newsletter 376 ). This week we are reminded once again of the power of the sea as a 3.5m tide
destroyed houses in Hemsby, closing the beach to visitors and stranding the lifeboat behin a 2m drop. Are these disasters
becoming more frequent, threatening Norfolk communities and landscapes, including our own sailing areas in the Broads? It would
be good to hear your views.
Mark Collins , Commodore
1st March Ropes and Rules Training: By Zoom - Register with Mark “ Going to sea ”
15th March Ropes & Rules Visit: Ropes Direct, Catfiled, then a pie & pint at Kings Head, Ludham
2th March Fitting out lunch: The Lion, Thurne
15th April Spring walk Houghton
CLUB TOUR OF ST BENET’S by Deirdre Sutherland, Social Secretary
We've all sailed past St Benet's Abbey and probably moored up to stretch our legs, but this was a rare chance to have a guided tour around these ancient ruins, in the companyof Volunteer Guide Barry from the Norfolk Archaeological Trust, who look after the
site and do a very good job too!
On Saturday 25th February, half a dozen of the fourteen club members and two dogs that attended walked to the Abbey from the
car park at Ludham Bridge. Alison Mc T and her dog Florence were the only ones who also walked back, so she gets the award for
stoicism ! The rest walked one way and returned with car drivers who took pity on us on a brisk winter morning.
There were some very cold winds blowing up there and Barry sensibly did most of the talking inside the mill, where we could huddle together for warmth and admire the medieval graffiti (as well as some more recent stuff!) . The sun came out after a short shower and Barry led us down the open - air nave and continued the narrative up at the familiar modern cross, made of stout oak from
Afterwards, a lovely lunch was served by the Staithe ‘n’ Willow team in Horning , crowning a day much enjoyed by everyone.
For those of you with good archiving systems, more information on the history of St Benet’s may be found in Newsletter 361, March 2021.
NSBA FLAG OFFICERS MEETING by Mark Collins, Commodore
On Friday 17th March at 18:00, the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association, of which we have been an affiliated club for many years, will hold its annual Flag Officers Event in Norwich. Our President Nigel and I will attend, and the Club has a third ticket if anyone is interested – do let me know.
This is a good chance to let NSBA Chair, Ben Falat, and the General Purposes Committee, know what priorities we would like to see addressed in the coming year. High on our list is NSBA's governance and management – as a Club, we don’t feel that we are consulted or kept informed as well as we could be. But at this meeting, we must focus on identifying the direct interests of private boat owners on the Broads – NSBA ’s central mission.
The River Cruiser community benefit greatly from NSBA’s programming of open regattas, but what else concerns the 11,000 private boat owners on the Broads? The availability of moorings is a hot topic that would benefit from research and analysis. Tom expressed his concerns in Newsletter 379 , and we all know that the Environment Agency’s Flood Alleviation Project , which removed 28km of river defences, reduced opportunities for informa l mooring.
The Broads Authority lists its free 24 - hour moorings on its website here, and this is a key benefit from the tolls that we all pay. What is not clear from the data is whether the availability of BA moorings is improving or worsening over time – it would be good to see NSBA looking into this.
Another topic that NSBA should get under its hat is the existential threat from environmental change to the navigation, our boating environment, and the Norfolk landscape in general. While the Broads Society has committed to addressing the climate crisis, and groups like the Upper Thurne Working Group are working closely with the Broadland Futures Initiative to identify ways to deal with flooding in the Broads, NSBA has had little to say on the subject. This is even though high water levels already threaten club infrastructure like the Anchorage, and restrict navigation under Potter Heigham Bridge. It’s likely that Ludham, Wroxham and Yarmouth bridges will very soon be more difficult to navigate as well.
Let us know what you think NSBA should be doing, and our March Newsletter will include a report on their plans for this year.
RADIO CONTROLLED MODEL YACHTS by Annette Gray
A few years ago I became interested in driving a remote control model frigate belonging to a friend who had
built it and the pond I was driving it on. When I returned home, I looked up model yachts and where to sail
them near us – boring lake and boring boats. Then there was a note on Facebook, a radio - controlled a
model yacht club had moved to the sailing club lake near us and the boats had sails!
I bought a used boat and joined there and then. We meet Wednesday afternoons and have gentle races
around various courses. Then, Saturdays, there are more members sailing slightly more serious races. My
yacht is a Dragon Flite 95, 95cm long and really tall, you can hardly see me when I carry it. It has a deep
weighted keel, so it heels really well but doesn’t capsize.
Alternate weeks the International One Metre yachts are sailed and although us smaller boat sailors are
very welcome I do not think I am up to trying to race amidst them. I go along and take down the numbers
of the boats through the finish line, and it is much appreciated. I cannot convince them I love being by the
water, near yachts and with lots of very hospitable folk!
Most of the members are “retired” dinghy sailors looking at wind shifts and other boats around them. I am
still at the stage of saying “help” when a boat is near me. As it is difficult to judge at a distance whether I am
in front of, or behind a buoy, it is consoling to see others doing the same. Control is by joysticks on a
handset with a sensitive rudder control - I still “wiggle". The sails are controlled by another joystick. It is so
hard to “feel” the wind at a distance, and for me to judge “twist” in the sail setting – but I shall learn.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFEJACKETS by the RYA (abbreviated)
Research shows that lifejackets improve survival rates by up to four times when you’re immersed in cold water. They also help keep you safe and afloat in situations where you may need rescuing. As we head into the new season, here are some frequently asked questions
surrounding lifejackets and how to stay safe on the water.
Are lifejackets compulsory on boats? No, but the RYA’s advice is to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, unless you’re sure it’s safe not to. Your decision should be based on weather conditions, the type of on - water activity and your level of experience. Lifejackets are needed when on an open boat (powerboat or RIB), when going ashore in a yacht tender and, of course, on a sailing yacht or motor cruiser.
Lifejackets or buoyancy aids - what’s the difference?
With buoyancy aids, you need to swim or continuously move to help keep your face above water, but a lifejacket provides face - up
in - water support. If you fall overboard unconscious, a lifejacket provides safety on the water by turning you over so that you can
Lifejackets are also fitted with a whistle, lifting loop and reflective material. For those more suited to offshore, crotch straps, a harness, a light and sprayhood will be included. Buoyancy aids are suitable for personal watercraft (PWC), dinghies, windsurfing and generally for
activities where the wearer might reasonably expect to end up in the water, but conscious.
What do the levels of buoyancy mean?
Buoyancy aids and lifejackets have different levels of buoyancy to ensure safety on the water. There are four main buoyancy levels: 50, 100, 150 and 275.
In general terms, Level 50 is a buoyancy aid for when help is close at hand. Level 150 is a general - purpose lifejacket more suited to offshore cruising and motor boating. The RYA strongly recommends not wearing a 275 lifejacket, as this is very bulky when inflated and will obstruct you if getting into a life raft.
Do I need to professionally service my lifejacket?
For recreational boaters, there’s no legal requirement to have your life jacket serviced. However, lifejacket manufacturers do recommend servicing their products annually by a professional at an approved service station.
What checks can I do myself?
Throughout the season check your lifejacket for signs of damage to the bladder cover, webbing straps, stitching, clips, and
buckles. You should also ensure that any ‘life’ parts are in date and regularly check that the inflation cylinder has not been discharged . Also, ensure that it’s fitted properly. If you are concerned, get it looked at.
How do I clean my lifejacket?
After use, rinse off any salt, sand, or stains with clean water. Salt can be corrosive and damaging plus nobody wants to use a musty life
jacket! Once clean, dryit out of direct sunlight. Lifejackets should be stowed completely dry, somewhere cool and dark.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Last month I invited you to drop me a line with your ideas for reusing unwanted fenders, rope and steel wire to share with our members through the Newsletter. No replies were received – please get your thinking caps on!
TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty”
Ratty often stops by to chat with his diminutive friend the Water Shrew. She’s actually the largest
of Britain’s shrews and loves wetland habitats, such as streams, ponds, fens and reedbeds.
Unlike Water Voles, Water Shrews are voracious predators and spend a lot of time hunting.
They are unusual among mammals because they have a venomous bite – their poisonous
saliva is strong enough to immobilise frogs and small fish. Their teeth are red - tipped due to
iron compounds that strengthen their bite.
They can tackle prey up to 60 times their own weight, including newts, frogs, crustaceans and
snails, but they will often settle for worms, insects and other small invertebrates. No other
shrew will normally be seen in the water, but the Water Shrew will even dive to the bottom to
catch prey such as caddisfly and mayfly larvae.
Water Shrews are around both day and night and can occasionally be seen scurrying across a path – recognisable from their relatively large size and dark fur. Although Water Shrews don’t have web bed feet, stiff hairs on their large back feet and tail help them to swim about near their burrows in the banks. They have a lovely dark grey, thick coat of fur that holds a layer of air, keeping them warm, and dry.
