Sunday, 5 August 2012

117 Silverstone World Super Bikes .. WSB

Thursday 2nd August
We set off further up River Thurne and came to a small place called Horning. As luck would have it a regatta had just started. Up till today i did not really know what one was. Finding out was a bit scary. It is a sail boat race along the river and it was in full swing. Oh my God. There were little sailing boats everywhere, most of them full of kids. As mentioned previously they walk on the water legally so getting through them was very hairy, especially with the dodgy steering of the boat. with boats. Worse still, they have right of way...
A typical view on the river

We then powered (at 4mph) on to Wroxham where we moored up for a bit of shopping and some grub.

Even paddle steamers (probably diesel ones)

Leon had managed to collect himself a tick on his neck so we bought some special tweezers and some tick shrinking fluid. 

Sat on the bank in Wroxham, a beautiful Heron.

And lots of swans a bit of a hazard for the boats going under the bridge

After lunch it was back on the boat and about turn back towards the boatyard for tomorrows handover.
For once the weather was glorious and Karen spent most of the afternoon sunbathing on the front of the boat. 

"This is easy, what have you been whining about you grumpy?"

We arrived at the mouth of the Thurne at about 5pm and moored up not a million miles from the Lion Pub at Thurne village. After getting our act together we strolled allong the river bank to the pub. We were unfortunately locked into the boozer by the weather which had U turned to a torrential thunder storm. Once back on the boat, it was on with the Olympics and then to bed. 

After the storm the sky was impressive.

And then the sun shone and sank.

Friday 3rd August
The boat had to be back at the renter for 9am so we were up early and set off for the final hours sail to port. The handover was quick and it was good to see Gromit again. 
After a sausage bap at the port entrance we set off for Silverstone. It was a relatively short 145 mile trip and we arrived at the campsite about 2 miles from the track at about 2pm. What a shock. The campsite was one of those simple ones, but this took the word simple to the extreme. When we eventually found the toilet it was on the far side of an industrial estate and doubled up as the estate toilet. Marvelous !
We were so disappointed with it that we tried to book into Hertford, a 70 mile trip. Unfortunately they were fully booked so we bit the bullet and stayed. Up went the tent and out came the dish to watch the Olympics.
Leon was happy though and he was off exploring as is his want.  Anyway he returned baring gifts, for the first time ever in his life he had caught a shrew and brought it home to share with us. Hope he gets rid of that habit soon.

Watching the Olympics
Saturday 4th August
I had a grumpy day today (do not even think 'again'). We dropped the roof tent and set off at about 9:30. On arrival we tried to enter the race complex only to be told we had to go back to the car park and buy our tickets there. Intending to visit for 2 days we tried to buy tickets for both days to save us from having to queue up again. Nope, queue up again tomorrow for tomorrow. 
We then went in to look around the merchandisers and sought out some of those local ear radios to listen to the racing. To do this we had to walk half way across the site to race control. We then wanted to get pit passes to see the bikes and riders up close and had to walk all the way back to where we had just come from to get a bus to take us to the pits area. Once there, there were only temporary porta cabin toilets, one small portable outdoor bar and one small portable outdoor catering wagon. This is despite millions having been spent to upgrade the pits to allow Formula 1 racing to go ahead. There is nothing built in for the spectators, not even a bridge allowing spectators to go from the outside to the inside of the track.
We later decided to go on the pit lane walk which is where the bikes (and F1 cars) change tyres etc during the races. We paid £10 for 30 minutes along with about 200 other people. We got to see many of the riders including our 2 Lincolnshire born heroes, Sam and Alex Lowes. 
Alex and Sam Lowes.

What was missing was the big stars who had decided to ride off on their mopeds to avoid the great unwashed. Knobs.
At 15 minutes into the walk, the security team started to clear the lane. When they got to me and tried to move us out of the lane I exploded and started to argue with them for cheating us out of what we had just paid for. Even the main commentator for Sky EuroSports was there remonstrating also. It did have some effect as they stopped where they were. Ask me if I had the hump ?
We then decided to get the bus back to the main merchandising area only to find the queue like something out of a free ticket stall at Wimbeldon. We went for a beer to wait for the queue to deplete.
They had only laid on one bus servicing the main attraction of the day whereas there were about 4 transporting media and (bike) team members about. We watched several drive off with about 6 people on board. They were going to the same place as the public buses. Double Knobs.
I have never liked Silverstone. In my youth I marshald here when it was nothing more than a perimeter track of a WW2 airfield.  I will not be coming again. (And I don't think I could cope with Grumpy again in the form he was in today.  I agree all was not good, but the atmosphere was and to me that's what it is all about).

Sunday 5th August
We saved ourselves about £150 today. We sat in the tent and watched the bike racing on Sky. This was interspersed by the Olympics when there were no races on. It was odd as we could hear the bikes in the distance at the same time as on the TV.  We are going to have a slow pack up as tomorrow we are back to Hertford.

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