Hants & Berks night navigation trial

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Sept. 29/30th

This traditional very tough test of skilled navigation took place around Oxfordshire on a pleasant enough night, with an excellent entry of mainly quiet cars.

We assisted for some 41/2 hours in timing competitors in one of the expected original special tests, in this instance a timed row in a boat provided by the Club, with all crew aboard, across the Thames at Remensham (where the Squire car was made before the war) round a lighted buoy (consisting of a hurricane lantern floating on a Ford spare wheel !) and back. While we were present no crews bulked this optional test, there were no immersions and one young lady rowed the rest of the male crew. Best time off our watch was 1 min 58 sec by Joe Lowerey’s crew, who had arrived in a Singer Gazelle. Only one complaint about these splashing nocturnal activities was received and then only until an explanation was forthcoming of what it was all about –which emphasises once again how important it is to warn the locals of what is later to descend upon them—a matter over which this particular Club is usually punctilious. The marshals, too, had fun, for boats had to he rowed from Henley to the night’s embarkation point and food and drink organised—so far as the former exercise was concerned, it is said that as one lady oarsman in a rudderless coracle met the current prior to shooting Henley bridge, a window in the Leander Club went up and clearly over the evening twilight came a solicitous enquiry about the desirability of L-plates. Night trials usually are good entertainment. The trial was won by J Lowrey (Singer Gazelle), navigated by J Ballett.

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