They are territorial animals, defending their home ground and breed ing throughout the summer, producing three to fifteen
young per litter.
ANTIFOULING ADVICE from the Green Blue Campaign
Some useful tips on how to keep yourself and the environment safe
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 380 February 2023
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 379 January 2023
A warm welcome to the first Newsletter of 2023. I hope you all enjoyed the festive celebrations, perhaps did a bit of belt-tightening in January and are now looking forward to getting back on the water.
The Festive Lunch at the White Horse at Neatishead was enjoyed by more than 40 members; thanks to Neil and Deirdre for the arrangements and to the staff at the pub, who were very welcoming.
In coming months we focus on training, led by Tom. The first sessions are on yacht handling and going to sea, both by Zoom. The third is a visit to Ropes Direct at Catfield followed by a pie & pint at the Kings Head, Ludham. Register your interest by emailing me as soon as possible. All registrants will be sent details for all events.
We also have two great walks lined up, the first to St Benet’s for a guided tour and the second to an historic church in the Brecks, followed by tea at John & Jen Blackburne’s farm. Details to follow.
Don’t forget the Fitting Out Lunch on 25th March at The Lion in Thurne. Order forms are on the way. And finally, Sailing in Company will resume in April – do volunteer to lead a weekly event – contact Brian Gray and join his WhatsApp group.
Mark Collins Commodore
DATE EVENT LOCATION
15th February Ropes & Rules Training:
“Boat handling” By Zoom
25th February Winter walk and lunch St Benet’s Abbey ; Staithe & Willow Café, Horning
1st March Ropes and Rules Training:
“Going to sea” By Zoom
15th March Ropes & Rules Visit Ropes Direct, Catfiled, then a pie & pint at Kings Head, Ludham
25th March Fitting out lunch The Lion, Thurne
15th April Spring walk Daleacres Farm & St Mary’s Church, Houghton
BALANCING THE BROADS BOOKS by Tom Parkinson
My wife Mim and I first came to the Norfolk Broads in 1965; we hired a Baltimore from Moore’s of Wroxham with my brother and his wife.
Now, my brother owned a particularly vicious terrier he had rescued from the Thames. We needed to keep ourselves to ourselves. In those days you could pretty well moor anywhere for free, the rivers in the north stretched to the piling and were much wider than today. There were no “No Mooring” signs along the landowner’s boundary, so you could stop anywhere and use your rond anchors.
Moorings in the Broads, at boatyards and villages were free as was water which was available at every parish and yard. There were ample places to dispose of your rubbish at each yard and parish, and toilets too. There were plenty of places on the river to purchase stores.
We hired both yachts and motorboats every year up until 1987 when we purchased a small chalet at
Horning with enough moorings for two boats. We were happy to commute from the south every time for
long weekends. In 1993 we moved to Salhouse fulfilling our dream planted in 1965.
We love boating on the Norfolk Broads due to its beauty and wildlife. We joined the NRSC in 1988 and
have enjoyed the companionship of all types of sailing ever since. The reason for my introduction is to
paint a picture for those who have come to the broads recently and do not understand the anger with
the present situation.
In the last few years, I cannot remember when I used a rond anchor as all the banks either make a
charge, or have no mooring signs, or are a distance from the river because of reedbeds, which have been
allowed to develop between the river and the piling.
You can count the number of rubbish disposals and places to fuel on the fingers of one hand in the north
and the south, and water is no longer free.
Over the past few years, the private broads have been allowed to weed up, significantly reducing the available area for sailing and motor boating so we are being asked to pay more for less. We now have a situation where moorings which have been free because we pay a river toll may be charged for, significantly reducing the number of free moorings available next year, and you can bet the year after that there will be even fewer moorings. An increase in tolls of the order being imposed is ridiculous.
It seems that the needs of the boating community have not been protected properly either by the NSBA or by the Broads Authority. Unlike the other designated National Parks, the Broads is largely man-made and has up to recent years been man-maintained. The problem is one of finance and how that finance is managed.
The Broads attracts a large number of visitors each year and the money they bring to the area goes mainly into the pockets of the boat hire companies, landowners via mooring fees, holiday home lets, and supply businesses. Of these, only the boat hirers contribute funds directly to the Broads via the BA.
We need a Broads maintenance and development fund such as that imposed by
Norwich Airport to preserve the beauty and way of life that we all want. This can
be achieved by a small levy of a few pounds on everyone who comes here to
hotels, holiday lets, day boats, hire boats, coaches and the large passenger boats.
This is not a complete list, but you get the idea. This would raise millions that
could be used, although I think we need a new body to manage this money so
Broads improvement puts boating in its rightful place much nearer the top of
SOME HANDY TIPS by Brian Gray
Tallulah recently moved to a different pen in our moorings at South Walsham, and the previous owner kindly left his mooring lines. I found that they had floats on them and upon mooring up I now find it is so much easier to collect up a stern line floating for easy pick up with a boat hook. No need to jump off, thereby making the whole process so much safer and easier.
Another safety measure on Tallulah… for 5 years I had in my shed a grab frame for the spray hood. But it never got fitted - too busy sailing! This winter I got around to fitting it and I have to say it is brilliant! We now have side access to Tallulah so first we drop the guard wires, then, and this is the best bit, where you would normally grab the edge of the sprayhood, we now have an actual rail that runs parallel to the edge of the sprayhood. This gives a much stronger grip and a feeling of safer boarding. Why not give it a try?
Malcolm and I have been experimenting with landing mats that can be put in place when we need extra moorings upstream of the clubhouse, usually during races. As you know, the bank has become unstable as it is riverside of the defences. So far our designs are looking good… more about it in the next Newsletter.
THE VASA DISASTER by John Blackburne
It was 4 pm on August 10th 1628, and the wooden sailing ship, Vasa, had barely left the docks of Stockholm harbour on her maiden voyage. Only 1300m out, a light gust of wind toppled the ship over on her side. As water flooded through the gun portals, she sank with the loss of 53 lives and came to rest at 20 fathoms. In 1956, she was found by Anders Franzen, a Swedish marine technician and amateur naval archaeologist, and was salvaged between 1959-61. John and Jen Blackburne visited her in the specially built museum.
In 1962 I flew to Sweden to stay with my Aunt and Uncle who owned a translation business in Stockholm. My Uncle loved sailing and owned a Thames Barge. With some friends, we sailed her from Namdo, one of the largest outer islands, back into Stockholm, mooring right outsidehis office.
As we arrived in Stockholm, he pointed out a vast marquee, explaining that this covered the wreck of the Vasa, raised just a few months earlier. The next day we went to have a look. We were given plastic coats and entered what could only be described as a tropical mist. The whole wreck was being continuously sprayed with water while they worked out how to preserve her once the wood dried, at which point it could just crumble apart.
Jen and I returned to Sweden to visit relatives a few years ago and went to look at the now completely restored battleship. What a sight she is with beautiful carvings covering the sides, and the stern decorated as it would have been on the day she was launched.
It was 16th January 1625 when King Gustav II of Sweden agreed a contract with Stockholm shipbuilders Hendrik and Arend Hybertsson to build four ships. The King changed his orders several times, lengthening the keel and adding an extra gun-deck to the Vasa, leading to chaos and confusion for the builders. Huge amounts of money were spent, and it didn’t help that Hendrik Hybertsson died in 1627, a year before Vasa was completed. Royalty and large crowds were at the launch when she went over, taking crew and officials to the bottom.
Thankfully for me and Jen the cold oxygen-poor water of the Baltic protected her from bacteria and worm and today she remains a beauty in dry-dock, but intuitively too tall and top-heavy for a sailing battleship.
Maybe this should be a reminder to keep an eye on how we load, fix or store equipment on our own boats.
A TASTE OF THE AMERICA’S CUP IN NEW ZEALAND by David Kemble-Taylor
When Trudi and I arrived in Auckland we stayed in a hotel overlooking the Waitemata Harbour. We very quickly noticed the yacht Explore which was a former America’s Cup boat and now offering the opportunity to sail as “crew” and to enjoy the experience of racing. You could take the helm, work the grinders or just enjoy the sailing in the beautiful harbour with views over Auckland.
In essence the America’s Cup is the prize in a match race between two boats. One represents the challenger’s yacht club, the other the defender’s. Any foreign yacht club may challenge the holder to a match on the defender's home water. The first challenge for the Cup was in 1870. It was not until 1983 that the Australian challenge wrestled the Cup from the United States of America.
The New Zealand team – sailing under the flag of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – has won four America’s Cups. It’s impressive stuff and surely moves them into position as one of the greatest modern America’s Cup teams.
Nowadays it is all about foiling, initially it was with a monohull, but lately with a twin. The skipper on Explore asked me if I foiled on my boat back in the UK. I thought about it and said no but if anybody could it would probably be Brian and Bob on Tallulagh….! .The Skipper seemed content with that answer...
