Race Report for 15 October 2017
The morning was overcast with a barely perceptible breeze from the south to south-west as five boats assembled on the muddy foreshore. A B-course was scheduled but the consensus was to switch to an A because of the difficulty of beating with a feeble or non-existent wind against the flood tide. And for the same reason everyone agreed on a short course starting outside Zoffany House.
The fleet started with a flourish, catching a zephyr that took most boats down to the willow, whereupon it (the wind and the fleet) got into a familiar state of confusion. Rob Adams in his Laser was the first to make an attempt on the downstream buoy, positioned just upstream of the slip-dock which was occupied by a large boat. Unfortunately for Rob the tide triumphed over the wind at just the wrong moment, causing him to touch the buoy and re-join the queue. Ian Nethersell, in his Vibe, was next to make the attempt and continued successfully to round the upstream mark. As he passed the start line he put in a polite request for a one-lap race. His time for the first lap was 13 minutes. He was followed at 15 minutes by Chris Greenwood’s Enterprise and then by Alex Pape’s Lugger and Rob at around 16 minutes.
The breeze gradually filled in as the race progressed giving a second lap of around 10 minutes for the leaders – they being Chris followed by Rob, Alex and Ian. Tim, meanwhile was still stuck in the doldrums opposite the willow. By the third lap Rob had gained the lead which he retained to the end leaving Chris and Alex to contest second place for the next few laps as Ian progressively slipped behind.
Rob finished his seventh lap just before the hour was up followed in ten seconds by Chris and another minute or so by Alex. Ian finished at about the same time but a lap behind, and Tim brought up the rear, after 64 minutes, having completed 5 laps.
So Chris won in the Handicap series and the Big Boats, and Alex won on the Polly Prize and Little Boats. David Jones wasn’t given much to do in the safety boat and Tim Wellburn, assisted by Henry Brown, supervised from Zoffany House.
The more perceptive of you may have noticed some anomalies in the total scores and numbers of races sailed as recorded in recent results sheets. The Master of Sums apologises for any errors and is confident that the latest results show the correct numbers.