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BCN Challenge 2019


Mrs Tawny Owl
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Huge thanks to Richard and Sue for taking on the organising and for getting the results out so fast. I know it was hard for them not to be taking part this year

 

Very pleased with our 3rd place considering the only planning I did was Thursday night! I was thinking 6th would have been a good result.

 

Highlights of the challenge for us were the many positive comments we recieved on the Walsall Canal with several locals thinking we were lost as they never see any boats! We felt the Walsall canal was better this year than previously, yes it is shallow and lots of rubbish, but generally felt the rubbish was less than previous years. Nice to meet other participants again and Lily particularly liked playing with Bob at the pub until she finally ran out of energy!

Edited by Tom and Bex
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8 hours ago, RLWP said:

Rank BoatName Total Points

1 Good Times 318.36

2 Rebellion 300.75

3 Tatty Lucy 287.18

4 Firefly 283.19

5 Maxwell 274.93

6 Mary Beth 263.75

7 Scorpio & Leo 263.65

8 Blue Nun 249.94

9 Goosander 245.35

10 Misbourne No3 242.48

11 Free Spirit 232.06

12 Corolla 215.7

13 Joy 213.08

14 Dotterel 209.63

15 Peckham Poppy 207.33

16 Carrie-Lou 200.5

17 Rhiannon 177.5

18 Charlie B 175.15

19 Caretta 166.4

20 Joanna 140.5

21 The Cat Who Walks by Himself 57.85

22 Kharis Late Entry 19.9

23 Clarrie 12.38

 

Cycling entry  (#BCNChallenge)

1 Dave Paine. 219.25

I take it Dave won the cycling class then?

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Well done all who participated and particularly Richard and Sue who made the difficult sacrifice of entering Team Tawny to step up to the plate and organise the event. We were hoping to get to Birmingham to greet the finishers but events conspired against us. I've thoroughly enjoyed following it on Facebook and here.

Maybe next year we can take part in some capacity? I do miss it. I can't take part in any physical activity but I'm a demon with a spreadsheet and still capable of making teas and coffees. Dave's an excellent lockwheeler, prop clearer, steerer and automatic bowthruster ?

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12 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

I take it Dave won the cycling class then?

I'm claiming it!  It's a bit like when, aged 7, my rabbit won best in breed at a local pet show.  It took 25 years for my parents to tell me that he was the only entrant.

 

My plan was just to pedal round the BCN, with a friend, taking pictures of boats for the twitter.  Along the way, Richard suggested he might be able to give me a score.  I really enjoyed it and may cycle again next year with a proper plan.

 

I have a load of pictures which I'll post here when I can be bothered.

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1 hour ago, Dave_P said:

I'm claiming it!  It's a bit like when, aged 7, my rabbit won best in breed at a local pet show.  It took 25 years for my parents to tell me that he was the only entrant.

 

My plan was just to pedal round the BCN, with a friend, taking pictures of boats for the twitter.  Along the way, Richard suggested he might be able to give me a score.  I really enjoyed it and may cycle again next year with a proper plan.

 

I have a load of pictures which I'll post here when I can be bothered.

yes please!

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1 hour ago, system 4-50 said:

yes please!

I just tried but failed. I’ll try later when I have WiFi. Here’s two. The top one is disused Bradley Locks. The second is team Firefly on the Walsall flight. 

BED88E1C-3F60-4D9D-8D68-FC0949FFE13E.jpeg

9CABF56F-79AB-4912-9C34-2B160361756B.jpeg

Edited by Dave_P
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Quite a few people have been asking for the route we took, so here it is:

 

374056424_bcnroute.png.de799d5ad45f8cc5df73660bb0f6c71b.png

 

Huge thanks to @Nine of Hearts for the planner at http://www.thecatwhowalksbyhimself.co.uk/bcnChallenge.php which saves so much head scratching when playing with routes.

 

Massive and heartfelt thanks to @RLWP and @Mrs Tawny Owl (Richard and Sue) for taking over the running this year, and especially for taking Team Tawny out of the competition!

 

Our aim was to post a good score and get a feel for the challenge, and we knew we had done a high scoring route.  We were utterly gobsmacked when Richard and Sue knocked on the boat to present not one but two trophies!

 

We were total BCN virgins until we got here for the start of the challenge, and enjoyed the weekend immensely.  We will be back, so we would like someone to figure out how Team Tawny can participate again ...

 

I was discussing strategies with some of the other teams yesterday and today, so it is only going to get harder in future years.