NRSC: HOW CAN WE SUPPORT MORE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS? by Mark Collins
NRSC’s objectives can be summarised like this:
1) provide an unrivalled racing, cruising and social programme;
2) ensure wide participation and bring benefits to all;
3) enhance members’ boating skills; and 4) contribute to the success of the Norfolk Broads community.
Many of you attended the Festive Lunch at Neatishead, picked up a copy of the 2023 Red Book and hopefully saw that we are doing well in terms of the boating and training objectives. But are we doing enough in terms of diversifying our membership and contributing to the Broads community?
Royal Yachting Association
We’re a corporate member of the RYA, and our main point of contact, Robbie Bell, has helped us a lot over the
years. Nigel and I met with Robbie again on 26th November 2022, when we attended the Eastern Region Annual
Conference at the Royal Hospital School near Ipswich (see Newsletter 378). It was a well-organised day, and we
met up with plenty of colleagues from other clubs and engaged in the workshops.
A key theme was Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI). A handout called Toolkit to Enable Inclusivity could be
useful for us as a club. The NRSC Committee is planning a workshop to discuss what we can do to attract members
from all walks of life and ensure that we meet their expectations.
If you are interested in taking part, or perhaps have experience in implementing EDI, do get in contact.
The Broads Authority
One of the most important things we can do in the Broads community is to engage with the Broads Authority (BA). The BA has a big job to do – the Broads span 117 sq miles, 120 miles of navigable waterways, 63 broads and seven rivers - all managed with just 150 staff and a £7.8M budget for 2023/24 - a lot smaller than many secondary schools!
More than half of the BA 2023/24 core budget is predicted to come from toll-payers (hire boats £1.3M, private craft £2.8M, DEFRA grant £3.4M, other £125K. It’s worth noting though, that recently the Authority secured an additional capital grant from DEFRA, taking its predicted income for the current year to over £10M. Whilst the additional grant was headlined for biodiversity, many purchases, such as a new water plant cutter costing more than £250K, will be of great benefit to boating. We don’t know whether capital grants like this might become a regular feature of DEFRA’s support to the Broads.
The division between navigation and National Park has lots of shared costs and there is
bound to be arm-wrestling to ensure that tolls genuinely benefit the boating interests. Of
course, anyone can write directly to the BA, but for NRSC another way forward is through
the Navigation Committee, often known as “NavComm”. I hope to attend NavComm
meetings in future, so feel free to let me and the NRSC Committee know of matters that
worry you, or ideas that you have. It's important to do so in good time so that the
Committee can understand your views before approaching NavComm.
Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association
For many years we have been corporate members of the Norfolk & Suffolk Boating Association, which produces the Green Book and organises open regattas on the Broads. NSBA is meant to represent private boaters and many of our members feel that the Association could be more supportive and improve its communications with affiliated clubs like ours.
NRSC’s most popular boats, Pegasus 700 and 800s, don’t have class rules for racing purposes, which is the main reason that we don’t hold open regattas. Hence, we’ve decided to withdraw our entry from the Class Boat Lists in the 2023 Green Book, but we’ll continue to have an entry in the Affiliated Clubs’ Sailing Programmes. This is a useful way to let other clubs know what we’re up to.
When asked last year, only a quarter of our members opted to receive the Green Book, so It’s not fair to absorb the cost into everyone’s annual dues. The Green Book won’t be automatically distributed this year. If you opted in, you can collect and pay for your copy at the Fitting Out Lunch or at the Anchorage. If you are an individual NSBA member, you will receive a copy anyway, and others can purchase it from NSBA. We are not planning to cancel our NSBA affiliation, but we are hoping for reforms.
The Broads Society
The Broads Society makes sure to keep its members abreast of events. Through its quarterly magazine, Harnser, it engages a user base of more than 850 members as well as numerous stakeholders and corporate supporters. It is closely associated with the Broads Trust which, through its project “Love the Broads” has awarded more than £100,000 to 50 projects in the past ten years. Broads Society committees review planning applications, NavComm papers, and the work of the British Marine Federation.
The NRSC Committee decided to take up corporate membership of the
Broads Society and now receives quarterly PDFs of Harnser, which we can
distribute to members. October 2022 and January 2023 editions are on their
way to you separately and on pages 11 and 34 respectively you will find
boating articles that I sent in.
Ramblers, anglers, historians, boatyards, marinas, conservationists,
photographers, sailing clubs and boaters of all kinds contribute articles to
Harnser. I would encourage anyone interested in submitting an article to
contact the Editor (email@example.com).
It would be good to hear from any member of NRSC about the ways in which we can encourage wider inclusion in the club and improve our contributions to all the Broads organisations working on our behalf.
TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty”
Have you ever wondered how long it takes for rubbish to
decompose? “Out of sight out of mind” is all too often the
easy option for us, but The Green Blue, an initiative of
British Marine and the RYA is encouraging us to give it
careful thought. Their poster, reproduced right, shows
just how long rubbish thrown in the water can hang around.
On a related point, how can we re-use or recycle common
boating waste? Ratty reckons there are three boating bits
that most of us have hanging around our boats and garages:
old rope, old steel wire and old fenders. We don’t like to bin
them but what can we do with them?
Please drop a line to the Commodore with your ideas for
reusing fenders, rope and steel wire and we can share those
thoughts in the Newsletter
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 378 November 2022
Attached, please find the last Newsletter of 2022. What a great year it's been!
There's something of interest to everyone here, not least the news that we will be holding an online "Christmas Cracker" event on 16th December. Do have a look inside for all the details. I hope to see you all online, but in case you can't make the event, do have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Very best wishes
Mark Collins, Commodore
Northern Rivers Sailing Club
The Christmas Cracker is back! Friday 16th December, 19:00 – 20:30, via Zoom Look forward to an hour and a half of fun and games via Zoom, with sketches, songs, music, readings and loads more fun and entertainment from your fellow NRSC members. Wish your friends a merry Christmas and sit back in the comfort of your own homes with a glass of your favourite tipple and a brandy snap to hand.
Please register with me as soon as possible and let me know your contribution when you can, so that we can work out the programme. In other news, the AGM, Prizegiving and Annual Dinner were a great success. With the Club’s business swiftly and efficiently put to bed, over 40 members enjoyed an excellent meal and congratulated the trophy winners.
Don't forget to get your copy of the NRSC 2023 calendar. It costs £12.00 + £1.75 postage and there are only a few left. Contact Neil Sutherland to place your order.
A very warm welcome to our new members. Simon Strode (new owner of ZigZag), Jo & Steve Jenkins and Richard Stokes
DATES FOR THE DIARY
16th December, via Zoom: NRSC Christmas Cracker. Book with Mark Collins.
21st January: NRSC Festive Lunch, The White Horse, Neatishead, details to follow from Neil and Dierdre.
NRSC TROPHIES 2023 by Nigel Wordingham
Warmest congratulations to all those who won racing trophies for their labours this year, and particularly to Jeff Harteveldt for winning the Individual Handicap for best aggregate through the season; Brian Gray for winning the Endeavour Trophy for the best effort without a place; John Blackburne for winning the Past Commodore’s Cup for seamanship; Simon Gould for winning the Saltwater Trophy for coastal sailing; John Redding for winning the Bavaria Trophy for exceptional service to NRSC; and last but certainly not least, Mike Morcher for winning the Photo Competition. All are very well-deserved, and an inspiration to us all.
Trophy Helm Boat
Spring Trophy T Parkinson Nemesis
Harvest Bowl J Harteveldt Déjà Vu
Oby Thistle J Harteveldt Déjà Vu
Club Championship J Harteveldt Déjà Vu
Emblem Trophy T Parkinson Nemesis
Novice Cup Not held n/a
Commodores Cup M Collins ZigZag
Individual Handicap J Harteveldt Déjà Vu
Green Ranger J Redding My Weigh
Endeavour Trophy B Gray Tallulah
Summer Regatta T Parkinson Nemesis
Saltwater Trophy S Gould Caballero
Inaugural Salver Not held n/a
Past Commodore's Cup J Blackburne St Helen
Founders Cup J Harteveldt Déjà Vu
Bavaria Trophy J Redding My Weigh
Globe Trophy M Collins ZigZag
Photo Competition M Morcher n/a
RYA EASTERN REGION AFFILIATED CLUBS CONFERENCE by Mark Collins
Mark and Nigel took part in this RYA meeting on 26th November 2022 at The Royal Hospital School in Holbrook, near Ipswich, along with about 100 other delegates. We met up with a number of friends from other clubs there, and enjoyed presentations by Robbie Bell, our Eastern Region Coordinator, as well as a number of other RYA staff and experts.
We played an active part in linked workshops on “What are the needs and motivations of your Club members and how can you provide an experience that is right for them?” and “How can you make your club welcoming to a wider range of members.” It was most interesting to hear from other clubs, what their challenges are and how they tackle them, but of course, we didn’t give away any secrets about our naughty members.
