The predicted Met forecast for Kew was light winds from the North East. A “B” course was programmed, however, the OD considered the possibility of a change to an “A” course due to the light wind making it difficult to clear the Pier, but after discussion with the helms and the site of ripples off the Pier, a “B” it was.
Six dinghies were prepared to endure the light and fickle conditions. The course was set by Tim Young and Dave Jones in the safety boat with the usual buoy positions, except for the downstream buoy being moved upstream to shorten the course.
Apart from Andy and Stephen in Comma who were having a problem making the start line against the tide by the Railway Bridge, all the other dinghies had good starts. Rob (Phoebe) rounded the Pier after 6 mins followed by Chris (Ho Ho Ho).
Lev (Blue Angel) and Alex (Phoenix) rounded the Pier after 17 mins. Tim Wellborn and his son Rob (Enterprise) and Andy and Stephen (Comma) were struggling with the very light and variable wind and the tide conditions. They tried inshore to avoid the tide but little wind, mid-stream to get the wind and sometimes getting a puff of wind to send them towards the Pier only to be washed back with the tide. Most frustrating for them. The others who had rounded the Pier were stalling by the rowing club and drifting. It was decided to shorten the course again by bringing the downstream buoy nearer the rowing club.
Chris (Ho Ho Ho) was sailing his enterprise solo and brilliantly. He completed his first lap after 32.25 mins. Lev, Rob and Alex followed with Tim and Andy still attempting to clear the Pier. It was debatable whether a second lap could be achieved with the one-hour race closing. However, the tide was easing. Amazingly all the dinghies began to make the tide and within a few minutes all had rounded the Pier, some for the first time. HOORAY.
Now all the dinghies were together, tacking past the rowing club and rounding the downstream buoy with little trouble. Positions were changing and Alex in Phoenix was breaking free. He rounded the final buoy ahead of the fleet and squeezed over the finishing line 5 seconds ahead of Lev. All the other dinghies were very close behind with only approx. 2 minutes between them at the line. Comma and Ixion completing 1 lap and the rest 2 laps.
Many thanks to Tim and Dave in the safety boat, sorry about the soaking Dave.