Strand on the Green Sailing Club – Race Results – 16th April 2017 Easter Egg Race
Course: A; Race number: 4; OD: Tim Young; Safety Boat: Andy Ross, Alex Pape.

Race report
By Andy Ross

James wrapping his arms around the furled jib prevented his boat bucking off its trolley in the stiff grey NW gusts that bowled down the river, and with an optimistically sun-creamed nose turned to the sky calmly contemplated single-handedly venturing forth. Joseph’s Laser wagged its boom with mad enthusiasm to be off. But no others did, or even showed up.

Easter Day had promised April showers to the roots; and, as the duty OOD had also taken shelter elsewhere, Tim boldly stood up against the elements and declared a long triangular A course was preferable to a B – and so Andy and Alex laid the buoys on a milk chocolate brown river with cold silver foil rippling horizontally across its surface. The obvious intention was not to please but see which survived; the boats or the breeze.

Immediately it was neck and neck. After 7 minutes James strode into a 12 second lead but 7 minutes later it was Joseph 4 seconds ahead, a lead he repeated on the second lap. But on the third James tacked into the windy but tide-free Strand bank and returned – so to pip Joseph at the grid buoy, and screamed off upwind to sneak a 3 second lead.

Meanwhile a commotion on the Surrey bank caught the attention of the safety boat. A dog was in the river, scrambling to get up the steep and muddy slope; and its family was distraught. Even, most unwisely, some men were beginning to remove shoes and trousers to get in and join it! Easing the bow of the boat alongside, the dog’s harness could be grabbed but the power of a big dog doggy-paddling was more than the boat’s steering could cope with and it took the combined effort of Andy and Alex to heave it onboard. Then with a MOAB [Mother of All Bitches] shake this Dulux dog distributed a cloudburst of spray that totally drenched its rescuers – before leaping ashore up the steps.

Re-joining the race for the 6th lap finish and in an easing wind with a glimpse of blue edges to the cloud, now allowing 9 minutes round, Joseph finished 18 seconds ahead on the water – later adjusted on handicap to 8 seconds ahead.

The wind and the rain and the river won the Easter Day prize for Bank Holiday unpredictability, but the Easter egg prize for persistence and perseverance was shared amongst all at SGSC.

Boats that sailed in the race are marked in bold type.