We learnt quite a bit about community engagement and worked through a guide called “A toolkit to Enable Inclusivity, which we plan to inflict on other Committee members in due course. This brought us right up to speed on equality policy and monitoring, anti-discrimination statements, designing a membership form, and preventing hate speech. Maybe not problems our club faces every day, but all of us can do better, no doubt about it.
The Royal Hospital School
John Redding's achievements celebrated in print
We were delighted with the press coverage we achieved to celebrate John's achievements with the club.
The Eastern Daily Press printed a full page spread on 28th November together with a leader photo on the front page too.
Well done James for getting this press coverage organised, and to Jeff for carving the brilliant new sign. John was thrilled to bits with everything – Ed.
Another successful workparty by Malcolm Flatman
Brian, Chris and John T. spent a very successful day at the Anchorage on 24th November. Here’s an account of what was
The metal shutter doors were sticking because the clubhouse has been gently changing its position relative to the separately constructed verandah. Brian has moved them up a couple of inches but the Anchorage is in need of a little more nurturing, being no longer vertical and leaning a little tipsily to the north. We’ll be looking at remedies.
Meanwhile, Chris cleaned out the generator’s fuel tank, lines and carburettor, bringing it (literally) roaring back to life. Yes, the exhaust system is totally unsafe, and Chris has plans to upgrade it. Oh, and an oil change too!
John and I raised the elderly (ie knackered) boardwalk at the head of John Redding’s Dyke, and stuffed the space with wood chip bags. We put the remainder of the 97 bags in the front quay. The quay heading has now been filled from the flood defence wall in the southwest corner of the site as far as the upstream corner of the long front quay heading, a total of 300+ bags. We’re planning to get the remaining 300 bags filled in February for another push to the end in front of the start box.
Brian has made an experimental roll-up temporary boardwalk (think duckboard or tank track) for use on the holey and dangerous bank upstream of the Anchorage. This works! Hopefully we have a portable solution to using that bank- we need it on busy race days.
Before I forget - the wooden walkways in front of and beside the Anchorage are very slippery because of all the warm wet weather so do be careful. When walking around. The work party fixed up four “slippery surface” signs on the verandah as a reminder. On the jobs list is to cover the boards with wire netting - we’ve space under the shutters now!
Let me know if you see anything untoward.
WINTERISING TOP TIPS adapted from RYA guidance
Remove anything that could be damaged by freezing and damp, or mitigate against that happening. Boats contain a multitude of systems that hate inactivity – particularly the engine. So, the best way to winterise your boat is to continue to use it.
Vessels left in the water
If you decide to leave your boat in the water, there is potential for freezing and damp and you will need some form of protection such as:
• Run the engine reasonably often, preferably in gear and preferably while enjoying the quiet marinas and anchorages away from
your home berth.
• Use thermostatic electric heaters below deck and in the engine bay.
• Set up a dehumidifier draining into the sink (not to a tank).
• Keep an eye on the power supply. This could be as simple as daily visits, or you could set up a monitoring system to alert you of low
temperatures or power drop out.
• Keep fuel tanks topped up.
• Add extra mooring lines. Adjust them often to change the potential chafe point.
• Clean the outside of the vessel.
• Empty any clothing, bedding and foodstuff not needed.
• Check all through hull fittings for leaks and corrosion.
• Check your stern glands and repack with grease if appropriate.
Vessels ashore (winterisation)
Many of the points above are still valid, but in addition:
• Angle the bow upwards to enable rainwater to run off covers, decks and cockpit.
• Prepare the engine - read the RYA’s top tips for winterising your engine.
• Cover to keep water out but allow air to circulate to prevent condensation.
• Drain the freshwater supply system including tank, pump, water filters and taps.
• Remove any foodstuffs which may be damaged by frost or attract vermin.
• Store linen, clothing, blankets and curtains ashore. Ensure through-ventilation. Leave cupboards, drawers and lockers open; prop up
• Ensure tight-fitting covers for deck-installed electronics and consider spraying behind electronics with water-repellent silicone. Check
navigation lights are serviceable.
• Make a list of what you have done so you remember what to reverse in the spring.
• Whether the boat is lifted or left in the water it regular visits will ensure all is well.
• Bilges will still need to be pumped.
BROADS AUTHORITY PUBLISHES PLAN by Mark Collins
The Broads Plan is an overarching document, a partnership strategy representing a joint vision.
Themes included in the Plan are as follows:
- Responding to climate change and flood risk
- Improving landscapes for biodiversity and agriculture
- Maintaining and enhancing the navigation
- Protecting landscape, character & historic environment
- Promoting understanding and enjoyment
- Connecting and inspiring communities.
The new and ambitious plan is a partnership strategy representing the joint vision of the Authority, its partners and its many stakeholders, set in the context of increasing costs and diminishing public and private investment. Look out for higher
There is a strong emphasis on the impacts of climate change, flood risk, nature recovery and, at the heart of the Plan, the importance of managing our navigation.
Check out the Broads Plan on the Broads Authority’s website. It’s well worth reading.
And let’s be fair and share some Christmas Cheer - they do a good job for us!
“Ratty” has gone into hibernation & says “See you next year folks!
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 377 October 2022
The clocks have been put back and many of us have seen our boats lifted onto the hard for winter. Meanwhile, the sun shines and those lucky few who are staying afloat may have some wonderful conditions for sailing in coming weeks. And it will be so peaceful out there.... no hire boats and, barring force majeure, no more Committee meetings or newsletters until Spring!
Our AGM, Prize-giving and Annual Dinner are fast upon us, with a wonderful menu promised by The Old Rectory Hotel at Crostwick. Don’t miss out on this memorable occasion. Please send your food selection to Neil and Deirdre and your cash to Judy very soon. Come along and celebrate the Club’s trophy winners - Jeff will be wearing out the red carpet again, but there are some surprises too! Don’t forget this last chance to exchange Christmas cards - after all, no one can afford stamps anymore!
Hard on the heels of Christmas and New Year comes the NRSC Festive Lunch on 21st January at The White Horse, Neatishead – more about that in due course. Not to be missed.
Something you may miss in this edition of the newsletter is the For Sale section. This is now transferred to sole ownership of the website, so do get in touch with James to shift your boats and bric-a-brac.
Last but by no means least, we do need a Club Secretary. We know Glyn made it look easy but that’s because it is easy! (Except for the tricky bits of course). Why not give it a try? We are a great team - you will enjoy it.......
With all best wishes
DATES FOR THE DIARY
3rd November, Online: Broadland Futures Initiative. Contact Mark Collins.
12th November, GM, Annual Dinner & Prizegiving. Details already circulated.
21st January, NRSC Festive Lunch, The White Horse, Neatishead, details follow.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP PURSUIT RACE............ by OOD David Reeve
On the race day, Saturday 8th October, the weather forecast was very promising with beautiful sunshine and 12mph WNW winds predicted. Without the usual presence of high handicappers Chariot and My Weigh the start sequence was moved to 13:00hrs, with the first of five starters, ZigZag, skilfully hovering close to the Anchorage and crossing the line in good time, making steady progress upriver towards the Boundary Dyke buoy. Next was Quartet, affected by the fast-running ebbing tide, but not delayed too badly.
Meanwhile, the three 800s had remained around the downstream corner for far too long and had a real struggle to sail past the Anchorage in the shelter of the trees. Cho Cho San and Nemesis eventually crossed the line over ten minutes late! (Ed: Is that allowed in the Rules?)
About 35 minutes from the finishing time, ZigZag reached the Anchorage with a 100- yard lead from Quartet, but she rounded the mark very badly, was caught by the tide and drifted downstream while Quartet turned smartly on her heels, lifted her petticoats and took the lead.
The Committee boat chased the leaders and eventually met up with Deja Vu and
Quartet battling it out close-hauled along the downwind bank on the approach to the Boundary Dyke buoy. Five minutes before the finish Deja Vu finally stole the lead to win the race.
Many thanks go to timekeepers Mike and Julia Morcher, and to John Redding for providing My Weigh as the Committee boat.
Overall Regatta Result:
1 st : Jeff Harteveldt and Mick Bashford in Déjà Vu
2 nd : Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax in Quartet
3 rd : Mark Collins and James Bush in ZigZag
Other boats racing:
Tom Parkinson and Neil Sutherland in Nemesis ; Nigel and Sean Wordingham in Cho Cho San, with Strega DNS.
SECURITY AT THE ANCHORAGE...... by Malcolm Flatman
While visiting the Anchorage a couple of “Sailings in Company” ago, I discovered that the back gate leading to the public footpath had been left ajar. The wooden gate had sagged, and the bolt was difficult to push into the metal post. More worryingly, the padlock had been left hanging open, and the code to unlock it was clearly visible. If a passer-by had made a note of the code, they would be able to return at their convenience, open the gate and probably the clubhouse too!
