The first of the two regattas Pierre Barbotin organised was an 'invitation' event with a very large British contingent, also French, Armenian, Russian, German and Swiss competitors. The council had used stalls from their street market as accommodation at the lakeside, although the tables were not very stable as Bob Kirtley found to his cost when Pisces took a tumble. Pierre had been at St Albans to gather support, which meant that John DeMott with his 30cc, Bob with his Flash steamer and Lynn Blowers with her ex John Duffield vintage boat were all given opportunities to run.
|British pit stall 1||John DeMott launching 'Passing Wind'|
Although the meeting was well organised, everything peripheral was somewhat chaotic. One automatic super loo to serve everyone, competitors and public alike that soon malfunctioned, making trips to the woods a necessity. The banquet turned into a farce as all were invited but the hotel was only serving those who were resident and had booked previously. Wonderfully French! We never did get to the Modelling Expo that we were part of either.
|One strong bungee, three strong men||Pisces II in full cry|
An ourage midway through the
final day almost brought the meeting to an end as the wind shifted
the floating boom into the circle. After a lot of work shifting
anchors from the retrieval boat it was relocated allowing the final
round to take place. Roger James' A3 boat had been run by Ron
Bernhardt at Amiens some years previously to set an Australian
record so the record holding boat was back in France after many
|'Banana Split' back in France||The Duffield 15cc|
This was run as a World Championship and incorporated a trophy in memory of Vadim Subbotin that was to be awarded on the basis of consistency across all the rounds. The location was changed slightly to a more sheltered corner of the lake although access to the park was much more controlled, which required assembly points, following rangers and negotiating a dual carriageway. A sense of humour was required as the truck bringing the stage, PA etc, broke down so that the opening ceremony was somewhat stilted. The toilet situation had not been resolved either so that there was still a constant trek to the woods, although they were nearer this time.
|Officials and retrieval boat||The inevitable 'ourage', 'British weather'|
Being France, we experienced another ourage that had the stalls with their scaffold pole frames in danger of making a break for freedom. All hands required to hold them down and the two spectators seen above with brollies were British holidaymakers.
|Gilbert Huguenin A3||Istvan Horvath with original 'washer boat'|
This was the first year that the new NAVIGA exhaust regulation came into force rendering most boats with silencers illegal but boat with open pipes OK. Adding extension pipes to silencers put the mockers on several runs whilst those that had added bits of pipe from Bricolage merely took them off after inspection or they 'fell off' in use. Istvan Horvath had brought some vintage boats and photos for all to see, except for many the boats were not vintage at all, just what they used to run.
|Carbon Fibre boats, open pipes, noise!||Antonio's bladeless prop||Hungarian bungee system|
And to cap it all, the relief manager at the hotel where were all staying decided not to open the kitchens on the Sunday evening, resulting in a mass exodus to the Buffalo Grill on the nearby trading estate, and very nice it was too.