Race Report, 22 October 2017

The Met Office wind forecast for Kew Gardens was for the top of F3 from the west with gusts of F6, following a very gusty day on Saturday thanks to Storm Brian.  This was enough to deter several helms from even getting their boats out, but Lev Kolobov was up for it and so was his son David who was to crew for James Armitage.  Following much deliberation and gazing Kew-wards from the ramp first James and then Lev rigged and launched.  James was assaulted by gusts from all sides in the lee of the island, suffered a fault with his goose-neck and headed back to the ramp to recover.  Lev, having been capsized while still on the trolley, got afloat and cautiously tested the conditions.  James by this time had decided that a dunking for him and David was almost inevitable in the turbulent conditions, called it a day, and the race was abandoned.  Lev decided to go for a circumnavigation of the island which he achieved with much flapping of sails and changes of course before also heading back to the ramp, with the safety boat in close attendance.

So high honours should be awarded to James, David and Lev for both brave intentions and prudent second thoughts.  Chris Jones, David Jones and Henry Brown manned the safety boat, fortunately not required in extremis, and Tim Wellburn, who made the necessary preparations for the race, provided the much-appreciated refreshments afterwards.

Next week’s race, after we revert to GMT, will be a D-course that should finish around sunset.  If it’s a clear day, and if there’s a favourable wind there should be no problem in getting back to Strand in the light.  But if it’s cloudy and windless the race may be cancelled.  You have been warned.

Henry Brown