Please be sure to report any problems about the Anchorage to me, to either of the two coxswains, Brian Gray and Chris Evans, or to the Commodore, and make sure you re-lock all padlocks (even if they cannot be used temporarily) and scramble the tumblers. This will
help prevent a lot of trouble and unnecessary work. Thanks!
PASSAGE THROUGH GT YARMOUTH AT HIGH WATER......by John Blackburne
Having read our Commodore’s interesting account of his passage from the Southern to the Northern rivers through Great Yarmouth (Newsletter 376, September 2022), it reminded me that he and I had done the same trip, but at High Water, just a few years ago in St
Helen. Although the Broads Authority and Green Book sensibly recommend that this passage should be timed for slack Low Water, I have always wondered whether we are wedded to the past, when wherries and yachts with no engine would sail across Breydon
Water and stick their bow onto the mud at the Bure entrance to wait for the tide to move them upstream.
This is some time after it starts flooding into Breydon, as the Yare’s riverbed is lower than the Bure’s. Of course, for hire boats and those new to the area and with small engines, a Low Water passage will always be the safest option. But if you are on the Southern rivers or
at Lowestoft and faced with Low Water at 06:00 and 18:00 as we were and want to get home after a long sea trip the day before, a High Water passage is quite safe with a few provisos. Certainly, you will need a reliable engine with a good propellor, preferably fixed not folding, and three-bladed, not two. Most of our NRSC boats have folding two-blade propellors for racing, so bear this in mind. St Helen has a strong engine, a fixed propellor and can do nearly 7 knots.
Vauxhall Bridge at Yarmouth has a clearance of 6.09 feet at High Water Springs with a height range between Springs and Neaps of about 2.4 feet. So, with St Helen needing 6.2 feet minimum, a passage on most days at High Water would be all right. I would take into consideration whether the wind on the North Sea had been strong from the North or Northeast for a few days as this adversely affects the High Water. With a good pair of binoculars, you can see the bridge clearance board without having to start your move up the Bure.
I would also accept that if I arrived to find Vauxhall Bridge clearance was too small, I might have to wait on the pontoon just downstream from Breydon Bridge, possibly until Low Water in the evening. But with a good engine and large prop, the ebb just after High Water does not run too quickly to start with and a motor up the Bure is possible as soon as the clearance has increased enough for you to pass under the bridge.
So, if you don’t mind having to push against the tide as you come down the Yare or Waveney and also as you come up the Bure to Acle (where the tide isn’t over-strong) then a High Water passage through Great Yarmouth is quite feasible on many days. If I was travelling the other way, however, from the Bure to the Yare, I would not attempt any passage at HW as there is no safe place to wait or turn as you approach Vauxhall Bridge with your mast sticking out to stern!
WORK PARTY AT THE ANCHORAGE 9 th OCTOBER.................. by Chris Evans
Our Boatswain was sunning himself on Cypriot beaches while the rest of us poor souls struggled on as winter approached. To be fair though, the poor fellow suffers from an exaggerated sense of duty to Northern Rivers SC and he had made all the arrangements for
what turned out to be a very successful and trouble-free day, helped by an ample supply oftea, coffee and the Commodore’s hotdogs handed out from the good ship Owl by Tom, Mim and Alison.
Malcolm and John T had stalwartly pre-prepared about 100 chippings bags ready for collection from Wroxham, where Brian was ready and waiting for Mark and the trailer. Despite personal attacks on us by Malcolm’s monster garden yucca, all were loaded safely, delivered to Richardson’s workboat Hercules at Acle Bridge and thence, with dodgy helming from the Commodore, to the Anchorage, where they were stacked on the walkway at the ear of the building, waiting for Malcolm to come back (hint hint).
The northern boundary hedge has had a severe haircut down to a couple of metres and the cuttings were interwoven to fortify it. Twenty or so branches have been left for planting later, temporarily stored with their cut ends gently rooting in the water behind the shed. The reeds at the southern end of the site have also been cut back, in line with the frontage of the building.
Meanwhile, a brilliant team worked inside the clubhouse, doing a great job of cleaning and tidying. The window grids were removed and replaced after the glass was cleaned, with dead flies removed. Floors were swept, storage boxes cleaned and everything else had a good wipe down. The honours boards were removed and taken back on Hercules for later delivery to Nigel, who will have them inscribed ready for next year.
Quite a lot of rubbish had accumulated in the generator shed and Brian had previously sorted it out for disposal. Hercules was quickly piled high with old charcoal BBQs (we are only using gas from now on because of the fire risk), surplus timbers, an old tyre and other waste from the store cupboard. It’s been swept out and the floor is now clear. The workboat was full to overflowing for its return journey and transfer to Mark’s trailer, and onwards to a scrap merchant!
Meanwhile a team of members painted the green marks shed with another two coats of preservative and we started the generator, but
it wouldn’t run off choke. It looks as if the carburettor and fuel line need cleaning out as there is sediment in the fuel tank. Good news is that the battery is strong and turns the starter easily.
The defibrillator box is now locked, and the clubhouse is secured for the winter. Warmest thanks go to all those who came along to help; it was very much appreciated. And, as ever, a huge THANK YOU to Richardson's for the loan of Hercules .
COMMODORE’S CALL by James Bush & Mark Collins, with pictures by Mike Morcher
On Friday 28 th October we had a magnificent turnout of more than 40 members for the Commodore's Call at the New Victory Hall in Neatishead. The event was expertly organised and run by the Commodore, Neil and Deirdre with Julia and an army of volunteers helping to cook and serve up a delicious jacket potato and chilli supper.
The entertainment began with a canter through the anatomy of the brand new NRSC website, constructed by James using the Wix software in a voyage of discovery of his previously unexplored design talents. James explained that by climbing on the shoulders of our website originator, Mike Morcher, we were achieving new heights in terms of visitors to our pages. In particular, the For Sale section was bringing in many aspiring mariners, looking to pick up a fine bargain from members’ dusty garage shelves and boat lockers.
After a short break, the Commodore treated us to a lengthy exposition on the history, geography and environmental circumstances of Norfolk’s Northern Rivers. There was certainly a lot to take in, and no lack of advice afterwards from those who variously wanted less history.... or less geography ...... and certainly a lot less environmental gloom. Heads back in the sand everyone; it will all work out just fine (or will it?). I blame the Romans.
Everyone present was automatically entered into a prize draw with a chance to win an original and beautiful watercolour,
Wells-Next-the-Sea Evening, a hugely generous donation from artist Surinder Beerh of the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists, gently brokered by SEAW Chair, Mel, who was under the weather and missed the presentation. Monica was in purple as the lucky winner and is said to be busy taking down Mike’s Spitfire pictures to make room on the wall over the fireplace at home.
“Ratty” has gone into hibernation and says “See you next year folks!”
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 376 September 2022
With great sadness, NRSC sends sincere condolences to King Charles III and the entire Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The recent passing of The Queen, so soon after the loss of Prince Philip, represents a heavy loss to the world, the country, and the boating fraternity.
Gifted a Dragon for their 1947 marriage, and later sailing a Flying Fifteen, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip both greatly enjoyed being on the water. The Queen supported Cowes Week many times, often aboard HM Yacht Britannia, which also steamed more than a million miles on almost a thousand diplomatic visits across the globe.
The Queen was Patron of the RYA, and Prince Philip was President, succeeded in 1987 by Anne, Princess Royal. Our Club remembers Her Majesty with great fondness and respect for the service and incomparable contribution she made to this country.
Dear NRSC Members,
Our work goes on and it’s time for me to remind all members that we need your support in running the Club. At the AGM on 12th
November, we will elect a new Committee and would appreciate your self-nominations.
All positions are available and are listed on page 3 of the Red Book. If more than one person self-nominates for a position, we would work something out rather than go to a vote. We would also be very pleased to welcome Committee members without
portfolio, but willing to help and learn the ropes. Nearly all our meetings will be by Zoom, thus requiring far less time commitment
in terms of travel. Even if you live some distance away, you can still help the Club. Please indicate your preparedness to stand with the Secretary, Glyn Williams.
With all best wishes
Mark Collins, Commodore
Contributions to the NRSC Newsletter are always welcome. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
DATES FOR THE DIARY
8th October Club Championship, Anchorage. OOD David Reeve
9th October Anchorage Laying Up. Coxswain Chris Evans
28th October Commodore’s Call, Neatishead Village Hall. £10.00 pp to Judy Jarvey
12th November AGM, Annual Dinner & Prizegiving. Details tba
NRSC APPROACH TO THE SAILING PROGRAMME FOR 2023
The Commodore, Sailing Secretary, Club Secretary and Coxswain, supported by three other members, met on 7th September to consider the Club’s sailing programme for 2023. The revised programme will be shared with everyone at the AGM but meanwhile, a separate email will be sent to you for comment. Your thoughts would be welcome on the deliberations so far.
