Today was a day for boats, boating and racing. In the morning we went to the Sudbury Regatta at Friar's Meadow and in the afternoon it was the Coracle Regatta at Bures that lured us further down the river.
At Sudbury, it's a highly organised, serious event with races across the whole day, 32 rowing clubs taking part and around 2000 people gathering on Friar's Meadow to watch. It was the 137th year that the event has run and the competition was strong and vocal. By comparison, the Bures event was low key, inclusive (although I didn't have a go, next time!) and a lot of fun.
I stood on the Suffolk bank to record both events and there was quite a contrast to the soundscapes. Encouragement from the banks in Sudbury included encouraging shouts from team mates and scathing commentary from the compere over the Tannoy system but in Bures was gentle advice about steering and powering the coracles. There was a sense of anticipation and tension on Friar's Meadow but at Bures recreation ground everything was relaxed, with people enjoying watching the coracles but also enjoying a picnic and watching the friendly cricket match nearby.
At the rowing regatta we were spectators who made recordings and left with some footage of the event, but at the coracle event we spoke to Steve and Dick who ran the event and were made very welcome by them. They gave us a lot of information about the history of the event and also the coracles themselves which is important research for our project. Although we didn't have a go in them we'll certainly be going back next year and will take some dry clothes to change in to should we fall in.