SNC WATER TESTS SECTIONS A - E
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2011 - Bryn Bach Park, Tredegar, Gwent
Test Manager - Mrs. Ann Thornton
"I knew we were heading for trouble when two of our judges had to pull out at short notice due to family commitments. I was not wrong! After a quick re-jiggling of tests Mick and Martin stepped in to judge. Don’t think Mick will complain about travelling "all that way just to judge one level" ever again, we certainly had our monies worth out of him that weekend!
A few days before the test the test manager informed me that due to family problems she was no longer able to be with us the whole weekend and would only be there on the Saturday, but not to worry as everything was under control. A 'stand in' was quickly arranged for the Sunday, thanks Nicola, you did a great job.
We arrived at the Park on Friday evening to discover our 'chief cook and head bottle washer' had been busy entertaining our guests and was retiring to bed early!!! After setting up the caravan and sorting out the dogs, we headed round to the far side of the lake to mark out the test area. Kev umm'd and ahh'd about taking the jetty out, but in the end decide to leave it in the water. At last all sorted, quick walk of the dogs and off to bed.
Saturday dawned, the test manager arrived, but without the chief steward, he was at home with man-flu! We were down to 6 able (?) bodies at this point, but Bev was up, and appeared to be bright eyed and bushy tailed as she and Julie set about sorting out our refreshments. Well done you two, food was delicious as usual.
The next little problem arose when Kev and Jeff were inflating the boats alongside the caravan - there was a loud bang – one of the valves had blown!!! Thanks Saul and Les for spending all morning fixing the boat while we started the tests.
Next, Kev decided the jetty had to be moved. Why? Apparently it was in the way! Not bad, considering it had been in the same place for the past two years! It took a little effort, but eventually the thing left the water, Kev was happy again and the tests could finally begin.
The rest of the day passed quite uneventfully, I think…. A couple more of our members arrived and were put to work immediately - baptism of fire for them, as they had never been to a water test before! – Thanks to all who stepped in to steward for us, our man-power was woefully thin on the ground and your help was greatly appreciated.
Sunday passed in a haze – I do remember someone telling me at the beginning of the morning one of our engines was out of action, by mid-morning I noticed the helmsman was rowing! The second engine had also packed up - why do we bother getting them serviced regularly I wonder? It was quite surreal watching items being dropped overboard and the 'crew' rowing like mad to get the boat out of the way, but the dogs didn't seem to mind and carried on regardless.
We hope everyone who attended the water tests had a good weekend; there were lots of passes at all levels, except section E, when unfortunately this year no-one passed. A big thank you to all of the judges, who remained good humoured and took all obstacles in their stride. Due to the confusion with paperwork, change of test manager etc. it seems the judges, all except Jude, have taken advantage and not sent in their reports - it's not too late, the SNC will still accept them and look forward to publishing them.
Someone said that despite all that was thrown at us over the weekend we looked as if we were coping admirably; the thought of swans sprang to mind, serene on the surface and paddling like mad under the water! Thanks WNAG, those who were there did a great job."