Please do send your responses to Nigel Wordingham cc Mark Collins.
SPRING TROPHY & SUMMER REGATTA. By Nigel Wordingham
Events took place from the Anchorage on Thursday-Friday 1-2 September using buoys at Acle, Oby and for one race Boundary. They were cut-down versions of the planned broads-based races, postponed due to excess wind and weed. The pleasant, sunny weather in an easterly breeze was sometimes quite lively. Thanks go to OOD Nigel, and timekeepers Simon and Brian.
Spring Trophy: Thursday 1st September
In the first race, none of the competitors could be accused of attacking the line. Quartet (Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax) made the best start 30 seconds after the starting signal. This proved decisive. Quartet got to the Acle mark without having to tack and rounded it
Nemesis (Tom Parkinson and Neil Sutherland) and ZigZag (Mark Collins and Bob Nicholls) were both caught by the fast-incoming tide and swept back onto the Acle mark, having to do 360s. ZigZag also lost way, was driven into the leeward hard bank by the tide and ended up having to retire. A passing river cruiser hindered Nemesis and Quartet kept her lead until rounding the Acle buoy for the second time when Nemesis got past, but Quartet won comfortably on corrected time.
In the second race Nemesis got the best start and had no problems with the buoy because there wasn’t one! Someone had driven over it and it was nestled in brambles on the leeward bank (Mark and Simon tested their boat handling and collected it next morning). Helms turned at the first moored boat instead. On corrected time Nemesis was first with Quartet 41seconds later and Zigzag 41 seconds later than Quartet.
Overall, Quartet and Nemesis had a first and second, so Nemesis was first on the tiebreaker rule that the boat that does best in the last race is the winner.
Summer Regatta: Friday 2nd September
Helms had been finishing in under an hour the previous day, so the OOD decided to send them up to Boundary for a bit more exercise. The wind was less predictable than Thursday and conditions were challenging. Nemesis got the lead and stayed there. ZigZag (Mark and Brian Gray), which had been third at the start and up to the Boundary buoy, got on the better side of the river and passed Quartet, finishing second even before the benefit of handicap.
The second race was delayed, giving the crew a chance to recover. Quartet was closest to the line in a nice tight start but Nemesis came up faster and nearly broke through to leeward. Quartet held the lead round Acle buoy and back to the clubhouse when Nemesis got a lift and broke through Quartet’s lee at great speed. From then on Nemesis pulled away from Quartet who only just beat ZigZag (Mark and Simon Gould). On handicap Nemesis beat Quartet by 33 seconds whilst Quartet beat ZigZag by just 12 seconds.
Overall, Nemesis came first whilst Quartet and ZigZag each got a second and a third so Quartet took second as she did better in the last race.
Fond farewell to ZigZag after many years in NRSC as she has been sold and is off to adventures in Oulton Broad.
ZIGZAG TAKES THE GLOBE. By Pio Altarelli
The relocated Globe Trophy took place o Saturday 10th September, starting downriver from Cockshoot Dyke. Five craft made the journey there for a downriver race that included rounding a mark upriver of Thurne Mill and finishing at the Anchorage line. The event commenced with a minute’s silence to reflect peacefully on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Conditions at the start, at the top of the tide and shielded by trees, meant a gentle run at first, but a slight drop in the already light wind caught out most of the fleet, held back by thel ast of the flood. All made late starts as a result but the single 700, ZigZag , fared best, serving her well over two hours later at the finish. Five minutes after ZigZag, the first of the 800s, Quartet and Pegamoose left, followed another five minutes later by Cho Cho San and Nemesis .
Boats soon had to contend with a headwind and struggled to tack clear of the trees, but later on an 8-knot northerly gave the competitors a complete variety in points of sail, the liveliest beat being from Thurne Mouth to the upper Thurne buoy. ZigZag and Quartet held on totheir starting positions and ZigZag arrived first with Quartet four minutes behind having madeup a minute. On handicap, ZigZag won the race by just nine seconds in the two-hour race, keeping Quartet in second place overall with Cho Cho San in third. Well done to Jim and Kate Stewart, who successfully completed their first race in Pegamoose.
First place: ZigZag - Mark Collins & John Thompson
Second place: Quartet – Peter Coleman & Maggie Lomax
Third place: Cho Cho San – Nigel & Sean Wordingham
Special thanks to Pio for being both OOD and Timekeeper as well as dealing with the buoyage solo as Sue was incapacitated. Thankfully, Sue is now feeling better.
After the race, most competitors repaired to The Bridge Inn where Phil and
Vanessa did us proud with the Riverside Room to ourselves. Being joined by
a good number of non-competitors, the. Commodore led us in another
minute’s silence in remembrance and after the meal, in a round robin of
reflections on Her Majesty’s unparalleled life of service to the nation. The
evening concluded with the Loyal Toast to our new King Charles III.
A passage from Lowestoft. By Mark Collins
This journey is old hat for our experienced members, but perhaps these notes might help beginners like me. They are from my first, one-day passage from Lowestoft Cruising Club, up through Mutford Lock, along the River Waveney, across Breydon Water and up the Bure to the Anchorage in my “new” Pegasus 800.
Firstly, many thanks go to John Thompson for coming along. The journey can be done single-handed, but it’s not easy and it's better to have company – it makes mooring safer and too long on the tiller in a cramped cockpit isn’t good for any of us! We allowed about six
and a half hours in all, including a 30-minute lunch break - we stopped at Somerleyton swing bridge.
The best starting point for a passage plan like this is at least 30 minutes and preferably an hour or even an hour and a half after low water at Gt Yarmouth Yacht Station. I’m describing the journey in the direction of Lowestoft to the Anchorage, but it works the same the other way. Aim for slack water at Yarmouth Yacht Station whichever way you’re headed. Don’t be tempted to go through before low water unless you need to and have a good engine. The tide down the Bure will be strong against you and moored hire boats can move out and become a hazard to navigation. Conversely, if you are going out to Breydon from the Bure, the tide can sweep you down very fast. You have your mast down and you can't turn around.
Lowestoft to Anchorage Relative Time Notes
Lowestoft Cruising Club -4:30 hrs Lower mast
Pass under Oulton railway bridge -3:40 hrs Oulton Harbourmaster Ch 73
Footbridge raise; pass Mutford Lock -3:30 hrs Cross Oulton Broad
Through Somerleyton swing bridge -3:00 hrs Channel 12; fast ebb tide
Under St Olave’s road bridge -2:00 hrs
Arrive Breydon Water -1:00 hrs Kill some time if early
Arrive Gt Yarmouth Yacht Station 0:00 hrs Slack water
Arrive Anchorage + 2:00 hrs Remast
Passage time 6:30 hrs
After Oulton Broad, on the Waveney, you pass through miles of reed-bed before coming to the bridges. Once you reach Somerleyton swing bridge, the tide is running out fast with you and you need to be aware of it. To moor at the BA quay here, consider turning round into the tide first. You can’t afford a waggling back end when you have six metres of mast behind you and a boom out to starboard.
After passing under St Olave’s road bridge, you will soon see the tall Goodchild Marine buildings near the entrance to Breydon, and the navigation posts start to appear. Do keep well away from all the port and starboard posts on Breydon. I have taken to the mud while single-handed, mast down in ZigZag a good 3 metres inside a port post quite near the bascule bridge and it wasn’t funny! This time we dawdled very pleasantly across Breydon Water, killing about 15 minutes so that we were comfortable going under Breydon bascule bridge and Vauxhall fixed bridge.
Once you are in the Bure, remember that as you move upriver the tide is still ebbing. Stay in the middle of the river and don’t be
tempted to cut corners – you might regret it. Safely home and lifting out – it was a fascinating journey with lots to think about. Enjoy it but stay alert and look out for the unexpected!
Tales from the Riverbank. By "Ratty"
Ratty has salty whiskers after a massive tidal surge pushed seawater up as far as Womack Water, killing tens of thousands of fish and undoubtedly causing untold harm to other species dependent on freshwater for survival. The event has been called an ecological disaster, with rafts of dead fish seen up the Thurne to Potter Heigham.
It all started on 17th September when the Environment Agency issued a flood alert, sayingthat upcoming spring tide heights would be exacerbated by northerly winds. They were right,but the full moon was due on 25th September and trouble had already started on 21st September when northerly winds started to force saltwater up into the Bure and Thurne.
In Thurne Mouth on 23rd September an eel fisherman using bottom nets and traps was reporting a lot of crabs while patches of wrack
seaweeds were floating upstream. Unseen, a massive migration of fish was underway, rushing to escape the deadly saltwater.
Hundreds of thousands of fish swam into lagoons and dykes to breathe in the remaining freshwater, many becoming trapped and dying by the thousand as the oxygen ran out.
