Race results, 17th March 2019

Race Report Sunday 17th March 2019

OOD John Bull           Safety Boat Ian Nethersell

Second race of the 2019 season and the first points race. A cold but dry day with a westerly F2 wind, gusting F4. A scheduled C course was changed to an A course to suit the wind direction and the lack of time to pass under Kew Bridge. The time of HWKB was checked, approx. 11am and it was agreed that a start of 10am would be fine. Three boats prepared for the race – Robert with Josh (new member) in Tiamat (E), Lev sailing solo in White Angel (E) and Tim in Axolotl (G).The course was set – 3 buoys, Bell and Crown pub, City Barge pub and the Kew Bank rowing buoy, with Ian in the safety boat with the assistance of Henry Brown and David Jones. The race started at 10.06. Tiamat and Axolotl raced away with Lev struggling to find the wind to cross the start line. Sailing was close between Tiamat and Axolotl rounding the first buoy together. Axolotl choosing to take the Kew Bank behind Oliver’s Island with Tiamat tacking upstream on the Strand. In the meantime, Lev in White Angle had capsized. However, Lev quickly righted his Enterprise, bailed out and continued on to round the first buoy.

Tiamat was moving further ahead of Axolotl, although Axolotl’s move behind the Island did not lose too much ground. Tiamat rounded the next two buoys and raced across the line at 14.16, Axolotl followed at 18.50.

Race conditions were becoming difficult with strong gusts of wind and strangely the tide was turning early, only 18 minutes into the race. Lev in White Angel capsized again and again he quickly recovered but decided to retire. Tiamat and Axolotl continued to fight the gusts and now the strengthening ebbing tide, and because of the change in the tide it was decided to conclude the race at two laps. Tiamat managed to complete the second lap at 29.15. Axolotl continued against the tide, but behind the trot moorings, trying to reach the Kew Buoy, had the added difficulty of avoiding numerous rowers. In particular a fast moving eight, scary. He eventually retired at 58mins. But a great effort.

An eventful race day, finished in the arch with the Commodore’PPs Rum and blackcurrant and good humour.

John Bull

First Race 2019, 10th March 2019

First Race of the season, 10th March 2019 , race report

The first event of the day was a ceremonial naming and anointing of our new safety boat, the ‘Kurt Berger’.  The old Dory had been swapped for the new, bright yellow, Whaly 435 the previous Sunday and she lay under the bridge swathed in black polythene throughout the week.  Today around a dozen sailors and friends wheeled it onto the top of the ramp where Margaret Berger did the naming honours in appropriate style with a thimble or two of champagne.  She (the boat) had been immaculately inscribed with her new name by David Jones.

Despite the number of sailors on hand there were, at first, no volunteers for the First Race.  A cold F4 gusting F5 or 6 was blasting straight down the river against an incoming tide, and those present soon decided to launch and test the ‘Kurt Berger’, and nothing else.  That was before Rob Adams heaved into sight in a dry suit and with an appetite for a challenge.  So as the ‘KB’ was put through her paces with a crew of four including Margaret, Rob’s laser skated across the choppy water in an abundance of spray in an exhilarating display of seamanship.  The safety boat served only as the platform for an admiring audience: rescue was not required.

After 40 minutes or so both boats retired to the ramp where the ‘KB’ was man-handled up by a team of 6 or 8 into the yard.  She is significantly lighter than the Dory.  Rob Adams was, of course, awarded the First Race honours – it wasn’t his fault that no-one else joined in – and the assembly warmed up with tea, Margaret’s drizzle cake and Mary Brown’s flapjack.

Next week it’s an early start (10:05) for an Isleworth race.

AGM 2019

The winter is over and we are back !

The Strand on the Green Club Annual General Meeting took place at The City Barge on 19th of February 2019.
Minutes can be downloaded here:

Good luck in the new season.