 

Edited by TheBiscuits
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The crew of CharlieB would like to thank Sue and Richard for their sacrifice of not taking part to organise the challenge. Congratulations to the crew of Great Times for a spectacular win.

 

We particularly enjoyed the night cruising which was made all the better by the interest of coming up Ryders Green locks complete with the fire extinguisher hazard!! 

 

Well done to all the other competitors and trust you all have safe onward journeys. 

 

Nb CharlieB

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As ever when I return home thoughts turn to the next BCN 24 Hour Marathon Challenge. My thoughts on next year are;-

 

- Vulpes will make a reappearance. Boating the pair in the company of skilled crew members was fabulous but I did have a tinge of regret before the event that I wasn’t heading to Brum with my own boat.

 

- a better finish location; which I am sure will happen. Sue did say she had some ideas.

 

- a presence from the BCNS. Anyone visiting central Brum on Sunday would have struggled to recognise the society exists which was a massive missed opportunity.

 

- more boats overall, which will hopefully be a natural consequence of a full year’s planning and advertising. There were also a few stalwarts notable by their absence this year which may just be a coincidence.

 

- a return of historic boats. The numbers seem to have dropped off significantly over the last two or three years. Suggestions as to why and how to redress that situation would be good to hear.

 

- if Richard and Sue are to continue organising it would be good to see a reconstituted Team Tawny Owl on one or more of the past crew members’ boats. I know that the team helped the running of the event but there must be a way to make it happen. They’re a big part of the event.

 

JP

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

As ever when I return home thoughts turn to the next BCN 24 Hour Marathon Challenge. My thoughts on next year are;-

 

- Vulpes will make a reappearance. Boating the pair in the company of skilled crew members was fabulous but I did have a tinge of regret before the event that I wasn’t heading to Brum with my own boat.

 

- a better finish location; which I am sure will happen. Sue did say she had some ideas.

 

- a presence from the BCNS. Anyone visiting central Brum on Sunday would have struggled to recognise the society exists which was a massive missed opportunity. Got to agree with this.  The one time the challenge is right where non-boaters might be, and the BCNS are absent?  There should have been a big presence from the BCNS with a stall and a recruitment drive.

 

3 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

 

- more boats overall, which will hopefully be a natural consequence of a full year’s planning and advertising. There were also a few stalwarts notable by their absence this year which may just be a coincidence.

 

- a return of historic boats. The numbers seem to have dropped off significantly over the last two or three years. Suggestions as to why and how to redress that situation would be good to hear.

 

- if Richard and Sue are to continue organising it would be good to see a reconstituted Team Tawny Owl on one or more of the past crew members’ boats. I know that the team helped the running of the event but there must be a way to make it happen. They’re a big part of the event.

 

JP

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Dave_P said:

 

 

Glad it’s not just me. The wholesale changes in personnel in key positions have undoubtedly caused some difficulties for the society but how better to address that problem for the future than to advertise at your own event on a holiday weekend at arguably the busiest canal side environment on the network? Atlas & Malus didn’t even get entered. CRT directors, staff and volunteers were out in force.

 

In all truth I expected to get some negative comment about painting the CRT logo on the head of the deck board for Scorpio rather than the BCNS logo as it could have been construed I was claiming it as a CRT event. Needn’t have worried.

 

Thankfully I believe Richard and Sue and a group of others will be determined to keep this event going. Without them I fear it’s long term future could be in jeopardy.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg
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1 hour ago, Captain Pegg said:

Glad it’s not just me. The wholesale changes in personnel in key positions have undoubtedly caused some difficulties for the society but how better to address that problem for the future than to advertise at your own event on a holiday weekend at arguably the busiest canal side environment on the network? Atlas & Malus didn’t even get entered. CRT directors, staff and volunteers were out in force.

 

In all truth I expected to get some negative comment about painting the CRT logo on the head of the deck board for Scorpio rather than the BCNS logo as it could have been construed I was claiming it as a CRT event. Needn’t have worried.

 

Thankfully I believe Richard and Sue and a group of others will be determined to keep this event going. Without them I fear it’s long term future could be in jeopardy.

 

JP

And CRT, to be fair, promoted the event more than BCNS.  They advertised it on their website and were tweeting about it in the week preceding and over the weekend.  The @bcnchallenge twitter account picked up quite a few new followers, which may well have been down to CRT retweeting.  Any of those new followers may decide to join the BCNS or take part in the challenge in future.

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1 hour ago, Dave_P said:

And CRT, to be fair, promoted the event more than BCNS.  They advertised it on their website and were tweeting about it in the week preceding and over the weekend.  The @bcnchallenge twitter account picked up quite a few new followers, which may well have been down to CRT retweeting.  Any of those new followers may decide to join the BCNS or take part in the challenge in future.