At Womack Water alone tens of thousands of fish died, mainly roach, bream and perch. The Environment Agency netted about 45,000 fish, placed them in a tank of oxygenated water and releasing them into Hickling Broad. But this may have been a fraction of the fish affected and no-one knows how many would survive the experience.
The Environment Agency stressed that this surge of saltwater is “a natural occurrence” that occurs periodically, while the Broads Authority spokesperson said "...while the Environment Agency is responsible for the clean-up process, we work closely with
them and have provided them with any information about locations of reported dead fish." The senior flood warden from North Norfolk Council’ called for more coordination, better communication and earlier warnings from BA and EA.
There’s a removable barrier at Herbert Wood marina at its confluence with the River Thurne at Potter Heigham, first installed in 1988 when a tidal salt surge killed an estimated 100,000+ fish overwintering in the marina basin, but BBC News reported that it was not deployed for this recent event. The resulting scenes of carnage were widely reported in the official and print media.
A message from the Commodore
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 375 August 2022
A message from the Commodore
There’s such a lot going on in our Club that I hardly know what to highlight in these few words of welcome to the August Newsletter. The racing and cruising programmes have been going well, and there are some great opportunities coming up, including this week at the Anchorage, where we will run the postponed Spring and Summer Regattas.
There’s still lots of fun to come. Don’t miss the Globe Trophy (now to be run from a start line near Horning), the Harvest Bowl and, of course, the Club Championship (see below). Next week a small group will take a long hard look at next year’s race and cruise programme, taking into account the ever-changing environment on the broads and amongst our diverse membership. Look out for new ideas soon!
One suggestion is to map out our favourite sailing areas. Is there a handy GPS surveyor in the Club who wouldn’t mind helping us out by marking up an OS map? This will help to pinpoint areas that might need some attention, such as excessive bankside vegetation in need of clearance (with permission of course!)
An upcoming social event, the Commodore’s Call, will be held at Neatishead Village Hall on 28th October – look out for more booking details in your emails.
Finally, with just a few weeks left for Sailing in Company, please contact Brian Gray and volunteer to lead a meeting – it’s fun!
With all best wishes
Mark Collins, Commodore
Dates for the Diary:
10th September: Globe Trophy, below Horning. OOD Pio Altarelli.
24th September Harvest Bowl, Bure. OOD Jeff Harteveldt
8th October Club Championship, Anchorage. OOD David Reeve
9th October Anchorage Laying Up. Boatswain Malcolm Flatman
28th October Commodore’s Call, Neatishead Village Hall. Details tba
12th November AGM, Annual Dinner & Prizegiving . Details tba
NRSC Southern Rivers Cruise 1st - 7th August 2022 by Tom Parkinson
The 2022 Southern Rivers Cruise was originally intended to include a regatta on Oulton Broad but that had to be cancelled due to the lack of replacement masts reducing the racing fleet. As it turned out, very little of the original plan survived and Michael Sparrow put together a new plan for the participants: Grebe, Owl, Quartet, Summer Wind, Wagtail and Zig Zag.
We gathered at the Anchorage on Sunday 31st July ready for the Breydon Crossing but Owl had a high engine temperature caused by weed in the water filter and Wagtail arrived with an engine temperature of 100 degrees for unknown reasons. We put departure back a day to give Bob and Judy Jarvey time to get their engine sorted and Sunday provided an opportunity for me to have a sail on Zig Zag and be reminded how fast and agile the Pegasus 700 is. Peter and Maggie passed on their way to the dismasting pontoon nearThree Mile House.
Unfortunately, Wagtail could not make it for theTuesday
so the rest of the fleet left at 06.30 on the falling tide.
Michael had discovered that Reedham Ferry Inn doesn't
serve food on Monday or Tuesday so we planned stop
at Reedham to get the masts up and the push on to
Surlingham Ferry for the evening meal.
Disaster struck for Summer Wind when the mast foot broke just short of upright, we believe due to a crosswind that took the mast sideways.
The mast was two-thirds down when there was a terrific bang and it fell sideways off the boat, just catching Michael and knocking him off his feet as it hit the ground. Fortunately, none of us was injured and the mast sustained no damage.
We reached Surlingham without any more disasters. The river was remarkably quiet with very little traffic so we could enjoy the sights of the Southern Broads. We were joined for the evening meal by Alison McDermid, Alison McTaggart, Sandy Mitchell, Bob and Judy Jarvey and Tracy and Martin Salisbury.
We had a lay-in and then headed for Loddon where we met Peter and Maggie who had their own adventure,
discovering at Langley Dyke that they had a bilge full of wate from the engine exhaust feed to a deteriorated gland on the transom. At Loddon, we were able to get into the basin together, but we lost the Commodore, who moored at Reedham Ferry and decided to go home the next morning having lost his glasses overboard. We spent the evening moving chairs to keep in the shade whilst enjoying the usual beverages.
The plan for the morning was to get Summer Wind into the boatyard and remove the mast as Michael was determined to finish the cruise as a motor boat.
We left Loddon and headed for the Waveney River Centre for a shower. We were surprised to be the only visitors in the basin and had a quiet day keeping cool and chilling out. The shock of the following morning was that the centre had no diesel until a new tank was installed and that there was none for sale at Oulton Broad. The nearest was Beccles, Brundall or Burgh Castle. Fortunately, we all had enough to complete the journey, but members should be aware that access to diesel on the Southern Broads is limited.
Peter and Maggie left early the next morning to get the tide across Breydon and the rest of us went to Oulton Broad. Michael was leading the fleet and when we got near the marina appeared to go to one side to let Owl moor first. It transpired that he had run aground and had to be rescued by the harbour master. Never a dull moment!
Michael had arranged fora visit to the Lowestoft Cruising Club to see “Simply the Best” the Pegasus 800 made by Don Beales whilst he was at the Pegasus Yard, but now for sale. The boat was immaculate and looked as if it had come out of the manufacturing yard that day. Don gave us a description of how he built and registered her to Lloyd’s standard. The Commodore’s eyes lit up when he saw the boat and by the time he got back to the Marina he was the new owner!
We had a super mooring at Oulton on some new finger pontoons that faced up the broad so we could see the whole broad and admire the sunset. In the evening we went to the Wherry Hotel where a meal had been very kindly arranged by Neil and Deirdre Sutherland and we were joined by them, Mark, Bob and Judy, who all came by car.
As we were left with only three boats one of which was heading back to Loddon, Mike, Julia, Mim and I decided to leave the next morning to head back North. Once again, the river was empty, and we had a super crossing and moored at the Anchorage. Mike and Julia headed back to Upton while we ha a rest and later headed back to our mooring in Horning where we spent the night.
We would all like to thank Michael for the effort he put into planning the trip and all the mooring and meal arrangements he made, we hope that Summer Wind is up and running before too long. Wagtail is now also up and running again.
Founders' Cup - Wednesday/Thursday 24th & 25th August by Mark Collins
The first day of this two-day regatta saw six boats on Wroxham Broad, warmly greeted by NBYC Commodore Bob Payne. After a briefing from OOD Martin Jones, supported most kindly by timekeepers Andrew Musgrove and Chris Dunster, the fleet set off for the first race in a gusting breeze. Déjà Vu led from the get-go and finished well, chased by Quartet and Peggotty who finished within 20
seconds of each other, but Strega beat Peggotty to third place on handicap.
In the second race Déjà Vu struggled to get clear of the pack but then took a commanding lead. ZigZag also got into her stride and finished nearly two minutes in front of Peggotty, securing second place, but on handicap Peggotty again missed out on third place to Strega, this time by just two seconds!
Both races were troubled by waterweed. The marks were fairly near the banks, particularly at the south end and our wing keels and rudders were falling foul of it.
Over an excellent fish and chip supper in the NBYC clubhouse that evening, helms and crew discussed the amber warning weather forecast for the following day and decided to wait and see. Thunder in the night set off the NBYC alarm and woke us up, but hard-working Commodore Bob came to see that we were safe and switched it off.
The dawn was spectacular, with greylag geese honking and winging their way across a golden sky. The storms didn’t materialise and we set off for race three at 10:15 in nowt but a drizzle and very light winds. The race was abandoned before we managed to complete a single round; not only were we in irons in the southwest corner, but the weed got the better of us too. Somewhat demoralised,
in yet more rain and no wind the consensus was to abandon the fourth race to and we all headed home.
In the final analysis, the results were:
First Déjà Vu: Jeff Harteveldt & Mick Bashford
Second Strega: Pio & Sue Altarelliand
Third: ZigZag: Mark Collins & Mike Perkins.
Other participants were Peggotty with John and Ben Thompson; Quartet with Peter Coleman and Maggie Lomax; and My Weigh with John Redding, David Reeve and Bob Nicholls.
