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Westerly Wheels Spring Meet at Woodbridge, Pusey

March 1 - March 3


Nine units representing nine boats, plus one member in a local B&B attended this event and the first units began to arrive from midday on Friday. The site was attached to and immediately behind the Woodbridge Inn at North Newnton, Wiltshire, all with hard-standing and electric hook-up,.

We had some debate about putting up an event shelter, but after getting all the poles out, it looked like the clouds were breaking up, with the promise of some early evening sunshine, so the shelter was put away again, and the arrival ‘pontoon party’ was held under the awning of our motorhome, with everyone bringing drinks and nibbles. It stayed dry and calm, and the temperature was very mild for the first day of March, and a very convivial evening was spent in good company and true Westerly style.

On Saturday morning, in fine sunshine, the competitors lined up for the Great Pancake Race. Much ingenuity and creativity had gone into creating decorative aprons, which were amazing, as the photos show. A special commendation was due to Paul Morris for his efforts in creating a special WOW-themed apron.

Following a brief trial before the event, we had thought that adding icing sugar to the frying pans would make the pancakes less likely to stick to the pans and easier to toss. This worked OK in the short term, but excessive icing sugar resulted in somewhat whitened competitors, when the pancakes landed back in the pans!

The actual race was about 50 yards, around a traffic cone and back to the finish, flipping the pancakes at the start, the halfway cone and again at the finish. The races started with the gentleman’s heat, which was won by Peter Knowles, with Paul Morris close behind. This was followed by the ladies’ heat, where the winner was Avril Martin, closely followed by Judi Williams. The first and seconds from each heat then lined up on the starting line for the grand finale, which was led throughout and won by a skilful (and admirably determined) Peter Knowles. Some competitors were even observed to eat their pancakes after the finish! The race was followed by coffees and a general natter before lunch.

After lunch, we split into groups for different walks around the area. The valley was picturesque with places of interest including the adjacent trout hatchery, and the pretty parish church of North Newnton close by to explore.

In the evening, we gathered for the event dinner at the Woodbridge Inn, which was another very convivial affair, where the prizes for the races were given out to the winners of each heat, and to the overall winner, Peter Knowles.

A wet and increasing windy night followed and some vans prudently decided to leave early on the Sunday, to get home before the weather got even windier. But nine hardy souls remained for the Sunday carvery lunch, before we went our various ways home in the afternoon.

As always, we welcome suggestions for venues suitable for further WOW meets, so if you can think of any, please let us know. The basic requirements are that there should be hardstanding with electric (as WOW events are always early spring or late autumn) and a suitable hostelry nearby!

Jane and Dick Leedham


March 1
March 3
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Dick Leedham