Strand on the Green Sailing Club – Race Results – 23rd April 2017
Course: C; Race number: 5; OD:Heather Adams; Safety Boat: Rob Adams with Alex Pape, David Jones
Boats that sailed in the race are marked in bold type.
Rob’s account of events (slightly modified from the original facebook version)
It was an eventful C course and a beautiful day for pottering on the Thames. Henry’s unmanned Enterprise capsized whilst moored to the goose-guano encrusted pontoon upstream of Kew Bridge, while Henry was helping Nick to sail off. It was rescued by the combined efforts of Rob, Alex and Dave – the safety boat team. Then a very competitive race ensued with Lev, Ian, John, Henry and Tim all in strong positions at some stage. But it was Nick who crossed the line first, waved over the line by 9 month old Hugo with the yellow flag in hand, Heather supervising.
When nearly all the boats were safely back under the bridge, there was an emergency: a man had jumped into the river off the wall by the old Pier House Laundry building and was in danger of drowning. Henry, on seeing the commotion, manoeuvred his Enterprise alongside the bank under sail to where the man was floundering. He reinvigorated the man’s natural instinct to survive by offering a handy jib sheet which he grabbed with such vigour that the Enterprise nearly capsized again, and would have done so without help of good Samaritans on the wall, who seized a shroud. Luckily the rescue boat heard the hail and sped over to help. David and Alex hauled the man on board and landed him safely into the hands of the police at the Kew Bridge slip, who then took over.
The race, as outlined above, was a beat up the river into a gentle SW breeze of F2 and sometimes F3. John Bull and Ian Nethersell established a healthy lead upstream in the tacking battle leaving the Gulls and the Lightning behind. Henry, unusually solo in Big Polly due to a 4th birthday party elsewhere, started about five minutes late after Rob and Alex had kindly scooped most of the water out of the hull, but he gradually worked his way up the fleet to be third around the buoy at Isleworth. The mostly downwind downstream leg presented the familiar dilemma of which bank to run down in the continuing flood tide, and when to cross the river to find better conditions. Nick read the conditions right or, as he would insist, capitalised on the downwind performance of the Lightning: from being last at Isleworth he was first back at Kew Bridge. But after the handicap sums Lev and Tim in the gulls took the honours.
The expert safety boat team got most of the fleet safely under the bridge – Tim demonstrating the virtues of his tabernacle to pass through unassisted. Many thanks to Heather and Hugo for supervising the race from the Kew bank.