I mention it to a lot of boaters in passing and it's remarkable how many have never heard of it, I always big it up and suggest they take part.

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5 hours ago, Captain Pegg said:

- if Richard and Sue are to continue organising it would be good to see a reconstituted Team Tawny Owl on one or more of the past crew members’ boats. I know that the team helped the running of the event but there must be a way to make it happen. They’re a big part of the event.

 

If we can, we'll bring Melaleuca next year. I can't envisage that it'll be a competitive entry (Too few berths, too much draft) but it'll be fun.

 

MP.

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1 hour ago, MoominPapa said:

If we can, we'll bring Melaleuca next year. I can't envisage that it'll be a competitive entry (Too few berths, too much draft) but it'll be fun.

 

MP.

I’ve probably enjoyed the two challenges were I’ve known that the ability to be competitive was restricted from the outset more than the two where maximisation of points was the aim. Chose to do an interesting route with a couple of backwaters thrown in instead of a competive one.

 

JP

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12 minutes ago, RLWP said:

Well, we are back! I have people to thanks

 

I'm going to start with John and Roy of the BCNS for reviving this wonderfully ridiculous idea and keeping it going since 2009. Without them, I'd have nothing to talk about. Thank you both very much Gentlemen

 

We have had help from quite a variety of people

 

The BCNS has supported and encouraged us to run the challenge so many thanks to them. I'd like to particularly mention Kathy O'Keefe for helping to sort out the money, Martin O'Keefe and Brenda Ward for publicity and supplying the trophy, and Kirsty Wilson for her help and support

 

We just couldn't find time to wander the BCN looking for the photographic questions, so we got someone who does this all the time to do it! Many Thanks to Andy Tidy of the Jam Boat, Many people said that the picture clues were much better this year

 

The famous BCN Planner was updated especially for this year by Ian Hindle, who presumably used his inside information to achieve his magnificent 21st place

 

CRT really committed themselves to this years challenge. Ian Darby and his team were determined that the challenge should go ahead, hence the temporary pumps in place at Bradley workshops and Tividale aqueduct. He also organised the moorings in Brum which we gratefully filled up with 24 boats. I accidentally noticed the CRT Twitter feed on Saturday, and that the event was in CRT's events calendar. On the Sunday there were several CRT directors in Birmingham and also a film crew (not to film the directors either!). I'm looking forwards to finding new ways to exploit CRT's resources for the challenge next year

 

At short notice, Rose Narrowboats sorted out our (temporary) accommodation problem by providing their boat Sundance which became BCN Challenge HQ for the event. The alternative would have been a Gazebo, which means it would probably have blown a gale! Thank you to Anthony and his team

 

Running the event meant Team Tawny Owl had to stand down this year, even so we still fielded a team of seven who gathered in forms, deciphered tired handwriting, entered data into the database, sorted out the paddle on Farmers Bridge, made tea, served cake and generally had a good time. It needs a team to do this, if only to stop Sue and me going crazy

 

And last, and by no means least, thank you to all of the people who competed this year. You boated, tweeted, posted and photographed your way around the BCN then turned up at Challenge HQ in good spirits with your crumpled workstained forms. You were all cheerful and charming no matter how tired you were. We appreciated the chaotically filled in forms with their apparent boating paradoxes as much as the properly ordered ones that were easy to enter into the database. Well, almost. You have all helped to publicise the lesser used parts of the BCN, and shown that people do use these 'remaindered' canals

 

So, who is up for doing it again next year?

 

Richard

And thank you all that helped to keep this slightly insane idea alive, am I doing it next year? Absolutely I am if someone wants a keen lockwheeler, wheedhatch diver, bowhauler.

 

 

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1 minute ago, tree monkey said:

And thank you all that helped to keep this slightly insane idea alive, am I doing it next year? Absolutely I am if someone wants a keen lockwheeler, wheedhatch diver, bowhauler.

 

 

Just check his route first...

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Someone missed out in Richards list of worthy people is his other half Sue, a centre of calm and apparent sanity in the whirlwind madness that was the final day.

 

I suspect it was Sue who suggested it was possible and worked dam hard to get the results out so quickly.

 

So a thank you from me

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21 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

And thank you all that helped to keep this slightly insane idea alive, am I doing it next year? Absolutely I am if someone wants a keen lockwheeler, wheedhatch diver, bowhauler.

 

 

 

Hold on, you have a boat of your own to bring on The Challenge!!! 

 

 

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