bonus questionOur first Amazing Raid was supposed to have taken place after last year’s Christmas lunch, but the weather was poor enough to decide to postpone it to a more favourable day. Our club day in May was chosen as the replacement, and fortunately the weather was exceptionally kind.

I arrived early, to place bonus coded clues at strategic points around the course, and to also hide a number of little rubber ducks in spots only accessible by boat, or in my case by kayak.

These ducks were worth two points each, but you would only know that you were supposed to collect them if you had decoded the message spelt out in semaphore on the information sheet. A few people, who shall remain nameless, actually found some of the ducks but left them where they were as they didn’t know that they were part of the challenge.

Participants were provided with an information sheet, which included the semaphore alphabet (using the figures found in Arthur Ransome’s books), and a set of questions to be answered, grouped into the four points of the compass, and covering all parts of the lake and surrounds.

Some questions were answered by reading the information boards at the Western and Southern ends of the lake, and others could only be answered by scouring the APYC clubrooms or other buildings and signs around the lake.

After a briefing in the clubrooms the crews were free to proceed as they saw fit. Some sat down to decode the extended clue, while others started straight into the questions that related to APYC and the WBA.

The wind was light for most of the day, so most of the crews resorted to oars for at least some of the course, while Tony and Linda didn’t even bring sails for their Heron, and had always planned to row the course.

We also had one team that attempted most of the course on foot, and while they did come last it was actually not by all that much.

Most crews completed the Northern and Western sides of the questions first, and then made their (slow) way down to the Southern end of the lake.

Eventually, everyone arrived back, and Chris and I tabulated the results. Jim, Penny, and Brooke were declared the winners of the inaugural Amazing Raid, by a margin of almost 30 points, and they were presented with the perpetual trophy generously donated by David Ayres.

It is proposed that another event take place, either next year or the year after. Stay tuned for details.


Thanks to everyone who came along and made it such an enjoyable day!

Peter Batchelor



Photos taken by Kerrin McNolty during the day.

Photos taken by Chris Kelly during the day.