Last Race, 4 November 2018

The last race, 4 November 2018

An early start at 1000 did not deter 11 boats from turning out – the largest number for any race in 14 years.  It was an overcast morning with a fitful SE wind of F3 coming straight up the river adding to a moderate tide.  Rob Collingwood and David Jones put the downstream buoy just above the grid and the upstream one well clear of Kew Bridge.

The Enterprises, tacking down against the tide, trying to make the best of the slower inshore waters, reached the downstream buoy first and the Browns, taking advantage of a slight wind shift, tried an oblique attack on it from upstream.  The gamble failed, the wind dropped and the tide pushed them onto the buoy and forced a penalty re-rounding.  James, crewed by grandson Ayanda, took the more cautious approach tacking downstream of the mark and established a lead which he maintained and increased throughout the race.  At the end of the first lap James led the Browns by about 2 minutes followed by Andy and Enoch with Lev close on their transom.  At the second lap James’ lead over the Browns was nearer 5 minutes and Rob Adams was less than half a minute behind.  By the third lap Rob was 10 seconds ahead of the Browns with Lev in fourth place, and it was on the third lap that Chris Greenwood, on his second race in a Solo, capsized and took some time to get sailing again – wet and cold.  That was the only drama of the morning, apart from the disappointment of Jane who had to be rescued by the safety boat from the perils of Kew Bridge.

Rob maintained his narrow lead over the Browns for the next two laps and there were some interesting inshore tacking battles on the downstream legs.  By the fifth lap of the leading ‘also rans’, James and Ayanda had worked their way through the fleet to lap everyone.  A lap later the Browns had regained their narrow margin over Rob which they maintained to the end, and Lev, also on seven laps, finished fourth.

So James was the decisive winner with 8 laps, followed by the Browns, Rob and Lev on 7 laps, Ian and Andy on 6 laps, Chris and Alex on 5 laps, Tim on 3 laps, Sam Shemtob (late starter) on 1 lap and Jane a reluctant non-starter.

Meanwhile, Mary Short was at work on the barbeque and a sumptuous feast was being prepared.  Founder member Marthe Armitage was present as well as Margaret Berger with a delicious chocolate cake.

Many thanks to Enoch for an immaculate record of a very crowded finishing line (he suggests that next time sailors should space themselves out more evenly), and to Rob Collingwood and David Jones for standing by in the safety boat.

Race results, 21 October 2018

Race report, 21 October 2018

Sunday was a glorious day for a sail with blue sky and enough wind coming straight down the river from the Kew Bridge for a good race.  David Jones, on advice from James, set a downstream buoy just above the City Barge and the upstream mark at the Café Rouge.

The fleet of seven set off on the run shoulder to shoulder and there was some inevitable barging at the downstream buoy with quite a strong tide flooding.  James, crewed by David Kolobov, got an inside line on the mark and was around and in the clear while the rest of us struggled to avoid each other and the mark.   James completed his first lap in under 9 minutes, followed by three other Enterprises: first Rob Collingwood (sailing solo), then the Browns, then Lev Kolobov (also solo), all within a minute of each other.  Chris Greenwood, having abandoned the rotting hulk of his Enterprise, tried out David Jones’ almost pristine Solo and duelled with Ian Nethersell for the rest of the race.  Tim cruised contentedly in their wake.

The course offered the choice of a long starboard tack across the river upstream of Oliver’s Island, mixing it with the rowers and a manoeuvring RNLI boat, or shorter tacks on the Strand side of the moorings.  Neither showed a decisive advantage but most of the fleet tried the long one if only for the variety.

James, as is his wont, gradually increased his lead and by the end overtook the three tail-enders and was only one second short of catching Lev.  He completed 7 laps in the hour, followed 8 minutes later by Rob, a mere 11 seconds ahead of the Browns, with Lev about a minute behind.  After 6 laps Ian finished fifth just over a minute ahead of Chris, with Tim about 6 minutes behind.

The various handicap calculations gave Chris the winning Handicap points, Tim the Little Boat points, and James the first position in the Big Boats and the Polly Prize.

