Archive for April, 2011

Truro River Race – a piece of cake

Last Saturday saw the surfboat season’s traditional curtain-raiser – the Truro River Race. There was a slight breeze, the sun turned up and conditions bordered on very pleasant.

The Men had first crack with the crews in the boats and the sweeps starting in the water on the rocky beach in front of the Restronguet Sailing Club. As the boats navigated out between the moored yachts there wasn’t a lot between them hinting that the sprints over the shorter courses of the Summer Series may be close run events.

By the time the strokes had settled into their race pace Porthtowan Blue Bali eased out a five-length lead over the Bude Baracudas followed by the Perranporth Probables, Porthtowan Blue Betty and the Perranporth Porkers.Porthtowan Blue Bali showed the benefits of a month in New Zealand and went on to win comfortably from The Bude Barrcudas. The real race took place between the Perranporth Probables and Porthtowan Blue Betty. Both crews put in big efforts to try and secure an advantage. Neither crew succumbed to the pressure and every section of the river was used to try and extend a lead. In the end at the flood gate Perranporth Probables just snuck 3rd place only 5 seconds ahead (1 boat length) from Porthtowan Blue Betty. Perranporth Porkers claimed 5th spot, a creditable achievement for a crew with 3 novice rowers.

For the return journey the ladies race had 3 crews entered and they were set off from the flood gate at 1 minute intervals. First to leave was the Porthtowan Blue Rinsers followed by Perranporth Phoenix and then Porthtowan Pure Blue. The debate in the Perranporth crew was whether to follow the channel or take a chance and take the shortcut across the shallow water covering the mud flat, in the knowledge that the tide was receding. The second option won the vote and so as the boat slowed crossing shallow water a big push was asked for to try and close the gap on the leaders. This was later to prove to be a key decision in the race. The Blue Rinsers lead all the way just 30 secs ahead of Perranporth Phoenix who were trying to stay at least 60 seconds ahead of Porthtowan Pure Blue.

At the finish on the beach of Restronquet Sailing Club the crews were counting down the seconds on their watches. Porthtowan Blue Rinsers touched home first followed 34 secs later by Perranporth Phoenix who were 72 secs ahead of Porthtowan Pure Blue. Looking at the finish times, If all crews had started together it would have been a right royal battle all the way.

Thanks to everyone who took part and, in particular, to those who organised, started and provided safety cover – Karen Hardwick (timing), Spike Gaisford (starter) and Alan and Ryan Richards (collector of flotsam and jetsam) on their Zapcat

Check the website for results and times

UKSRL event to be staged at the Cribbar.

Usually unreliable sources have today confirmed that the Cribbar is to host a surfboat event in September or October this year.

Blue Bali, fresh from their exploits in NZ, have already confirmed their entry. “It’ll have to be a minimum of 20′ or I can’t see the boys being interested,” said stroke Big Nick.

Sweep Gary Walters was asked for his thoughts. “I’d like to see lots of gig rowers and flatties attend.” He is rumoured to have cackled at the prospect before returning to his breakfast of tungsten-edged nails washed down by a cup of cold sulphuric acid.

Other UKSRL teams were equally enthusiastic.

“I’d love to attend,” said Anders Cocks. “But, unfortunately, I’m fixing a water leak that day.”

Nickerless Ballinger said: “Cribbar, pah. In my day we surfed it on a matchstick and then swam back to Perran.”

Meanwhile, back in Porthtowan, a member of the BB team is understood to have placed a huge order for a supply of tee-shirts. When contacted for a quote, a member of the Hartgill team said:

“There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that the shirt will read “Eddie would row.”"

Happy April everyone

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