It was great to see quite a few members coming along to watch and enjoy the supper with us too. Warmest thanks to Bob, Martin, Andrew, Chris, clubhouse staff and all at NBYC for heir famous hospitality – we greatly enjoyed the visit.
DISPOSING OF OUT-OF-DATE FLARES (cont’d from last month) adapted from RYA Guidance
Flares contain explosives; once they’re past their expiry date it is essential to despose of them carefully. David K -T has done a great job at collecting a couple of bucketfuls for safe disposal, but in case you missed that chance, please remember that is illegal to dump flares at sea or on land , and to let them off in anything other than an emergency. Breaking these laws would be a serious embarrassment for you and our Club.
It was a shock recently to find old flares dumped under the Anchorage. Responsibility for the safe disposal of flares rests with you, so if you have some that you don’t want, please take them to the Lowestoft Marine Safety Centre. You can legally put them in your car and
drive them there.
TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK by “Ratty”
Ratty is always a bit wary of the Peregrine Falcon and with good reason, as this is probably the fastest bird in the world, with a
recorded stoop speed of 242 mph. See that profile flying over you and it’s best to lie low!
But to be fair, Peregrines enjoy eating ducks more than water rats, which is why they are called Duck Hawks in North America. The best time to see them in Norfolk is in winter, when they like to sit on gates in marshes showing of their
moustaches while on the lookout for Widgeon and Teal.
Peregrines are adaptable and successful birds found on all continents outside the polar regions and
willing to breed in urban as well as their favourite wilder, often cliff-side, areas – hence the name
Peregrine, meaning wandering, foreign or coming from another country. Famously, Peregrines have
taken up nesting on Norwich Cathedral, where they are monitored by the Hawk and Owl Trust. In the
breeding season you can call in at the Trust’s pop-up in the cathedral grounds and use their powerful
telescopes and CCTV to take a close-up look at these superbly adapted and graceful birds.
NORTHERN RIVERS SAILING CLUB NEWSLETTER No. 374 July 2022
A message from the Commodore
This hot weather may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s great for sailing! I hope all of you are getting a chance to be out on the
water, if not in the NRSC races then perhaps you have been joining the weekly Sailing in Company events. To find out more,
get in touch with Brian Gray and join the WhatsApp group.
We haven’t been having much luck with our Broads regattas lately, with the Spring, Summer and Inaugural Salver regattas all cancelled or postponed. I doubt whether Black Horse Broad will be suitable for keelboats any longer either.
A small group of Club members is getting together in mid - August to consider some new ideas for our Club Programme in 2023.
We have been offered the chance to race outside Horning Sailing Club.
Some good news is that Nigel Wordingham has rescheduled the Spring and Summer Regattas for Barton Broad on 1st and 2nd
September .Contact Nigel to join in.
Well done David Kemble-Taylor for sorting out the old flares and special thanks to everyone who helped with the Commodore’s
Cup and BBQ – great work!
With all best wishes,
Mark Collins, Commodore
Dates for the Diary:
1 st – 8 th August Southern Rivers Cruise. Contact Michael Sparrow
6 tht – 7 th August Inaugural Salver CANCELLED
24 th – 25 th Aug Founders Cup, Wroxham Contact N. Wordingham
10 th September Globe Trophy, Lower Bure. Contact Pio Altarelli.
24 th September Harvest Bowl. Contact David Kemble - Taylor
2 8 th October Club Championship. Contact David Reeve
COMMODORE’ S CUP AND BBQ: Saturday 23rd July from Mark Collins
Saturday 23rd July was hot and sunny with a south - westerly wind blowing 11 - 13 mph up the river against the ebbing tide. The fleet was reduced by two 800s, both still waiting for new masts and there were just four boats in the fleet, but the Commodore OOD sent them all off together and it was an exciting start.
Heading upwind towards Acle, Déjà Vu crossed the line too early and had to try again, while ZigZag’s outhaul slipped, and her sail looked like a bag of nails for a while. Adrenalin was flowing, but the fleet soon spread out and there were no tussles to speak of at the marks, which were downstream of the Anchorage and just below Oby Dyke. At Oby, Swift was unfortunate in meeting a motor cruiser in the
wrong place at the wrong time, stalled on the tack and renewed acquaintance with the reeds for a short while, soon chasing My Weigh again, but the damage was done.
The results were as follows:
1 st : ZigZag with Mark Collins and Nigel Wordingham
2 nd : Déjà V u with Jeff Harteveldt and Mick Bashford
3 rd : My Weigh with Brian Gray and John Redding
4 th : Swift with David Kemble-Taylor and Martin Salisbury
Warmest thanks to the Timekeepers Pat Bashford and Margaret Harteveldt, who did sterling work at the start line. And thanks also to all the many spectators who make the racing so much more enjoyable. After two circuits and a race lasting just under two hours, the boats were moored up and the annual BBQ got started for the 35 or so hungry members present .
The marquee had already been erected first thing and everyone was glad of the shade. A magnificent selection of salads was provided by members and the griddle was soon sizzling with quality burgers, sausages and chicken skewers, all finished off with the traditional and delicious strawberries and cream.
The raffle was a big success with quality prizes donated, raising more than £100 for Club funds. Many thanks to everyone for their generosity. No-one could haveput it better than our Social Secretary Dierdre who gave “a big thanks to all those wonderful people who rose to the occasion yet again to erect the marquee , prepared and served the food and cleared away afterwards as if by magic. I’m always amazed at the willingness of the NRSC to get stuck in !” ’
NRSC Health and Safety Officer, David Kemble-Taylor, has kindly delivered all our out-of-date flares to the Marine Safety Centre in Lowestoft and there will be a few bills to pay in due course, probably at £3 per item. The manager was surprised at the
number of flares that were brought in and was particularly concerned with the ones in the red plastic container dragged out
from under the Anchorage. The plastic box contained five power rockets dated 1980 and one buoyant smoke dated 1978, as well
as a hand flare. Considerable delamination had taken place and although they could in theory have been fired there would have been a good chance of dangerous malfunction. The Martine Safety Centre is checking with the Army Bomb Disposal Unit to see if our flares can be included in the next batch. Was there a latter-day Guy Fawkes trying to blow the Anchorage to kingdom come?
Green Ranger from Maggie Lomax
Sunday morning was hot and blustery. The 3 entrants were started with precision by Margaret H, Maggie L and Peter C. My Weigh had 2 hours of sailing ahead of them, Zigzag and Deja Vu rather less. As the wind freshened My Weigh's reefed sail was to their advantage and they kept ahead till the hooter went at 13.00. Déjà Vû pursued them with purpose, Zigzag was not far behind but Brian and
John were the winners. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it such a good weekend.
BOWEN ISLAND ROUND THE ISLAND RACE from Tom Parkinson
Mim and I recently returned from our holiday in Canada, where we visited our son in Montreal and our oldest sailing friend Trevor , who lives on Bowen Island just off Vancouver.
One of the highlights of our visit was watching the Bowen Island Round the Island race, an annual event open to production cruisers. This year there were 120 competitors.
The entry form specifies as follows:
2. ELIGIBILITY AND ENTRY
2.1. The race is open to self-righting cruising class boats. Dinghies and small Centreboard boats are not eligible to race in this event
The sailing instructions show that the race was split between classes of different handicaps :The course instructions were the simplest I had ever seen!
We visited another friend on the Island whose house decking had a clear panoramic view over the starting area which was between the island and the mainland. The wind was light and the tide had just begun to come in, the Committee set a course to the north which meant a running single start for all 120 yachts –what a sight!
The smallest yacht was 20 feet and the largest was an ex 12 metre Americas cup boat. Those that came closest to the island made the best starts, possibly this was the slackest tide area or the wind was squeezed between the fleet and the island.
We were able to follow the fleet around the island at the various viewpoints including the lighthouse and the golf course where we had a splendid lunch.
The overall winner was a GB42 DARK and STORMY GBR750R helmed by Ian Stark that completed the course in an elapsed time of 4hours 54 minutes.
ENJOYING HICKLING BROAD AND HORSEY MERE from John Blackburne
Having been lucky enough to sail and canoe around the Upper Thurne above Potter Heigham Bridge since I was a small boy, I know not only Hickling, Horsey and the rivers between but also many of the little secret channels that crisscross the whole area. I really enjoy being able to take friends and family on St Helen, so they can experience this very beautiful area.
I have always said that I would chain myself to Potter Bridge if anyone decided to knock it down, and the benefits of the bridge as a barrier to any large boats was demonstrated on Monday 25th July when Brian and I had a lovely day sailing from Martham. We were the only boat on Horsey apartfrom one Wayfarer. Hickling had just one other sailing boat and one or two electric day boats.
There have been changes to the area over the years. We used to be able to take St Helen right over to the little mill on the west side
of Hickling and across quite a bit of the area outside the channel. A lifting keel helped of course, but nowadays the largest broad in Norfolk is a lot shallower, despite the rise in water levels. But it's