Last Race of the season, 5 November 2017
It was a bright and breezy afternoon with a full F3, plus added gust, blowing down the A-course from Kew Bridge. A magnificent 9 boats took to the water, but even before the start three of them came to the conclusion that an immersion was highly likely and returned to the ramp – all Enterprises: the Browns, Rob Collingwood, and Chris and Laura Greenwood. The others were made of sterner stuff.
Dave and Sheila Berger, rare visitors to our waters, sailing James Armitage’s Enterprise, led almost from the start. He was closely followed by Nick Floyer at the start of the second lap (14 seconds behind) with Alex Pape and Ian Nethersell also less than a minute behind. Alas, that was it for Nick. He was overpowered on the run downstream, capsized, and despite valiant attempts to right his Lightning, it refused to behave. After several attempts he had to concede and retire from the race – wet and cold.
So that left five contenders, and the Bergers kept ahead, but not by much at first. At lap two all four were within two minutes of each other. At three laps Alex and the Bergers were a mere 20 seconds apart with Lev and Ian about three minutes behind them. Alex was still number two on the next lap with Ian just ahead of Lev, but by the next lap both had overtaken Alex. The Bergers were drawing further ahead by this stage and went on to lap all the others. They completed seven hectic laps in the allotted hour, three minutes ahead of Ian’s six laps with Alex and then Lev crossing the line after a further two and three minutes. Sam Shemtob, with two crew in his Wayfarer and two reefs in his main fought for three laps and the fifth place but was forced to take assistance from the safety boat and retired.
So ended a very exciting race, as well as the 2017 sailing season. The handicap system gave the race to the Bergers, followed by Lev, then Alex, and finally Ian. Many thanks to Enoch Rodriguez for supervising the event, and to David Jones and Steve Newell for manning the safety boat.
As usual the race was followed by Beer and Bangers. The beer was brewed by Steve, Mary Short slaved over the barbeque, soup and cake were provided by Margaret Berger, and other food was provided by several willing members. It was especially good to see three of our most senior members at the feast: Kurt and Margaret Berger and Paul Williamson.