Sorry, I can't get photos to upload right now. I'll try later. Meanwhile here are some words. Or you can look at Adams blog nbDebdale - he was there and took pictures, including one of Herbie!
We must be righteous because the sun shone on us all day yesterday in spite of a dodgy weather forecast. The Guildford boat gathering proved to be a great event. At lunchtime we walked up to see the start of the annual raft race.
Quite a crowd gathered to see the dozen or so craft that had been built for the race, some of them quite amazing. Boats and costumes were in accordance with the published theme of children’s TV programmes, so we had Postman Pat, several Thunderbirds and an excellent Flintstones. The actual race worthiness of the craft was very variable and the poor Smurfs team had their boat disintegrate within thirty seconds of launch.
It seems to be the tactic before the start to give your opponents a good soaking and there was a huge water fight. Those with mere water pistols were soon outgunned by water bombs, some launched by impressive catapults. The most aggressive team however resorted to the crude expedient of using buckets to chuck a couple of gallons at a throw over the enemy. I’ve no idea who won the race, they all paddled off down the river and we returned then to Herbie to watch the pageant of decorated narrowboats and cruisers (same theme).
The rafts were good, but some of the narrowboats were truly amazing. How about this one as Thomas the Tank Engine. It even had rotating wheels. Our friends on Emily C who had accompanied us up the Thames had a good entry with their Bob the Builder boat, although they had a lot of trouble in the fresh side wind, especially as the superstructure completely obliterated the steerer’s view of the river!
So, a very good event which we shall return to if we get half a chance.