Many thanks to Tom Broadhurst for officiating, and to David Jones in the safety boat.


Race result, 7 October 2018

Only two boats turned out this lunchtime despite the lovely autumnal sunshine, perhaps because of the tame conditions: a  light wind from the SW.

A very short B-course was set with a downstream buoy almost opposite the Strand End pier and the upstream buoy outside No. 7 Strand.  It was clearly a test of patience and making the most of whatever wind there was.  Rob Adams in his Laser was ahead from the start, as you would expect from the Laser’s handicap, but Ian Nethersell in his Vibe gave him a hard time.  Rob was ahead by 9 minutes on the third lap but Ian managed to cut that down to a mere minute by the sixth and last lap, which gave him a win on both the Handicap and Polly prizes.

David Jones and Mary Berger were in the safety boat to see that nobody drifted into danger, and Chris Greenwood looked after things from the bank.

Race report, 30 September 2018

Race report, 30 September 2018

There were only three takers for a race on Sunday: Nick Floyer (Lightning), Tim Young (Gull) and Jane Watkins (Gull).  It was cloudy but dry with a steady NW wind of around F3.

Nick was ahead almost from the start on the run down to Chiswick Bridge and had stretched quite a lead by the time he went under the bridge.  The Gulls expended lots of energy gybing and poling out their jibs as the wind veered and backed from dead astern.  Nick had only one sail to worry about and that probably gave him a smoother ride.

Once all three were under the bridge it became apparent to the safety boat that the tide was no longer ebbing, and the first red rowing buoy below the bridge confirmed that the flood had started.  It was clear that there was no realistic prospect of running all the way down to Hammersmith against the incoming tide and the safety boat decided to turn the fleet before the struggle became too great.  Not having had the foresight to load a buoy, we dropped an anchor and instructed first Nick and then the Gulls to turn around the safety boat, less than 200m below the bridge.  At the turn the Gulls were neck and neck.

It was a beat back to Strand with quite a brisk wind on some parts of the course.  Nick kept his lead with Tim closing on him, but although dropping back Jane was clearly learning fast, and determined that the safety boat should keep a respectful distance and keep its advice to itself.  It is, after all, the best way to learn. And the number of rowers and pleasure boats on the river made the learning quite critical at times.

So it was a very short D-course with Nick finishing in 40 minutes, Tim 4 minutes behind and Jane 10 minutes behind Tim.  After the sums Nick won the Handicap points but Tim came first in the Class and Polly Prizes.

Thanks to Heather for supervising the start and finish and preparing a warming cup of tea after the slog of recovering the boats at the end.  Rob and Henry took the executive decisions on the water.



Race report, 9 September 2018, LCSC, SBSC visit

Hopefully someone will submit a proper eye-witness report of the event, but since Nick has been good enough to supervise the race and prepare the results I thought it best to publish as soon as possible.

It was our annual team-racing event against LCSC and SBSC and on paper it looks like a classic of its kind.  16 boats were out, 8 from Strand, 3 from South Bank, and 5 from Corinthians.  There was enough wind for 5 boats to do 5 laps, 5 boats to do 4 laps, and the slow boats to finish 2 laps.  Nick had the un-enviable job of keeping tabs on them all.

There are two team trophies at stake, one for SGSC v. LCSC and one for SGSC v. SBSC.  The results are computed on the sum of finishing positions of each of the pair of teams.  In the case of SGSC v. LCSC, as LCSC brought five boats upriver the sum of the finishing places of their 5 boats are compared with the sum of the first 5 Strand boats.  In the case of SGSC v. SBSC, the first 3 of Strandies were compared with SBSC’s three boats.

The end result was a decisive win for the home team for both trophies.  Three of the first four positions were taken by James Armitage, Dave and Sheila Berger, and Rob Collingwood, with Val from LCSC, in his Laser, in third position.  That gave the us a score line of 8 SGSC against 39 SBSC (lowest score wins) and 21 SGSC against 40 LCSC.