The idea of making coastal voyages in company, in open boats powered by sail and oar, was given currency by the French group Albacore, led by Charles-Henri le Moing during the 1990s, starting in Portugal and Scotland. Called ‘Raids’ in French (e.g. google ‘raid velo’), the word has slipped into English and lost its usual associations of pillage and destruction – to those who participate at least.
The objective is to encourage recreational coastal voyaging in attractive locations using only sail and oar, to encourage the use of traditional boats which are well-suited to the objective, and the development of new boats which are able to carry on the sail-and-oar tradition. A successful fleet will gather 20-40 boats of a wide range of designs and abilities, from a number of European countries, from 10 feet to 30 in length, largely gaff or lug-rigged, some better at sailing, some at rowing, but all capable of making progress at both.
Memorable raids have now been held in the Douro River in Portugal, the Great Glen of Scotland, the Blekinge/Karlskrona archipelago of Sweden, Finland, the Venice lagoon and the canals and lakes of Holland (the Dorestad Raid), The Solent and The East Coast. Much larger events at Morbihan and Milford Haven have characteristics of raids, and involve entertainment and sponsorship on a scale the ordinary raider can only dream about.
For the 4th English Raid:
Just to keep the logistics containable, the number of boats will be limited to 20 (and of course not everyone who has expressed interest will be able to come), so applications will be treated on a first-come-first-served basis. It may be that there will be a waiting list in case people drop out. You will be told where you stand.
Whilst the boats will move around each day, the crews will be brought back to Wroxham each evening and returned to their boats in the morning.
THREE IMPORTANT NOTICES
1. We have to pass under two bridges. If you can not lower the mast of your boat easily then this is not the Raid for you.
2. The Norfolk Broads is home to fleets of quite large hire cruisers. We shall be sharing quite narrow rivers with them. For reasons of safety and organisational logistics we feel that we need to limit the Raid to around 20 boats and a maximum of around 60\65 Raiders.
3. This is an ideal ‘starter’ for families and for anyone who doesn’t fancy Solent tides or figuring in an up to date “We didn’t mean to go to sea”. The Norfolk Broads are sheltered waters, the navigation is minimal………down the river, under the bridge, turn left at the bottom and then left and left again!……honestly. The tides are slight but you will know it if the wind drops and the current is against you!