24Oct2001 TOPPER RUDDER STOCK RECOVERED
Richard Cannon

At the end of sailing on 1 July the Club Topper was being put away when the bolt to the rudder blade fell out and the rudder stock fell to the bottom of the river; somehow the nut had come off. Attempts to find it with a boathook failed. It is notoriously difficult to find anything dropped in the river.

Martin with rudder stockOn Wednesday Richard Cannon and Bryan Clements had another attempt at recovering it with Richard donning his wet gear with the intention of going into the river. There was going to be a problem because the water would come up to his neck and he was probably going to be too buoyant to be able to reach the bottom.

Just as Richard started to descend the ladder a cruiser pulled up; it was Richard's son Martin with some mates. There were distinct advantages getting Martin to do the searching; he was a vital few inches taller and less averse to cold water so didn't need to use any wet gear.

Martin agreed to help and after paddling around for a while, searching the bottom by feel with his bare feet, it was a big relief when he found the rudder stock. Richard was very glad he didn't have to go in the water and a new rudder stock is very expensive.

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