Explorer 297

Explorer Map 297 – Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley

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… Of rafts and clag wagons.

Submitted by on Saturday, 27 February 2010No Comment

One of the long standing weekend events was the Bedford Raft Race, held on a Lake nearly in the middle of Bedford, and it was a serious competition where the top rafts were precision engineered racing machines and the crews were honed to the peak of their athletic ability, think the Oxford vs Cambridge boat race and you’re somewhere along the right lines.

Of course though rather than a five star hotel and a nutritionally balanced pre-race meal, we had tents in a field, a skinfull of ale and one of the greasiest (and most delightful) Clag Wagons in the Northern Hemisphere… a clag wagon that was surrounded in a halo of light like a cathedral beacon in the night calling the faithful to pray – but I digress…
The raft of course was the thoroughbred machine built the previous year, that we had named “It’s big and it’s yellow” (catchy little title), and we were hoping for a good race, The Bush’s competitive nature wouldn’t let us settle for anything else.


Malibu Mel in front of her luxury accomodation


The Nook consuming his high energy protein drink
(Just what sort of a haircut is that ? Nookie was 30 at the time, a bit old to have his mum do a pudding basin cut, but that’s what it looks like !)


After the bar shut it was time for a late night tactics session
Taz, Melzer and Sherry discuss strategy, or ale, or more likely men


The Waffledale raft in action
Form the front, Wendy-woo and the Fish, Nelly and yours truly, Andy Animal and The Bush

The year before we had come in third place, this year our team was not on top form and we didn’t get through to the final, however as they say it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts.
After the race we went for the traditional Chinese banquet and then back to the bar to celebrate


Malibu Mel – Celebrating wherever it was we came !


Nelly, after having done quite a lot of celebrating
he decides that a knotted hanky is the headgear of choice


The Bush… dancing ? so drunk he’s walking like the living dead ?….
or still discussing where the tactics went wrong ?

(actually we know where the tactics went wrong, we have a video of the race taken by Sherry and it clearly shows one rower not rowing…. that rower – The Bush himself !

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