A rumble at Potter Heigham Bridge

We’re going to be away for a few days, so I won’t be around to put up any new posts.

In the meantime here are the photos I promised a few days ago, and I think they may cause some controversy.

They show a drama unfolding at Potter Heigham Bridge during the Three Rivers Race. As so often in sport, they show how might – in this case weight – so often plays strongly to its advantage. No doubt the crew of the heavy boat here were only doing what they felt they had to, but no doubt also the guys in the Norfolk punt would have had a different view, as would most of us watching from the bridge. What would you say?

It all starts with a lightweight and expensively rigged Norfolk punt arriving, mooring to lower its mast and then paddling towards the bridge. So far, so good.But at that moment a half-decker and a heavyweight Broads cruiser steal onto the scene. This is a race, remember, not a scene from everyday cruising life on The Broads.

Rumble Rumble Rumble

At this point, you’ll notice, our friends in the punt decide that they can’t afford the damage the heavyweights might well inflict on their boat, and so paddle like hell to get out of the way.

Rumble Rumble Rumble

It was a wise decision. They just manage to escape. In the meantime, the half-decker and the cruiser are jockeying to be first through the narrow bridge. They’re each taking no prisoners and, as you might expect, the heavier boat forces the other out of its way. Meanwhile, the half-decker has trouble avoiding a nasty crunch. British sportsmanship is truly a wonderful thing!

Rumble Rumble

Finally, it’s the punt’s turn. By some miracle, they escaped damage to that expensive rig, but nevertheless broke a paddle in the struggle. No doubt they’ll enter again though…

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2 thoughts on “A rumble at Potter Heigham Bridge”

  1. We used to sing a round to the words of the warning signs that hired motor cruisers have next next to the wheel:

    "This Boat

    Must Not

    Be taken under Potter Bridge,

    Without a Pilot!

    Without a Pilot!

    Lower cockpit canopy and mind….your…..head."

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